Baby Refuses to Eat

Updated on August 22, 2010
L.S. asks from Temple, TX
13 answers

Hi Moms! My almost 8 month old refuses to eat any jarred baby food. I may can get him to eat 2 or 3 bites, but nothing close to the whole jar. Same with oatmeal, rice, etc. He has been eating jarred food for almost 2 months and we've never had problems until the past week or so. He's never eaten oatmeal or rice very well anyways. The only thing I can get him to finish is his milk. What should I do? Any suggestions?!

He does have two bottom teeth and we have just recently started mashing up some real food, bananas and small pieces of bread.


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answers from Pittsburgh on

Mashed banana? mashed avaocado? mashed potatoes? Does he have a few teeth?

Milk is really all he needs right now, but since he's got a few chompers on the bottom--try toast and jelly, toast and butter, tiny pancake pieces, teeny tiny (or mashed up) cooked veggies. Basically, what you're having but very small, soft, tender....
Does he like those disgusting looking meat sticks in the baby food jars? My son LOVED them and I thought I would die to have to touch them! LOL

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answers from Phoenix on

I would try making more of your own baby food. Try steaming, cooling and then purreeing vegetables, blend fruits (bananas with another fruit, peaches, apples, pears). As long as he is drinking his bottles he will be okay. Maybe teething makes things taste weird, or makes the texture unappealing. He may need a break for a bit too. Increase his bottle intake to make up for the lack of eating until he seems interested again. If he will not eat homemade baby food or keeps refusing solids for another week I would double check with your pediatrician to make sure there is not somehting bigger going on.


answers from Dallas on

Back off the milk a bit and he'll eat more solid type foods.



answers from McAllen on

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answers from Austin on

Neither of my children was especially interested in pureed food from a spoon, but both loved finger foods -- anything they could pick up and feed themselves. Some of their early favorites were small cubes of baked sweet potato, small pieces of banana or avocado, and other small pieces of very soft foods. Later, we had good luck with large-curd cottage cheese, scrambled egg yolks (but not the whites until they were older), chunks of tofu plus all the usual toddler finger foods. They're both great eaters today -- spice, sushi, vegetables, you name it -- and I think the early control they had over what they ate is part of the reason.

Good luck!



answers from Austin on

I'd just follow his lead unless there are red flags about his health. Maybe he is teething and just wants to nurse/have his bottle.



answers from Gainesville on

Don't worry about it! That's the best thing you can do. Breastmilk or formula is primary nutrition for the first year. Food is only for practice.

My second wouldn't touch food until she was 9 months old. No biggie. Once she was ready for solids she did very, very well.

I really believe that, barring any health issues, babies no what they need and what they don't. And right now your little man is telling you he doesn't really want or need much in the way of solids. Just keep offering, let him take what he wants and don't stress over it.


answers from Austin on

Here are some ideas for a picky eater and link with more info:

Parent Tips:

* Offer new foods on multiple occasions. Many children need to try a new food up to a dozen times before they like it.
* Set a good example and try new foods yourself.
* Encourage healthy food portions. Never insist that children “clean their plates.” Rewarding a clean plate may lead to a distorted idea of food, such as ignoring feeling full or eating for a reward.
* Make healthy snacks available. Make fruits or veggies convenient to your child.



answers from Joplin on

he may just not be feeling very good drainage or something don't push anything he will come around.



answers from San Antonio on

My 4th child was that way too so I just started finely chopping whatever we were having for dinner and pulling her up to the table with us and she will eat everything now. In a way it is soooo much easier to eat with her than my 3 boys. She will eat/try everything because she has been eating that way since she was about that age. The other day she asked for salad for lunch- she is 2. I started laughing... made us a big salad with turkey and ham and veggies and we sat on the couch and ate and giggled together. I hope you have the same wonderful success!



answers from Austin on

Here is a list of ideas for you based on what I've tried with my 9.5 month old:
canned/very ripe peaches, pears, apricots
scrambled/hardboiled eggs
Gerber Graduates turkey sticks, apple dices, carrot dices
Kraft Singles cheese
cottage cheese
yogurt-my daughter LOVES Stonyfield Farms organic yogurts, they even have 3 in 1 'meals' of yogurt, fruit, and a veggie
I've also tried regular oatmeal, maybe he'd like Cream of Wheat or some other cooked cereal?
Also she has just started this, but sometimes will eat things she wouldn't otherwise if I let her hold the spoon with me and help feed herself.



answers from College Station on

He may be telling you that he is ready for table foods. This age is when all my boys moved off of mashed baby food and onto chunky food. They do not need any teeth to chew- their gums are quite strong.

I would also cut back on the milk for a while to make sure he is getting a more balanced diet. Or, at least give him the milk AFTER his food.

Good Luck!



answers from San Antonio on

What Dori said - babies get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula for the first year. Solid foods are for experimentation, to get used to different tastes and textures, so follow his lead on this.

My son never cared for typical baby food. We went with what is called "infant-led weaning," which meant we bypassed puree in a jar and went straight to table food. I would give him a big hunk of broccoli, or a piece of meat, and let him gnaw and suck on it. He also loved pickles - go figure. He didn't swallow much, but he enjoyed different textures. Google "infant-led weaning" to learn more about it. In short, you do not need to puree food into a bland mash - unless that's what he likes.

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