Hard Time Transitioning to Table Foods

Updated on April 19, 2011
A.C. asks from Woodbridge, VA
10 answers

My son recently turned 1 and I am trying to transition him to table foods, however, he just won't eat them. I followed the Gerber nutrition plan for him as an infant (eating the 2nd and 3rd year foods) and printed out the plan AGAIN for the toddler. However, he will not eat the table foods and honeslty, the plan has ALOT of food. I am thinking once he starts to get older his appetite will increase, but I am really stressed out right now. I am not a cook so I need ideas of what he should eat during the day for meals. My husband is afraid that he will starve and honestly, so am I. Also, we are having problems weaning him from the bottle as he refuses to drink milk from any sippy cup. So he is not eating solids or drinking milk, therefore I am forced to him him the bottle to ensure he has some nutrition. Appreciate any ideas.

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answers from Washington DC on

Hi! This is totally normal. I'd throw away the Gerber plan because it seems to be stressing you out, and it's just a product marketing tool for Gerber anyway. Try putting a few pieces of table food (Cheerios, puffs, bits of chicken, pasta, cut-up veggies or fruit) on his tray, but also continue with the baby food. There is nothing wrong with a one-year-old eating baby food, and that way he can continue getting nutrition while you experiment with table foods. As for the sippy, have you tried a straw cup? Some kids do better with those. I like the Take and Toss straw cups because they're inexpensive and the lids stay on really well. Good luck!

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answers from Boston on

honestly it is rough but if you keep up with introducing these new things he will accept them! Maybe try a different style cup... he just may not love the one you are using, but keep up with it, or else he will just keep working your nerves and u will end up caving every time.

As far as table foods go, Im starting my little one on them also, so I can offer up what her meals are and maybe some will strike a chord with you also:

Yogurt and cheerios for breakfast ( with baby oatmeal also )

String cheese as a snack and some of those gerber puffs

mac and cheese or pasta and meatballs raviolis ( anything soft really ) for lunch

cheerios or more puffs for a snack. sometimes steamed veggies or boiled ones

dinner is whatever we are having, chopped up small - rice pasta chicken sausage boiled potatoes ( a favorite ) peas corn carrots ( a favorite ) mashed potatoes turkey... just all cut up really small if its not mushy already. Both of my kids got their teeth ( and still are getting ) really late. She's almost 11 months and has 6 teeth ( 4 top 2 bottom ) so i am also nervous about pushing it, but she has a good appetite so that helps.

They wont refuse food all the time, sometimes you just have to find what textures they do better with. good luck, keep your head up- and dont give up, or else your baby will be 18 months old and still on a bottle!

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answers from New York on

Take a moment to take a breath...... just relax, you are stressing too much about food and what he should eat and when. He won't starve and he just turned one, there is no sense in getting stressed and printing out food plans, etc. Children can really sense stress and it might be making him uncomfortable while eating.

Put some food in small pieces on his tray AND continue feeding him jar food as well. Once you notice him wanting and eating more by himself of the cut up food, you can stop with the jar.

Also, try giving him a cup with a straw. I never gave my kids a sippy cup, its just a glorified bottle.

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answers from Austin on

He may like to drink out of a regular little cup, but not a sippy. Just do not put a lot of liquid in it. Do you ever let him sip from your cup?

You should just be feeding him what the 2 of you eat. Just in smaller portions and smaller bites. Make sure it is healthy.

What did you eat for dinner? Allow him to feed himself a little bit of that.
Some kids hate seeing that spoon coming towards their faces, but if you have him in a high chair with a few small bites of food on a plate on the tray or directly in the tray, you know he will pick them up and put them in his mouth,.

Small pieces of whole wheat bread, 3 peas, a small cooked carrot. 3 small pieces of chicken. As he eats something, quietly add a few more pieces of what he just ate. Later, place a bite on a small spoon and see if he will try it that way.

In the morning, a few cheerios, some scrambled eggs and some fruit, yogurt.
Every once in a while, offer him a sip of his milk in the little cup.

Children like to explore textures so small pieces of cheese, berries, melon, turkey, ham, eggs, hard boiled, scrambled, squash carrots,yams, rice, pasta, sauces for him to dip in. All of this will fascinate him and while he is looking at his hands, you can slip in a taste of food on a spoon.

Children will not starve themselves. They also are not always hungry when we are. They will go days hardly eating anything and other times, you will not believe the amounts they will want to eat. Just because you sit down to eat dinner at 6:00 does not mean he has to eat right then.. Maybe actually feed him at 5:00, but place him again in the high chair while you and dad eat, so he can be a part of it.

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answers from San Diego on

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ These are my favorite website about feeding little ones. I actually had to look up the Gerber Nutrition plan to find out what it was. I have to be honest, it looks like it's designed to keep you buying their processed foods until your kid is into their school years. I never followed anything like that with my 3 kids. I was giving them various table foods from the get go, just made sure they were prepared in a way that was developmentally right for their abilities. My third ate jarred food I think a total of 1 month before she realized she liked our food better.
Just keep offering nibbles of things during the day. A little bit of avocado, then later a little bit of shredded cheese, take some chicken from your meal and break it into little bits to have him nibble on, ground beef is a good choice, cut part of a banana into "coins" and put those in front of him. My second and third hated being spoon fed from super early on, they wanted to do it themselves, my first..well..he's 10 and I swear he'd be happier if we spoon fed him LOL But they all eat just about everything. It can take many tries before a child will like a food so just because he won't eat it this time doesn't mean he won't eventually. I have to tell my daughter what it is before she'll take a bite of it, new or old foods, it doesn't matter. She's 22 months but it's been going on for a while now.
One thing is you may be trying to do to many changes at once, you're trying to wean him off his bottle at the same time you're trying to wean him from his jarred food. Maybe only pick one then go to the other. Too many changes at once can be too much for a little guy. Every child does things in their own time, there is no need to rush it just because the calendar says they're "X" amount old. How many grown ups do you see using bottles and eating baby food? LOL
He's not going to starve himself, I promise ;)

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answers from Washington DC on

I had the same worries too when my daughter turned one. My advice is that no matter how hard it is, be patient. She just didn't 'get' the sippie cup, so we let her go at her own pace. She transitioned really well at around 15 months (hint: take the anti-spill part out of the cap to make it easier to drink at first, and only use water, or water flavored with a bit of juice so it doesn't make too many messes). As for table foods, we started slow with bits of cheese, cheerios, soft carrots or green beans, bits of graham cracker, spooned out avocado, and such. We were still doing 3rd foods sometimes at 16 months. And something that really worried me, but over time I learned thru my daughter and friends with kids - some days she will eat everything and more, and some days she'll eat very lightly. Kids know when they are full, or not hungry anymore. And they won't starve. It still frustrates me when she doesn't eat what I think is enough, but she'll be okay. And don't be surprised if it takes a 'buffet' to feed your son. Kids have opinions on what they like to eat and when they like to eat it just like adults do, so we sometimes try 4 things at night before she'll eat one.
I know this is a frustrating time, but it won't last forever - try to be as patient as you can, and when he's ready to transition he will :)

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answers from Oklahoma City on

It will not hurt him to have a bottle for as long as he needs it. Our boy stayed on his until nearly 2. He came up to me one day and handed it to me. He never looked back and has perfect teeth. He has been to the pediatric dentist several times and always has excellent check ups.

Try checking out a couple of books from your local library, that way if you don't like them or they don't fit with your lifestyle you aren't out any money. The library can also get them on inner library loan if they don't have them:

The Complete Idiots Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler.

Baby and Toddler meals for Dummies
As for sippy cups? Kids are 7 and 4 and we still use them. I have better things to do than clean up spills all day. We have gotten to the stage of using the Take and Toss cups from Walmart that have 5 cups, 5 lids, and 5 straws. They run about $3.00 and can be used as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.
As long as your little guy is gaining weight within the set standards then he is fine. It's normal for little ones to go through hunger stages then non eating stages too. Just make sure you never give him anything larger than 1/4 inch. If he swallows it whole it won't be a choke hazard. At this age, until about 3 years old he can easily choke on all types of food like raisins, marshmallows, grapes, cheese cubes, etc...he shouldn't walk around with food in his mouth either. He can choke and be out of sight. It only takes one time of catching a child choking on food to get on a soap box to every other parent.
Let him set the pace. He'll eat when he's ready.

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answers from Norfolk on

Our son lingered on the bottle for awhile till after 1.
He just wasn't ready for it.
Don't worry! He won't go to college that way!
He'll be eating you out of house and home before you know it.
By the time he's 16 you'll wonder why you worried at all because at 16 they don't even stop to chew - they just swallow quickly and look for more.
Watching a teenage boy eat is almost frightening.
Remember no one has a stomach that is bigger than their fist, and for a 1 yr old - that is pretty small.
My son was eating baby food for awhile and then he had a French fry phase where he'd gnaw on a fry till it was gone and had to have one for each fist.
Use the bottle till he's eating other things then gradually phase it out.
There's no need to stress about it. It's not a contest and it's well within normal. Not every baby makes the switch on the early side.

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answers from Washington DC on

I don't really have any answers in relation to the food, but I have what could be considered bad advice for the sippy cup. My daughter is 16-months-old and STILL doesn't get the whole "regular" sippy cup. She doesn't understand that she has to tip her head back or maybe she does and just doesn't want to do it. That being said, she LOVES the straw cup. That's not the potentially "bad" advice though, this is. One thing I did to encourage her to drink milk was I added a little bit of Nesquik to it. I know, that's not exactly great, but it worked. What I did was I added about half of what the thing actually calls for to twice as much milk. Once she got a taste for it she continued drinking and then I added more milk to the cup once she drank it down. I also decreased the amount of chocolate each day so that she wouldn't refuse the plain milk altogether. Within one week she was drinking 24 oz. per day of just plain milk. It was just enough to get her on board. If you hesitate to add chocolate, you can also add fruit to the milk. Put it in a blender (peaches or strawberries will probably work best) and then put it in a cup. I think they think the straws are fun too. On another note, the straw sippy cups are actually better for their teeth as well.

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answers from Washington DC on

He's only one. The timeline is a guideline for what the average child is doing. Not what EVERY child is doing.
As for the bottle, we had our daughter on the Enfamil Toddler formula til around 18m, using bottles, because she didn't adjust well to the cows milk. Keep his formula feedings in a bottle, but add a milk or water drink in a sippy cup when he is seated at a meal.

As for the table foods, try feeding some foods like noodles, fries, veggies off of your plate. Food is ALWAYS better when its taken off someone else's plate.

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