My 9 Month Old Refuses to Eat Anything with Texture

Updated on March 12, 2013
M.R. asks from Vero Beach, FL
17 answers

my 9 month old son refuses to eat anything that is not 'smooth.' we have been trying to get him to eat food with a bit of texture for the past two months or so, and he refuses. he thinks he is choking and will literally sit there with the food in his mouth and not swallow, and when he does finally have to swallow, he gets so worked up that he vomits. we have tried to introduce as little texture as possible, but this happens with everything that is not entirely pureed.

has anyone else experienced this with their child, and if so, what did you do? i am not sure how to help him!

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So What Happened?

he is behind when it comes to doing things physically as well and is seeing a physical therapist to help him get on track. at 12 months old he still vomits when he eats things with texture, so it's something that we're working on with our PT as well. thank you for all of your responses - hopefully we get this resolved soon!

Featured Answers


answers from Hartford on

He's just not ready. It's completely developmental. There's no rush at all and if you do give him chunky foods before he's developmentally ready he actually could choke.

Therefore, you wait and reintroduce in a month. If the same thing happens after a few tries, wait again.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Wait. he's not ready. Feeding at this age should still be primarily b'milk or formula. Doing anything else is really just for practice.

So I would back off, and just keep introducing slowly - AFTER he's eaten b'milk or formula. he'll get the hang of it eventually.

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Honolulu on

He is 9 months.
He does not have to eat anything like us or with texture.
Many babies, are like this.

Plus, they still have their gag reflex. And, their mouth/tongue/chewing/swallowing coordination, is STILL forming. Hence, if a baby is given something they are not... ready for... They will, choke. Or, they can aspirate, the food. And this is not good, nor safe, for a baby.
It is just plain dangerous.

My kids as babies, were still eating pureed foods at that age.
There is no reason, to rush... solids or textures or types of foods.
For the 1st year of life, "solids" is ONLY an "introduction" to food and "eating." And for the 1st year of life, breastfeeding or Formula is a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition, and should still be given on demand and given before... giving solids. This is also per our Pediatrician. Solids, is not, as nutritionally dense, as breastmilk or Formula.

Go according to your baby's cues.
When the baby... is ready for other textures and they have physiologically attained mouth/tongue/chewing/swallowing coordination... without gagging or choking or vomiting... then, you can move on to other types of solids.

Go according to your baby's cues.
You've been trying for 2 months already.
Baby is not ready.
He is young.
It is not good, that baby is choking/vomiting/gagging with textured foods or foods with chunks in it.
Keep using pureed baby food.

Why... keep giving him textured foods, if he is not ready and is obviously, not liking it at all.
His gagging/vomiting/not swallowing and getting worked up when eating... is a CUE to you, to stop, those foods.
Eating, should not be, a hated thing. Nor a forced thing.
He will get, eating hang ups.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Sure - this happens to tons of kids. It means he's not developmentally ready to have foods that aren't smooth. If you keep pushing it, you will help him develop food aversions and that can be a major problem. So just back off. Don't offer ANY foods with texture for a month or so. By then he will have forgotten how scary it was, and his swallowing reflex will have matured and he'll be ready. And if he's not - wait another month.

Besides - why are you pushing food? Breastmilk and formula have tons more nutrition. Solids are just for practice, he doesn't have to be great at it for months and months!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

He's only 9 months old and you've been trying since he was 7 months old?
Some kids don't take to solid foods till the 1 yr mark or slightly later.
My son just started solids in time for his first birthday.
His tongue has to move differently for solid foods than for nursing or a bottle.
If he's choking and vomiting - stop with the chunky solids and keep his food well pureed for another few months before you try again.
Eating should never have to be an ordeal.
He'll be ready when he's ready - and that won't be on your time table.
I sometimes think the pediatricians pushing solids on the early side just don't know what they are talking about.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Totally normal. My first child started eating solids early on. The second had absolutely no interest for at least a year. She's still super picky, but does manage all different textures, finally. Keep trying, but slowly and without any drama. He'll get around to it when he's ready. No worries!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

He's showing you that he's not old enough to be eating chunky baby food or table food yet.

At this age his complete nutrition should still be coming from breastmilk or formula. They have the vitamins and nutrients he needs. Baby food has no nutrition to it. Table food is full of fats and processed stuff that is hard to digest and not good for him.

So make sure you are feeding him his bottle or nursing him before you give him anything else.

At 9 months he should be eating a jar or two per day of stage 2 baby food at the most. He shouldn't be hungry enough to want more. Of course there are snacks out there that he can have, those that you can buy on the baby food isle at Walmart are really yummy. If you taste them they are good, if they're not then don't try to get your little one to like them either.

In another month or so he'll be old enough to try regular food and will be better equipped to chew and swallow it. That is all that baby food is for, teaching them to chew and swallow. Until he's chewing and swallowing the smooth baby food he isn't ready to even try the stage 3.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

He's only 9 months old, his primary source of nutrition is still breast milk or formula. Everything else is just "practice" at this point. Feed him what he can and will eat without gagging. Once he hits 12 months he will be more developmentally ready for solids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

He's fine on breastmilk/formula...just keep feeding him what he will eat. When he's ready, he'll show an interest in your food. It's all in his time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Janesville-Beloit on

My dd was a major gagger until well past a year if I'm remembering correctly. We never could even give her tylenol, vitamin drops, etc. because she would throw up every time. Textured foods were the same thing. We never pushed it and she drank a lot of breast milk (and later whole milk) and now at 2 1/2 she eats anything and everything! I wouldn't worry at this point.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Flagstaff on

Don't force it.. He should still be primarily getting nutrition from the nursing. At least until a year old, food should be fun only. Nurse him first, then let him just try only pureed or almost liquid like foods. Smoothies. That's what I do. When he figures out those, which also may take awhile to learn, then you can start trying textured foods. But like others have said, he's not ready for chunkier textured solids. Only very smooth pureed almost liquid foods if any. Breast milk or formula is the main source of nutrition.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Billings on

My son needed feeding therapy because he couldn't even eat simple purees without gagging and throwing up. I tried and tried to feed him baby food for 2 months before I finally took him in to get help.
if I were you, I would take your son to a speech pathologist for an evaluation. It did wonders for my son--he skipped baby food entirely and went straight to table food. Now at 6 years old he is the best eater!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

This sounds very normal. I used a hand held baby food grinder and ground up everything from our plates before giving to the baby in some mushy form.

The best feeding tip ever is to not give them any food whatsoever of their own and then they'll want everything on your plate, including food with texture.

Just give it more time.

Also, what foods do you classify as having texture? Meat? Peas?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi-I would ask the pediatrician about this. I know a little boy who had this same difficulty and at 7 is still not eating a balanced diet. There is something called food aversion...not trying to alarm you, but you should google it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

It's important to work on this so that your son doesn't end up having a lot of problems with this as he grows up. Oral defensiveness is something that you can get help with.

Talk to the ped and ask for him or her to refer you to a feeding specialist. Usually it's an OT who does this as a specialty.

Please don't blow this off. I have a friend who didn't get this help for her son. He is 20 years old now, has a very limited diet of bread, french fries, milk, certain juices, soda, candy, fruit, yogurt, pancakes and that's pretty much it. NO meat, NO veggies. He has tried to eat pizza, but he throws it up. His mom has to put amino acids into his yogurt since he doesn't get enough of those. She also puts tasteless Citrical (or something like that) in his juice because he gets so little fiber. His whole life revolves around his lack of ability to eat normally - he lives at home and goes to college specifically because of this.

And yes, I should mention that he is way over 100th percentile in weight (and very tall like his dad) and has pre-diabetes. He is only 20...

If his mom had gotten him help when he was a baby (and it started out just like your baby), his life would be so much different, and their lives as a family, too.

Don't let anyone tell you that this will work itself out. They don't know that. It's an EASIER fix NOW. By the time you realize these people are wrong, it's much harder to get ahold of.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

The good news is that at 9 months, his primary nutrition should still come from breastmilk or formula. He does not actually need to be eating textured foods now, so give it a break and try again in a few weeks. Stick with the purees for now.


answers from Los Angeles on

What to do? You keep feeding him the pureed food until he's ready for the chunkier texture. Sounds totally normal to me for 9 months old.

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