Seeking Advice to Get My Daughter to Eat Babyfood

Updated on May 12, 2008
M.B. asks from Edison, NJ
27 answers

My 7 month old daughter refuses to eat any babyfood. I started her on babyfoods at 6 months. I first attempted to give her orange colored veggies. She ate these for only 2 days then she refused them entirely. Then I attempted to give her green colored veggies. These she immediately refused. So then I gave her fruits which she also refuses to eat. I've tried to distract her with something to get her to eat but she keeps her mouth shut tightly. She's even learned not to cry while we're feeding her because this would give us an opportunity to put a spoonful of food in her mouth. I never expected this because my son who's 3 now ate everything we gave him except spinach. Please, please give me some advice on how to get my daughter to eat babyfood. The only thing she eats is cereal and mashed bananas.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank EVERYBODY for her wonderful and extremely helpful advice. I took all your suggestions and tried several things. My daughter is almost 10 months old now and about 1 month ago she started eating. She now eats everything (table foods, homemade babyfood even jar babyfood). A month a go I have her homemade babyfood and I was happy if she ate 3 bites. I would save the rest for later. Every 1-2 hours I would try feeding her again and each time she would eat 2-3 bites. By the end of the day she ate the entire portion. After 2 weeks of this she started eating the entire portion is one sitting without fuss. In fact, we just switched her from liquid formula to powder formula and she took it without any fuss. This switch was done because we're planning a overseas trip where formula is not available and liquids are too cumbersome to take for a 15 day trip. Again thank you all for your suggestions.

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E.S.

answers from Richmond on

M.,
i had the same problem with my little one who is going to be 1 on wednesday. she would not eat babyfood at all, we tried all stages!! my ped. told me not to worry that when she was ready she would eat! we started her early on the fruit and veggie puffs and even though she would only eat a few it was a start. we actually started these by breaking them up alittle because i was afraid she was going to choke even though they disolve. now she eats anything she can gets her hands on.

this one is the youngest of my 5 and my 3 middle ones wanted nothing to do with baby food as well and hte ped. i was using at the time told me to be patient and start table food, mashed potatoes, squash, mashed carrots, sweet potatoes, and other table foods like bread and butter, toast, grilled cheese, things that you can break up small and are soft.

hope this helps, good luck

E.

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P.M.

answers from New York on

Please don't force food into her mouth, you'll only make it worse that way. She my just not like the baby food look. Try cutting the food up and letting her have very small soft pieces instead.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

She may just want to be like her big brother. Try cutting up food in tiny pieces and see if she'll eat that way.

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S.H.

answers from New York on

I made all of my childrens food and never had a problem. I love to cook anyway but the smell of the food was too much for me. Try some avocado and banana together..... sounds gross but my children are still eating that and it has all the right fats for a baby brain!! Boil some sweet potatoes and whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer ........ if she likes them then freeze them into cubes. Try some fruit and plain yogurt (Brown Cow is the best) You can even mix the sweet potatoes in with the yogurt and put a touch of cinnamon.... yummy. How about some cottage cheese and fruit... I could not live without my book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron...... Fresh is always better to taste maybe she is going to be a food critic :) Good luck!!!

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M.P.

answers from New York on

I am going through the same thing, my daughter is 9 months old. After being frustrated for weeks I noticed that she ate food that I feed her by hand and refused anything from a spoon and absolutely would not eat anything pureed. I did some reading and soon realized that it was texture. So I began feeding her the food we ate with some exceptions and I make her other stuff. I am very into nutrition so i make each meal with portions of protein, veggies, carbs and fats. Example in the morning I cook or boil eggs and only give her the yolk, i give her cottage cheese and little pieces of whole grain toast. She now devours food. I cut up all fruits really tiny, grapes, mangos, peaches, bananas, watermelon. I steam or bake sweet potatoes, regular potatos,squash and once again I give it to her very lumpy or I make into little meatball size. YOu get the picture, it is work because if we go out I need to prepare. I wish you a lot of luck. Just remember to wait several days between introducing a new food.

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K.N.

answers from Syracuse on

Have you tried very small bits of whatever you are eating? My son also refused baby food but ate "real" food whenever I gave it to him. I started with mashed potatoes and that sort. Peas, apples, carrots and such in one of those little food teething ring gab things are great! Also, my son did not get any teeth until 11 months but that didn't stop him from eating all sorts of things from cooked carrots to crackers to even small bites of steak and just gumming it to death! Have fun, your daughter sounds like she already has a mind of her own and knows how to use it!

K.

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C.R.

answers from Syracuse on

Welcome to the world of the younger siblings....she will do things faster than your first...she wants what you have...so give it to her...very small...my first 3 loved baby food...the last 2 only ate it for breakfast...cut everything tiny and give her little bits at a time, start with those puffs...they melt...cut them in half and offer it to her...also don't offer a bottle before or at mealtime, wait until after...they fill up on bottle and there is no hunger for food...goodluck!

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D.L.

answers from Albany on

Hi M.,
Believe it or not our children are very smart even though they dont even know it. She might have a hard time with the MSG that is in babyfood. I made baby food out of the table food that I made for us. My children loved it and ate very well. When I tried to give them babyfood from a jar they either spit it out or threw up.
You can proccess just about anything into babyfood.
Try it. it tast better and is better for your babygirl.

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T.F.

answers from New York on

I have four children, and two of them never ate babyfood. They just didn't like the consistency of it. I basically gave them a lot of milk, veggies cooked until very soft, and lots of pastina or soup. Other foods came into play as they developed teeth. But remember, baby food is mostly to expose them to different things and determine allergies. Years ago there was no baby food and mothers did just fine. Feel free to experiment and make your own baby food. If food is cooked soft enough they can gum it. Try even testing her out with 1/2 of a cheerio. See what she does. She probably just doesn't want that mush in her mouth, would you?

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S.L.

answers from Binghamton on

I wouldn't force the issue. Babies are so varied in the starting solids department. My daughter (now 14 months) wasn't really interested until well over a year. She never liked baby food but things really took off when she could feed herself and eat what we were eating. It's fine to hold off. Starting solids when we do is largely cultural, it's not a necessity. I know people that don't start until 15 months and their kids are just fine. If she likes cereal and bananas (and they don't make her constipated) keep feeding her that. Try other things every once in a while, not everyday, to see if she is interested. Eating should be fun for her and you.

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S.T.

answers from Albany on

Hi, M.. I have three boys of my own and found them sooooo different from one another. I know that some children don't like the baby food and if you taste them and some of them are disguesting. Have you tried organic baby food or do the foods yourself? Soem of the organic baby foods have one fruit mixed in there and gies it sweeter flavor and also, organic foods are much taster and sweeter anyways. Try that and try pureeing the foods your self. My last one is 7 mo old and we went to Country Buffet and my husband (and I didn't because I worry too much) gave our son, a very, very small piece of turkey and my son loved it and and mashed potatoes and he loved that too. So, you may haveto try those things too. Don't forget, you can mixed some of that food with the cereal and see what he does, too. God bless you and your family and hope this helps.

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R.L.

answers from New York on

is it possible she doesn't like completely smooth food? some babies have texture issues. my daughter was the opposite, she didn't like food that was too lumpy. She'd gag and carry on if she felt lumps in the food. We basically went from puree to finger foods. How about gerber fruit puffs. They melt in the mouth really quickly. Or try to do her veggies more to the texture of the mashed bananas or oatmeal? We struggle with a picky eater at home too. But, somehow she continues to gain weight and be healthy. You can put down a well thought out amazing meal for your child, but you can't make him/her eat it! So, we just keep introducing foods and try not to make a big deal out of what she eats and doesn't, and it seems to work out okay. Last night I put out a salad and she ate ALL the olives out of it. I never would have thought. She took one bite of tomato, was "ok"...cucumber was not good (she shuddered when she tried it), and lettuce was insulting...she actually started to cry when she bit down on it and wouldn't stop until I removed the lettuce from her sight.

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A.M.

answers from New York on

Try mixing a little bit of new food into a cereal that she already eats. 1 tsp of peaches into her oatmeal for breakfast for example. Maybe the taste of it is too strong for her and she just needs a little more time to get use to it. Eventually she will eat, just keep offering her new things and different textures but she's still small enough that you want to be careful of not overwhelming her and watching out for food allergies as well (wait around a week between new foods).

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S.S.

answers from Binghamton on

Why rush? She eats cereal and mashed bananas, that`s great. And maybe all she needs. I have a daughter who has never eaten meat, and her doctor gave me great advice. She said: Children listen to their bodies. If she refuses meat, it is probably because she would have a hard time digesting it. Don`t sweat it, she will get around to it when she is ready.

Your daughter is listening to her body. Perhaps you could try listening to it too, and see what happens.

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J.F.

answers from Buffalo on

She may not like the taste or texture of the baby food. Have you tried squishing up food from your plate and giving it to her?

My son would not touch baby food, though his older sisters had eaten it. At your daughter's age, all of my kids began eating mashed 'people food'. My husband gave table food that lovely nickname.

My son grabbed his sister's pasta, dumped the bowl on his head and ate his way out. After that, we couldn't even get him to look at baby food fruits!

If you are worried about the extra vitamins from baby food, there are still tasty toddler snacks that are iron enriched. Some melt in the mouth and are easily gummed by little ones like your daughter.

Try this...

When you eat, sit bedie your daughter. Take some of the food you have, mash it on YOUR plate, then put it on hers. Do not try to give it to her, let her put her hands in it and suck it off her fingers. Might just solve the eating issue.

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M.T.

answers from New York on

Hi M.. It may take numerous tries for a child so young to accept a new food, and many young babies do not care for the texture of solids. She is very young. In the first year, they can get all the nutrients they need from their milk, whether breastmilk or formula. The foods are simply to experiment, so there is no need to push a lot of baby foods. Keep offering and see what she will take, but it isnt' necessary for her at this stage, so don't worry about her missing something that she needs nutritionally.

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J.P.

answers from New York on

Maybe she's not ready for solids yet? Not all babies' digestive systems are mature enough by six months and plenty of parents wait until 8,9 months to begin non-breastmilk food...

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J.H.

answers from Syracuse on

try a mashed up avacado...my daughter couldn't get enough of them at that age. maybe she's just finicky and you'll have to try lots to figure what she likes?!

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S.J.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter was the same way. She wanted to eat what we were eating. There's actually a name for it. It's called Baby Led Weaning. You can google that term and there's all sorts of info out there. I ended up getting a baby safe-feeder (www.babysafefeeder.com) and just putting chunks of whatever we were eating in one of the feeders and let her go to it. I must disagree with a couple of ladies though. At this age, your daughter should be getting her nutrition from the breast or bottle. Table food is more for fun. Always give the breast or bottle first and then offer table food perhaps an hour later. Also, someone suggested making smoothies using ice-cream. Babies cannot tolerate cows milk until after 1 year of age. Yogurt and cheese are okay because the processes they go through break down the milk proteins that cause the allergies. I definitely wouldn't use ice cream as a base for any type of smoothie. Relax and don't sweat it if your daughter wants to do things her own way. Good luck to you!

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S.D.

answers from Utica on

Maybe you can mix a little of the cereal in so that there is a familiar taste to her. Also, I found that the jarred foods don't taste very good, so I made my own. It's not very difficult, or time consuming, just takes a little commitment. I started with things like carrots, sweet potatoes, peas and green beans that are sweet (you can add a little butter for flavor and fat); but I made sure that I mixed it with cereal and then over time gave my son less and less of the cereal and more of the veggies. Also, do you eat at the same time as your daughter? Do you eat the foods that you are trying to feed her? Sometimes it helps for the child to see you eat it and enjoy it. Is there anything on your plate that she seems to gravitate to? Does she try to take food off your plate? If so, maybe you could try giving her what she is grabbing at (unless you are concerned about allergies, my first food was pasta that I grabbed off my fathers plate when I was a year old). She will eat solids when she is ready. I wouldn't rush her to much. Hope this helps. Here is a site that I have used for ideas and recipes. [email protected]____.com

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C.I.

answers from New York on

The thing is, you can't force your child to eat. My son, who is 12-1/2 months, didn't start eating till he was 9 months old. I offered him food and he would take a little bit but then just turned away. Then one day, it was as if he said, "Now it's time to eat," and he did. Keep offering foods to her. Try finger foods. My son prefers to feed himself, even his cereal, which gets very messy but he's eating. I don't use jarred baby foods (I did with my daughter). I think all kids love Cheerios and they don't need teeth to eat them.

Keep trying and let her get messy. Good luck.

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A.T.

answers from New York on

Throw a table spoon of whatever you want to feed her in her milk, shake well and give her the bottle. Same with the cereal and mashed bananas, mix it in. Make sure it is in proportion to what she does like so she won't taste the things she won't eat. You can also make smoothies with the fruit and veggies, just don't let her see it in the form she has come to hate. Get creative!!! Hide the good stuff. Mix it into juice, smoothies, even ice cream shakes. Go easy on the ice cream and pour it all in there. Make little meatballs and pour all the good stuff in there and mash them up for her. Good luck!

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H.R.

answers from Albany on

Don't stress so much. Cereal and bananas are healthy - if she's eating that and doing bottles or nursing, she's probably getting the nutrients she needs. Every few weeks try again, but don't push her. If you make a big deal about it mealtime will become a battle and food will be an issue for a long time to come. Just relax and let her guide you a bit.

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T.P.

answers from New York on

Not to worry, cereal and mashed bananna is great for her. Some holistic parents only feed their baby's banannas for the first year. She is still on formula and getting most of her nutrients from their. Also, try giving her your food (veggies)that you eat at dinner time and see if she will eat with you. She is too cute!

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A.G.

answers from New York on

My two girls, one 7yo and one 21 month old both HATED baby food. They wouldn't touch it and still won't eat applesauce. "It's baby food mom" is my oldest one reply. Move right to "regular food' mashed or just stick to what she will eat. Her tastes will change again soon but don't be surprised if baby food is still refused. Take a bite yourself and you might taste why she hates it. A.

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A.K.

answers from Albany on

maybe she needs more flavor. have you tried avocado, lentils, hummus. or maybe she just isn't ready to eat.

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T.D.

answers from Binghamton on

Skip babyfood and go to table food. Babyfood is a convenience item not a necessity. My kids ate so little babyfood. It's not hard to make your own. Typically whatever I was making for dinner I would cook a little extra veggies a bit softer so that I could mash them with a fork.

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