My nine month old is now refusing to be fed. What should I do?

Bianca - posted on 04/07/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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I need some help please. My nine month old is now refusing to eat the baby food puree or Farex. She refuses to be fed. We have tried to be persistant but now she gets too upset by us trying to get it in. It's got to the point that she gets upset when put in the high chair. What should I do and what should I feed her when she won't eat anything chunky or pureed from the spoon?

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Hind - posted on 04/20/2010

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My son has been refusing to spoon fed since about 7 months old. I suddenly found myself with all these purees he wouldn't eat so I had to get creative on ways to feed them to him. I make my son meatballs with organic ground beef, veggie purees, & rice cereal. I also spread his purees on a peice of lightly toasted bread and cut it up so he can feed it to himself. I mix his fruit purees with yogurt and freeze them into popsicles which are great for teething. He loves them. Another trick is to mix his purees into pancakes. He also likes small cubes of sweet potato or other veggies roasted in the oven to bring out their sweetness. I also make him mini quiches in a mini muffin pan with veggie purees in them, or I toss his veggie purees with some macaroni as a sauce. Bon Apetit!!

Kelly - posted on 04/20/2010

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My son is like that I have let him start feeding himself and then he will let me take over. He also wants table food not baby food anymore. This is the age they start their independence.

Laura - posted on 04/19/2010

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my daugther is the same ... i just let her play with an easy, cleanable toy , in her jumparoo and she is kept busy and dont realize she is eating i dont think ... but whatever works try different stuff to keep you lil one happy .... she also loves those gerber puffs

Megan - posted on 04/20/2010

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I am somewhat going through this stage with my infant right now too. What worked the best for me was to give him yogurt. I like Yoplait Original because it has some fat and is not too chunky. I've tried other yogurts that have the fruit chunks in them but they are too big and usually unexpected when eatng something so soft. I know you say your little girl does not like the spoon, but if you can get just a little bit of yogurt in her mouth, she will probably keep opening up for it. I didn't think it would work for my son, but he probably has yogurt for a main meal 2-3 times a week. Obviously, try the finger foods too, goldfish are my sons favorite. Gerber also has yogurt melts, which supposedly taste like the yogurt (I have not been able to bring myself to try them) but they can pick them up themselves. I've asked my ped. about the yogurt (whether or not it's healthy/okay to eat) and she said that it is a great "real" food for babies. It looks like it's high in sugar, but if you look at your baby food fruits, it's about the same and it also has the fruit and other vitamins that babies need. If that does not work at all, I would just try not to worry too much if she is at least getting her 24 ounces of formula or breastmilk a day (if you breastfeed, just make sure you are eating all those yummy veggies and fruits that you can't get her to eat). My son's doctor told me that they will grow just fine if they get their 24 ounces a day until they are one. Definitely keep trying though because it is good experience for your baby. Once you put her on finger food though, don't ever expect to be able to go back to baby food. That is our problem now, my son loves to eat by himself, but he takes FOREVER (seriously, like at least 1.5 hours) and we don't always have the time- but he gets ticked if I try to feed him baby food. That's when I resort to his yogurt. Our kitchen and living room are connected so I usually put him in his high chair facing the living room, and I sit on the couch or clean the kitchen- I found that if I sit right in front of him and watch he is just distracted and won't eat. Good luck!

Carolyn - posted on 04/20/2010

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I agree with Holly... my baby WILL NOT eat from the spoon anymore. She did it for a few weeks and then one day refused. She will eat food if she herself picks it up and puts it in her mouth. Also, if you do not have cooked food readily available, I sometimes pour some of the baby food puree from the jar onto her tray and put little bits od cereal, pasta, or crackers in it and she will pick up the cereal or whatever it is but it is coated in the vegetable puree so she is getting something in there if my kitchen is a little short of groceries!!

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Debra - posted on 04/26/2010

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NEVER, ever force feed a baby. If she won't open her mouth, don't force any food in. It will just traumatise her & make her not want to eat. I have a very fussy baby & i started giving him lots of potato & gravy because he loves it. Or maybe you could try ice cream or just something really yummy, whether it's healthy or not, it's better for her to eat unhealthy food than no food at all. Not many babies actually like the baby food in a jar or farex. Try as many things as you can until you find something she likes, & keep persisting - don't give up, that's the key.

Neva - posted on 04/20/2010

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agree with all of above, all 4 of my children stopped eating baby food around 9 mths, they each only had 2 teeth on the bottom, as does my last now, but have eaten whatever we are eating just fine, cut into small bites, for breakfast frozen nutrigrain waffles or mini pancakes are great, bananas, for lunch small pieces of turkey, ham, they all have loved cut greenbeans, and you can buy the cans with no salt added, same with peas, carrots, etc, as for dinner, he eats whatever we do, steak, chicken, pizza, loves pasta, bread, veggies, etc. Life is sooooo much easier now!! He feeds himself while we enjoy our meal and conversation with the other kids and him too! Good luck! PS dont look at those stages that gerber puts on their foods, by the time these kids are toddlers, they wont touch those puffs, then the preschool meals are good for now too, but spoons are neede and I think they are too expensive for what they are!

Alecia - posted on 04/20/2010

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I agree she probably wants to just feed herself. My nine month old refused to eat from a spoon also, I gave him finger foods and now only a month later he will eat oatmeal and some pureed foods from a spoon and gets finger foods too

Nina - posted on 04/20/2010

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As everyone has said already, your daughter probably just wants to feed herself. My daughter wanted to feed herself from day one when I started feeding her food. She had baby cereal once in her life time. Neither of my kids like applesauce as it resembles baby food. Let her get stuck in!

LOURIKA - posted on 04/20/2010

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have you tried letting her feed her self, when the twins was about 8 months i introduced them to 2 min noodles, i would then throw a blanket on the floor and give them each a small bowl with some 2 min noodles and love to eat by them selves, the enjoyed it so much, since then they are basicly feeding them selves except for thing like yogurt and fruit purees etc, i also give them some steamed cooked vegetables like carots but in etc in long pieces witch they also eat by them selves. Try it maybe it works for as it worked for me, another thing that my twins love is those boxes you get with the fish and the cheese sauce as well as toast with marmite on.

Rachelle - posted on 04/19/2010

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my son went through the same thing! he refused to be fed anything! he ended up having a tooth coming in....after it came through he was eating everything again! try giving her some finger foods....and let her pick at them....she will eat when shes hungry! :) try the mum mum cookies! my son LOVES them!
good luck!

Erin - posted on 04/19/2010

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You probably don't want to hear this...but you can't avoid the choking altogether because she needs to learn how to deal with the new textures and sizes of the food you're feeding her. I'm pretty sure that we all go through that and it is definitely scary...I am not suggesting you give your baby food that will make her choke, but if you're cooking the vegetables to something soft and cutting into small pieces and cutting the fruit into small pieces, you're doing the best you can. She just hasn't figured out how to chew, move the food to the back and swallow...it takes some time.

Have you given her Baby Mum Mums? That's what worked for my son. He took bites but they dissolve quick enough that if he did run into a snag with a piece he'd bitten off, he was really only gagging for a second and not actually choking. He mastered that and since then he's been good to go.

That's my two cents anyway...maybe some other parent will have something more enlightening :)

Natalie - posted on 04/19/2010

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dido!!! - --
My baby is almost 10 months. She was breast fed up to about two weeks ago but now she's drinking about 32 to 35 ozs of soy based formula a day. She has been eating baby food since about 4 months as well (twice a day). Lately, she does not want to be spoon fed at all, so I am lucky to get her to eat one full jar of veggies or fruit a day. She only wants to eat with her own hands. She doesn't want to be fed. She wants to touch things and feed herself.

Her dad, my hubby, was excited in the beginning to see her experience new tastes - while i was reluctant. We have given her Gerber snacks (the yogurt melts, veggie puffs, and apple crisp wheels) according to the suggested stages. She is not a toddler just yet, but she does seem close to walking.

Although she is strong and growing well, I am still worried that she is not getting the well balanced nutrition she needs.

Since she is not letting me spoon feed, I have tried to give her the spoon with the baby food on it, but I'm seldom lucky enough for 1/2 to get into her mouth. and OOHH WHAT A MESS IT IS. Soooo, I started trying to think of what foods can she eat with her fingers that are healthy - not sugary - without artificial flavoring and other bad stuff (cheerios, watermelon, peeled seedless grapes, white steamed rice, canalope, banana's, honey dew melon, tangerine slices, plain pasta, peas and teething cookies - father insisted for easter basket).

I have encountered other problems though. Unless I use the muchkin tools (the ones you put the food in so that they can chew and the food swishes through it) I am unsure of how to serve and prepare the food to prevent choking. The muchkin tools are great but a pain because I dont think that they have come clean - to my standards since their last use. Someone did not rinse right after use.

THE PROBLEM: She choked on tangarine slices or watermelon last night that I cut to small pieces. She has choked on a baby cookie when a small peice broke off, and she has choked on pasta. She doesn't seem to like the skin on the peas. IT'S REALLY SCARY WHEN SHE CHOKES AND I WANT TO AVOID THAT!!!!

Soooo I am hoping that I will get some creative feed back on how to get my baby to eat a well, balance diet independently and safely.

Stephanie - posted on 04/19/2010

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We just went through that with our 10 month old. He didn't want anything to do with the baby food but seemed very interested about what was on our plates. Now he eats what we eat just chopped up and we use "big" people silverware and put his food on saucers that look just like our plates and he's eating like you wouldn't believe.

Rebecca - posted on 04/19/2010

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I agree, try some finger foods that she can feed herself. I know my 10 month old has his days where sometimes he will eat the oatmeal and babyfood but then somedays its all finger foods.
Hope it all works out but don't get frustrated

Erin - posted on 04/19/2010

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My son did the same thing to me around the same time :) So, I started to make regular finger foods and let him feed himself. He's still not terribly good at it and makes a mess but it makes him happy, he's eating, nourished and is learning :)

I make him toast and cut it into fingers; cut up hard cheeses; cut up fruit; cut up cooked veggies...he basically gets a smaller, cut up, unseasoned version of what we're eating for dinner. Don't be afraid to try things :)

Charlene - posted on 04/19/2010

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Just give her finger foods. Our son literally eats whatever we eat, just cut up into chunks (for solids) or thickened with crackers (for soups and mashed potatoes and the such) he refuses to be spoon fed as well (unless it is ice cream lol and we won't let him finger-feed that so it's spoon or nothing and he wants it badly enough that he lets us) but for everything else, he has to do it all by himself. It's not a bad thing. Just go with it. As long as your baby is eating healthy and a large variety of foods, it's not a problem to let her feed herself. Just messier :-)

Karianna - posted on 04/18/2010

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Hi there, first of all don't panic cos ur booboo won't let herself starve! I am unfamiliar with 'Farex' (?formula) I'm writing to you from Israel. I have been going through this stage with my 10mth old for some time now. Shes very independant -running around at 9mths! I started by co-feeding (giving her a spoon) to help her feel in control because this is the problem and also she wasn't coping very well with lumpy consistencies but very soon i realised she coped better with drier foods -pieces of things -omlette -steamed veg -risoles of meat/veggies that she could bite and suck... where partial puree made her gague. You have to give some control to your child for meals and show them respect for their independance and progress and allow the mess! Try offering food at more frequent times during the day aswell because they eat less when feeding themselves. Hope this helps x

Stefanie - posted on 04/18/2010

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I agree with Andrea. Cheerios and gerber snacks are great, but they need fruits and veggies! My son went through a streak at about 7 months, where he refused to eat from a spoon as well. He would grab it and throw it on the floor. Here's our best trick: Try to find "baby mum-mum" rice crackers, they're these little surf-board looking guys that melt in your mouth. Mix some cereal with the fruit or veggies you want her to eat and spread it on thick. It's a GIANT mess, but she'll be happy she's doing it by herself, you'll be happy she's eating the good stuff, and the pictures you'll get will be GREAT. Jacob eats from a spoon fine now, but I usually make sure to throw some cheerios or something on his tray, which keeps him happy if i'm not shoveling fast enough. Good luck!

Lauren - posted on 04/17/2010

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we never spoonfed and did fingerfoods from 6 mths.. perhaps ditch the puree and mashes and just give him finger foods and let him eat independantly? i know that yoghurt is something that we need to eat off a spoon and he likes to have the spoon in his hand and feed himself with it... although food is nutritionally important, there is a good saying "food is for fun until they are one" so dont worry too much, just provide a good selection of foods and let him choose.

Andrea - posted on 04/16/2010

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I give my son finger foods while I'm spoon-feeding him baby food. We take turns- he eats a finger food, then takes a bite of baby food. That is the only method that has worked for me.

Trixie - posted on 04/15/2010

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i agree with the other mom's my little boy also loves feeding himself, picking up the pieces of food is also very good for development, give thin fingers of toast, rice, steamed veggies, anything ur little one doesn't gag on!!! the mess is well worth it!!!

Lelani - posted on 04/14/2010

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let her try the spoon on her own... you can also try her on something a little more solid. Connor is now 10 months and he loves roast potatoes, chicken filletted breasts and hot cross buns... he makes a heck of a mess, but try getting it out of his hands and he screams blue murder...

Georgia - posted on 04/14/2010

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My daughther did the samething. She just didn't want babyfood anymore. I started feeding her chopped up fruits, veggies, and chicken. My lil one knew what she wanted. She now eats better than my 2 year old. Hope this helps.

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2010

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my son refuses to eat from a spoon i found it hard to start with cos he would gage every time he tried to swallow something but i just kept giving him stuff he could eat himself he know eats basically what we eat anything he can pick up himself he will eat occasionaly he may eat off a spoon but very rarley. I am suprised and impressed with what he eats these days.

[deleted account]

My daughter did the same thing for a couple weeks about two weeks ago...I distracted her with toys while she ate, I then would feed her while she sat on the floor watching a show to distract her......She then got out of it, and now is eating again. I agree with the finger foods...however unless your ready for her to be totally off baby food, I wouldn't suggest only giving her finger foods. Keep trying, it was a phase with my baby.

Candice - posted on 04/12/2010

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i have gone through that with both of my girls (currently miss AJ right now) we let her feed her self. we actually got a food processor and just cut her her food into itty bitty pieces and watch her carefully while shes eating, and she seems to do very well with that. Now the crying when you put her in her chair, maybe if you change the location, like we use AJ's swing because it has a chair (i have an old high chair that has no tray-wooden like) so we use her swing for eating.

[deleted account]

Sorry Chrissy, I have to disagree with you.

Solids are introduced at 6 months because the body's stores of certain vitamins and minerals is depleted and babies then require more than the formula or breast can provide.

Solids are vital at this age, but, from time to time, babies prefer their milk, and that's OK.

And babies should also be consuming at least 20 oz's / 1 pint/ 600 mls of formula or breast milk until they are at least 1 year old.

The previous information comes from the World Health Organisation and is widely recognised and distributed by paediatricians.

I don't mean to be abrupt or rude, so please don't take it that way.

Chrissy - posted on 04/12/2010

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As long as she is getting around 24 oz's of formula a day she doesn't need anything else nutritionally. She gets all she needs from her formula, I went through almost the same thing with my daughter she would eat a little but only a couple bites than shake her head away, her doctor told me that just feed her as much as she wants if thats only 2 bites that thats fine, at this point food is only required to get her used to eating from a spoon, and it's a great filler especially if your baby isn't sleeping through the night, but I would say just don't feed her anything for a while, if she starts to wake up in the middle of the night for a bottle where she usually wouldn't than she's not eating enouph during the day so shes getting hungry at night, thats when I would start to feed her; otherwise just wait untill 10 months or so

Kelly - posted on 04/12/2010

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Try letting her feed herself:)I have a 10 month old girl. My daughter has a fit if i feed her, but when i give the spoon to her she does just fine. She is very independent.

Carin - posted on 04/12/2010

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Way back when my cousin was little, he went on a stint of only eating chips. His doc said at that time, don't worry about it. They go through phases. Of course, that doesn't help when you're worried about your child starving.

However, she won't let herself starve. That's the one good thing. When she gets hungry enough, she will eat.

In the meantime, she is old enough to start with little finger foods. My son likes teething biscuits, Kix, Puffs, tiny bits of cut up fruit, mashed sweet potato and squash, and every once in a while I can sneak in a steamed bit of broccoli. Just make sure it's something small and soft enough she can mush with her gums if she doesn't have teeth. Best of luck!

[deleted account]

My little man refuses his food until he has some finger food, then he is quite happy to take what is offered on the spoon. Have started on very lumpy food too, and often what we are eating. He seems to like the textures and he has no teeth, so he is doing well with his gums.

Jackie - posted on 04/12/2010

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My son did this as well and the doctor told me to start him on finger foods. Just make sure the baby is still getting the fruits and veggies.

Lesley - posted on 04/11/2010

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She could be coming down with something. My son did the same thing, refused to eat (even liquids) and we would persist trying to get as much as we could into him only to spit it all up. Like you it got to the piont that he would get super upset when it was time to go into his high chair. I kept taking him to the DR and they kept telling me he was fine. A couple of weeks later he had a major ear infection, cold and eye infection. Now that he's feeling better he resumed his good old ways!! This may not be true for your daughter but something you may look out for.

Brenda - posted on 04/11/2010

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My 10 month old daughter flat out refused to spoon fed at about 7 1/2 months. She eats all table food now and feeds herself. She has bagels with cream cheese, toast, muffins, sandwiches of all kinds, chicken, turkey, fish, meatballs, cheese, Kix, Cheerios, Goldfish, fruits, veggies, pretty much anything she can pick up. Before her pincher grip delevoped I would give her pieces big enough to pick up with her whole hand and take bites. Make sure things are soft enough to gum (try curling your lips over your teeth and mashing it to check that it's soft enough) and stay near by. Babies are very good at working food back out if a piece is to large. My daughter is a wonderful eater and she still hasn't cut her first tooth!

Ashley - posted on 04/11/2010

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Our daughter had the same issues with being spoon fed. Our pedi explained to us that eventually they will get to a stage where they want to eat independently. He suggested things that she could eat herself like soft steamed veggies cut into small pieces, Gerber Graduates Crunchies (isabella LOVES them and they dissinagrate so you don't have to worry about choking). He also suggested getting a suction plate that goes on the high chair so you don't have to worry about her/him throwing the plate on the floor.. THEY WORK! It's a mess to have them start eating by themselves, but after they grasp the concept it's not bad!

Michelle - posted on 04/07/2010

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my daughter was doing this. turns out she just wanted to feed herself. i ended up getting cereal (cherios and Kix). my daughter WOULD NOT eat babyfood after 9 months. i would cry cause she wouldn't eat real food and would only nurse but she wanted what i was eating so i would give it to her. i put her in her high chair and put some finger foods on her tray and let her play with it and feed herself.

Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2010

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As long as she isn't dropping her weight, then one hopes it's just the phase thing and not a health issue (may be worth checking with a Dr. just in case). Growth spurt may be over and she is just not as hungry. I say, let her go to town and feed herself. Fun for her, get the video camera out and have fun cleaning up afterwards!

Jessica - posted on 04/07/2010

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I agree, she may be ready for table/finger foods. My son will now only take a few bites of baby food from a spoon before he refuses to eat anymore- but will gobble down finger foods. I think they get to a point where they want to interact more at meal time and do things themselves, and now is a fine time for them to learn to feed themselves. Try giving her soft things like those Gerber puffs (they melt quickly in their mouths), steamed/soft veggies and fruits, cheerios, bread/toast, or other similar things and see how she does then?

[deleted account]

Try offering her finger foods that she can feed herself.. like steamed carrots, potatoes, sweet potato or fish fingers, biscuits, cereal etc. my little man hates being fed from a spoon but loves to feed himself. The only time i feed him now is in the morning when he has his rice cereal and i usually give him his own spoon to play with while i try and shovel the cereal in!

[deleted account]

Try offering her finger foods that she can feed herself.. like steamed carrots, potatoes, sweet potato or fish fingers, biscuits, cereal etc. my little man hates being fed from a spoon but loves to feed himself. The only time i feed him now is in the morning when he has his rice cereal and i usually give him his own spoon to play with while i try and shovel the cereal in!

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