Help! What to feed a 12 month old with only 4 teeth!!!

Jessica - posted on 09/29/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son will be 12 months old in a couple weeks and he still only has four teeth with really no signs of any others coming in right now. He is still on baby food! Mostly level 2's and a couple level 3's (if the level 3's are chunky he won't eat it, he gags). But I can get him to eat mashed potatoes and soggy cherrios and small bites of bananas.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can start trying to feed him that he might be able to eat with just the 4 teeth? At 12 months my daughter just about had all her teeth and was already eating solid foods so I am at a loss at what to feed him afraid that he will choke or something because of his lack of teeth. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! :)

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Vicki - posted on 11/17/2010

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Teeth aren't really relevant for most foods. I'd say his issue is more with learning how to move solid food around his mouth and swallow it. If a baby is used to purée, they suck it off the spoon to the back of the mouth. Once there's lumps involved they suck in the lumps and gag. Soft carrot sticks and similar are a good start so he can practice biting, chewing, moving food to the back of the mouth and swallowing.

Gagging isn't necessarily a bad thing. The gag reflex in babies is a long way forward in the mouth to protect the airway. They will cough, splutter and go red in the face then the offending piece of food pops up. It looks alarming but really isn't a problem. If they are silent and lips are going blue then it's choking. Once they get used to eating the gagging stops.

Susan - posted on 09/30/2010

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As the other moms said, they don't need teeth to eat harder foods. At 12 months they should be mostly on the same diet that you are. They can use their gums to mash the food. I don't remember how many teeth my daughter had at that time, but I would guess about the same and she ate whatever we ate. Just keep trying the solids and he'll get used to it. It will also be cheaper than all those jars of baby food!

Kymberly - posted on 09/29/2010

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Like Joy said its NORMAL for them to gag with different textures until they get used to it. My daughter just turned one and we had a real issue with her doing this...she is my first and I had never had to go through it before but now she eats EVERYTHING we do besides nuts, chocolate, soda, and anything hard like nuts. AND she only has 4 teeth too! He will eventually learn to mush the food with his gums but you can try just about anything. I learned that I was cutting the food up TOO SMALL and she was just trying to swallow it without attempting to chew. That might be another reason why he is gagging. They say give them pieces about the size of your fingertip so they realize they can't just swallow it. The Gerber Graduate puffs/ stars are a real "life saver" getting them to eat real food! Good luck :D

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Pretty much anything that can be mushed with the tongue is what we did. At that point they don't rely on their teeth for eating anyhow, mostly the tongue. I always made diced boiled carrotts, diced baked appeles or pears, even tried broccoli florets. Anything with texture will make them gag and it always used to freak me out but they get used to it. I will say that it seemed like forever where my son was eating mainly bananas, soggy cheerios and mashed potatoes (aside from his baby food) lol Just gotta keep trying until you find something they like.

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Tasha Kay - posted on 10/15/2012

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im 22 an im a mom for the first time an always nervous an cautious of what to give my 12 yr old son im afraid of him choking on everything so im afraid to try anything an when i do he acts like he is going to gag or choke so i take it an thats why im afraid to feed him much what can i give him or get him used to food now cause he loves his bottle lol

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My son is 13 months and only has 4 teeth. He eats everything that we do and it's not difficult for him it all. Don't be scared to let him try new things.

Maggie - posted on 10/01/2010

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avacado, smooshed banana, really soft steamed carrots/broccoli, baked or mashed potato or (even better) sweet potato.

Really he should be able to eat cheerios and small things like that. Younger babies who have no teeth eat cheerios and Gerber Puffs.

Morgan - posted on 09/30/2010

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Both of our ate what we ate from about 8 months old. We just cut it up smaller for them. They were eating steak at 12 months. Your son probably isn't used to the texture of the more solid food just keep trying and he will eventually come around. He may be gagging cause the food doesn't taste very good not because of the texture baby food isn't the best tasting stuff. Have you tried feeding him what you eat or just baby food. Kids learn by example so if he sees you eating something and enjoying it he will soon realize that it is good and want to try it. We also made sure that if we didn't like something to let our kids try it and not decide for them they didn't like it. They both love anything there isn't a food yet that they haven't liked. They are very adventurous with what they eat and they are only 1.5 and 2.5.

Melanie - posted on 09/30/2010

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With my kids they always ate food early. I mashed/blend everything! Potato's, meat, veggies, what ever you feel is nutritious. Applesauce, toddler yogart, grilled chese sandwhich cut up in very small pieces and put on tray.. I hope this helps :)

Jessica - posted on 09/29/2010

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Thanks to you both, I will definitely just have to try things with him in hopes that he will eat them. I appreciate your replies and am thankful for your help :)

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