Feeding Solids

Elyse - posted on 08/04/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Anyone have suggestiong on how to get my son to eat more solids?? We are still on purees but at most he will take 3 - 4 ounces... and that is GOOD meal - often he fights the meal all together. I have tried to reduce his formula intake to see if it helps....

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Jodi - posted on 08/04/2011

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Elyse, don't cut back on his formula if he is losing weight. Really formula and breast milk are the MAIN source of nutrition for a child under 12, and solids are just a practice thing in preparation for the second year. If reducing the amount of formula isn't helping him eat more, then just don't do it. I know the pedi recommended to try it, but obviously it hasn't worked, so drop it. Just make sure you only offer formula AFTER a meal though. Have him attempt his solids first.



I can understand how upsetting it must be. My daughter was tiny when she was born, and has always been quite underweight, so it was worrying if she wouldn't eat. Anything is worth a try.



I would consider having mealtimes together. My kids have always eaten better when we eat together, as it peaks their curiosity to see your food, is more likely to inspire them to try something new, and also gives them a good example.



Another thought, do you let him feed himself with a spoon? Some kids refuse to be fed and would prefer to do it themselves......if he is not co-ordinated enough, you can give him a spoon, and still feed him at the same time. See if that helps (if you haven't tried it already).

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Brigitte - posted on 08/06/2011

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My daughter always refused to be spoon-fed. So I did some searching on the internet and came across "Baby-led weaning".
I also read the book: Baby-Led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food [Book] by Gill Rapley, Tracey Murkett - very useful book, also when you try to get your mother or mother-in-law used to the idea of giving chunks of food to a baby instead of puree ;-)

The idea is to let your child feed himself.
My daughter got vegetable and fruit sticks that she could hold easily at 7 months: cucumber (raw), carrots, courgettes, broccoli (cooked to make them soft enough but not mushy), banana, apple, pear, kiwi,...
Toast fingers and pieces of cheese and even strips of meat (they suck the juices out and get the iron that way). Basically we gave her anything that we ate and that she was able to hold. It was amazing how quickly she came up with ways to handle tricky food. By 8 months she was able to pick up peas.
For about 2 months she mainly played with the food, gnawed on it and was very excited when we put her into the high chair because she knew she'd be allowed to try things.
Eventually she figured out that food wasn't only a great toy but helped against hunger. That's when she really got into it.
Runny food like porridge or yoghurt I let her eat with a "dipper" (a breadstick or piece of vegetable) and showed her how to dip and lick. Then she dipped a spoon in. She is now 14 months old and eats her porridge without much of a mess. But be prepared for a huge mess at the beginning!
She also uses a fork to stick into potatoes, pasta, veg, often she just uses her hands.
She now eats everything we eat. We always eat together, I put her food onto a plate just like ours and she decides what, how much and in what order she eats it. It's funny to watch how she eats differently on different days. One day she might just eat meat and barely touch the vegetables, one day she devours the veg and drops the meat on the floor (we are trying to teach her at the moment that she doesn't need to drop and but can just leave it on her plate ;-)
With a sandwich she usually eats the ham first, then the cheese, then licks the butter off the bread and then the bread.
Sometimes she goes off certain food for a while. For example, she used to love banana at the beginning, now she just mashes it. She also needs some time with new foods. For example the raspberries from my mother's garden, she spat them out at the beginning, today she picked them off the bush herself and ate about 10 of them.
I always gave her milk whenever she asked for it. Up to a year babies get most of their calorie intake from breastmilk or formula anyway, food is just a little addition. Sometimes I found that she eats better if she had a quick breastfeed before a meal because she wasn't too hungry and therefore not cranky and was more likely to experiment with food.
She still loves her milk now, some days she drinks more and eats less, some days it's the other way round. You really have to go with the flow and relax. Don't listen to any healthcare professionals who try to tell you how much your baby should eat at what age! They know best themselves what they need. My daughter was sick last week and refused any food but drank loads of milk, then she just ate protein and left other food like bread that she normally always likes, only today she is back to proper meals with us and also asks for milk less often. If you offer them a variety of food and enough milk they won't go hungry.
Good luck!!

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How old is he? I wouldn't worry about him refusing solids until he's more than 1 year old. I know of many babies who breastfeed exclusively until 10 months or so - it's not abnormal at all for a baby younger than that to refuse solids - he might just not be ready. I wouldn't force it.

Alexandra - posted on 08/05/2011

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i would try different foods every time. maybe he will find something he will like? Then you can mix that food with others.

Jodi - posted on 08/04/2011

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Oh, with regard to jarred foods vs. homemade......it is probably because the jarred foods are really bland, much blander than homemade. Keep having him try your homemade foods, don't give up because he rejects it the first few times. He will eventually develop a taste for it, but it doesn't come naturally.

Elyse - posted on 08/04/2011

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We don't eat together, but maybe we should start. I feel like he is losing weight not having as much formula and it is upsetting me since he is so tiny to begin with!!! the formula reduction was my Pedi's suggestion... He loves puffs and has a hard time with some small soft foods because they slip so easily and he isn't that coordinated yet. He seems to like the jarred foods better than my home made stuff too - so upsetting!

Jodi - posted on 08/04/2011

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Yeah, my daughter started refusing anything except what she could have from my plate when she was about that age. Will he take it if it comes from your plate? Do you eat together?

Jenn - posted on 08/04/2011

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My oldest didn't like pureed when she could see the solid food on my plate. I started letting her play with soft foods around 8 months. I never lessened her milk intake (meaning I still let her nurse on demand ). Solids is more about learning, exploring, tasting...not nutrition. Keep up his formula so that he maintains healthy weight and continued growth. Let him begin food exploration beyond puree (the texture can be off putting because their tongue just pushes it around in their mouth and then back out) soft bananas a good start, avocado or baby peaches. One food at a time to wait for any reaction, of course. His formula is still his most important source of nutrition. Babies eat foods when they are ready...not a moment sooner!

Jennifer - posted on 08/04/2011

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My daughter started doing that when she was about 8 months. She used to love eating, and then one day just started screaming every time I tried to feed her. I tried cherios and the little puffs, and she did great. She was just ready to move to table foods (honestly can't blame her. lol). She is now 10 months, and eats a lot of different chopped up soft foods, and she refuses to let me feed her anything. She has to do it herself (stubborn just like her mama).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/04/2011

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Well, I would just go by his ques and not force food on him. Maybe start with cereal and see how he likes that? Or maybe start some finger foods...soft stuff...??

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