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Can't Get Your Baby to Eat "Real" Food?

Updated on April 13, 2012
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Transitioning to Table Foods

As your baby transitions from baby food to table foods (or "solid" foods), you may have many hurdles to overcome. As they reach the age appropriate for eating solids, many babies are also teething. Sore gums can make many babies hesitant to embrace the transition. The different textures of solid foods are often off-putting to some babies. You may begin to worry that your baby isn't getting enough of the required nutrients. However, if your baby is still taking milk/formula, they are more than likely fine. One of the most important things that you should remember when transitioning to "real" food is to be patient. Usually after no more than a few weeks, even the most hesitant baby will embrace solid foods.

In the meantime, here are a few tips to help your baby eat table foods:

  • Be patient. Understand that this is a big change for baby and it takes some getting used to.
  • Never force feed your child. Going hand-and-hand with the first tip, don't force your child to eat solids. This will create anxiety for your baby every time they come to the table for a meal.
  • Feed your child bland foods. Your baby's belly and mouth are extremely sensitive. NEVER give your baby spicy foods. Believe it or not, they are perfectly happy with flat flavors.
  • If your baby is refusing certain foods, try it again at the next few meals. Most of the time they will eventually accept it after they get used to the new flavor.
  • Don't feed your baby while they are starving (they will be impatient and frustrate easily) or when they are already pretty full (they won't be interested). You want to find that happy medium before feeding them. Try a small amount of liquid (water or milk) before feeding them solids.
  • Eat meals as family. You are you baby's first role model. Let them see you eating so they understand better what they should be doing when in that high chair.
  • Try different utensils. If your baby isn't drinking from a sippy cup or eating from his spoons, try a different kind. Padded spoons and spouts feel a lot better than hard plastic or metal utensils.
  • Let your baby feed himself. Try a mesh baby-safe feeder. You can find them at Wal-Mart and other retailers for just a few dollars. Insert soft foods into the mesh section of the feeder and your baby will mash & suck the food out of it.

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