Baby refuses spoon-feeding

My baby is seven months old and I am nursing. When he was little he had a tendency to spit up a lot following feeds, but this has resolved. Now that he has started solids he isn't at all interested in being spoon-fed. He tries to grab "real" food off my plate and will only eat foods that he can hold and feed to himself. This is limiting the types of food I can offer him and the amount of food that he will eat. Do you have any suggestions of foods he may be interested in?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

There is no reason for concern over your baby turning down pureed foods in favor of finger foods. Actually this will make feeding so much easier for you. This is not an uncommon reaction when a baby's cues are followed and he begins solids around his six month birthday, or a bit later. Babies of this age delight in picking up everything to put in their mouth, and what could be more tasty and fun than food?

Since your little guy is showing interest in solid foods and is seven months old, I think he would enjoy joining you and the rest of the family at the dinner table, on your lap, or in a high chair. When preparing your meal, try to include one food, simply prepared that Jack can eat, such as a boiled or baked sweet potato, yam or even a white potato. Cook in its skin (to help retain nutrients) until it is soft, and cube in tiny pieces for your little one. Part of his enjoyment will probably be picking up these little pieces, and getting them successfully into his mouth. It's a great accomplishment!

Since your baby has a history of a sensitive tummy, go slowly with solids, adding no more than one new food each week, so you can watch him for possible allergic reactions. Other possibilities for early finger foods are: soft, ripe banana; chopped, cooked apple slices (with peel removed), or grated, raw apple; softly cooked carrot slices, or grated raw carrot; softly cooked peas; cubed tofu (if he is not sensitive to soy products); rice cakes; cubed, boiled chicken; or hard-boiled egg yolk. The possibilities are endless. Just go slowly, and stay away from foods that might cause your baby to choke. Though it is unlikely that any of these foods would be dangerous, it is always a good idea to stay with your baby while he eats.

Breastmilk continues to provide excellent nutrition and continuing immunological properties for as long as your child continues to nurse. It should remain the mainstay of your baby's diet during his first year of life. Before a meal of solids, nurse your little guy, so he will fill up on your milk first. Best wishes on this new eating adventure!

Like This? Read These!
- Breastfeeding Support Message Board
- Starting Solids Message Board

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