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Hi,

My daughter (8 months old now) decided to stop eating baby food (everything you need a spoon to eat pretty much). Now she only wants to eat by herself and only the things we are eating at the same time (so e.g. bread, pasta, etc.). This is a bit annoying, because often she is hungry and winging, but still refuses to eat her food. And also bread and pasta is probably not the healthiest possible option for a baby as well....

How can I convince her to her baby food again?

asked 18 Dec '09, 16:10

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Gandrusz
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edited 20 Dec '09, 02:51

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Tammy ♦♦
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It sounds like the problem might be one of control and independence. She doesn't want to be 'fed' - she wants to have control over her eating.

When this happened with our kids, we try to switch mostly to foods that they can handle themselves. We still feed our 10 month old baby food, but it's for meals earlier in the day. When he's pushing the food away we can sometimes distract him with finger food, and sneak a spoonfull of baby food in while he's eating/playing with the other food. It takes longer, but he seems happier.

Further, we find that our kids aren't often ready for three big meals a day at this age - if he eats 5-10 bites of baby food, then pushes it away, we'll take him out and let him play for awhile, then feed him again a few hours later, and when we do feed him we make the spoonfulls as full of food as possible so he doesn't get bored eating a million little bites. For the most part we let them set their eating schedule and try to pay attention to their moods. That won't work for those with a tight schedule, but you might find that smaller, more frequent meals with a mixture of finger food and baby food work better than infrequent larger meals of exclusively baby food.

Also, babies can get pretty bored with mealtime, even if they're hungry. Try turning meal times into a playful meal and you may be surprised at the difference that makes.

We have found that he's now old enough to know when he's not eating the same thing we're eating, and will make his annoyance known. However we have 4 kids above him, none with any food issues, so for this kid our pediatrician said that as soon as he starts grabbing for the food we eat, he can eat anything our other kids eat (except honey before age 1, of course).

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answered 18 Dec '09, 17:12

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Adam Davis
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accept rate: 31%

Our daughter was the same at that age. The only thing she would let us feed her was yogurt. In her case, I always thought part of her distaste for baby food was that I would puree her food myself and she just didn't like the taste or texture of things that came in jars (we bought a couple for travelling purposes)

We started to introduce her to finger foods. She loved toast (until she had a few teeth I removed the crusts) and I noticed that she would eat anything spread on toast, even baby oatmeal, homemade sweet potato puree, pureed fruit.

Some varied finger foods to try are: puffed wheat
cut up soft fruits such as peaches, blueberries, grapes (make sure to cut the latter two as they can be a choking hazard otherwise)
cooked frozen peas and corn
soft chunks of sweet potatoes or butternut squash
cheerioes, small pieces of cheese
flakes of fish

When my daughter stopped eating baby cereal, we would use it to make muffins or pancakes and she loved them. For awhile she would have a baby cereal muffin and yogurt for breakfast every morning.

Here's the baby cereal muffin recipe (makes 12 muffins):

2 egg yolkes
1/4 cup of oil
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup of sugar (can be reduced if you want) 1 1/2 cups of iron fortified cereal (I used oatmeal but can you rice)
1/4 tsp salt
Bake (350F, 175C) in greased muffin tin (or used cupcake liners) for about 20 minutes

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answered 19 Dec '09, 00:54

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Tammy ♦♦
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edited 06 Jan '10, 04:41

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Scott ♦♦
7.2k84372

+1 for homemade baby food & great finger food suggestions.

(19 Dec '09, 09:23) Emi

Do you cook them at 350 degrees Farenheit?

(20 Dec '09, 14:18) Artemis

Yes 350F/175C, I've edited my answer.

(21 Dec '09, 02:18) Tammy ♦♦

Baby-led weaning is a new and interesting 'method'(although it's actually one of the oldest ones)...check http://www.baby-led.com/, which also sells a book on the subject.

The idea that we should all stuff our little ones full of purees (preferably home-made ones ala Annabel Karmel) is just a left over from the days when weaning was recommended from 3-4 months old. Now, the recommended weaning age begins at 6 months; baby-led weaning is also particularly useful if your baby was/is breastfed. Breastfeeding is an active process, the baby needs to 'work' for its food from the breast - to imagine that it should then settle for passively being spoon-fed bland purees, is quite difficult. At 6 months, baby is ready to sit up in a high chair and practically ready to feed himself. Don't worry too much if he doesn't seem to absorb that much - if your baby was breastfed he/she will also be used to regulate his/her calorie intake; he will take as much as he needs! So many of my friends seem quite obsessed with getting as much down their babies necks as possible and still worry that they're not getting enough - despite the baby looking bored in the high chair! It's quite impossible for a baby in our wealthy part of the world, to starve himself to death :)

EDIT (from other answer by Sarralim):

This is what the writers (Gill Rapley & Tracy Murkett) say on baby-led.com:

Contrary to popular belief, there is no research that supports the current mainstream view that babies should be weaned by being spoon-fed purées. Self-feeding allows babies to use their natural abilities to explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence by allowing them to experiment with foods at their own pace and helps to develop hand–eye coordination and chewing.

I also want to add that many babies love nothing more than a good puree, but it's hard sometimes for those of us, whose babies just reject them, to know what to do. Baby-led weaning has just been such a relief for both myself and people around me.

There are so many different ways - whatever works for you as a parent is to be applauded. I seriously wish however that some of those different ways, wouldn't be so 'different'.

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answered 05 Jan '10, 21:40

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Sarralim
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edited 07 Jan '10, 01:15

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Scott ♦♦
7.2k84372

+1: Thanks for the additional info!

(07 Jan '10, 01:16) Scott ♦♦

Try looking on the babyled weaning websites there are loads, if you google babyled weaning you'll find some) for finger food ideas. With a small amount of effort you can come up with a healthy balanced diet she can feed herself.

Also, at 8 months old she should still be getting most of her nutrients from milk still, so don't worry about it too much. It's more a matter of introducing her to a variety of tastes and textures at that stage.

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answered 19 Dec '09, 20:11

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Meg Stephenson
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Asked: 18 Dec '09, 16:10

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Last updated: 08 May '10, 14:58