Time to start with solid food
There are plenty of examples when mothers tried to feed their babies solid food at the age of 6 months, but the toddlers refused to eat. There were all the signs that the baby is ready to start eating solid food like picking up food from other people’s plates, able to sit up and lean forward. But, when finally they start giving the food to the baby, it refuses it. Some of the food may make them throw up, some make them blotchy and some make them gag. Then the babies start to breastfeed more often and lose weight at the same time, feeling hungry more often and not well fed. So, this is where we start to worry if there is a psychological reason for this behavior.
Why babies refuse solid foods?
Doctors recommend starting with solid food at the age of 4 to 6 months old. Spitting the food is a common and normal reflex for babies under 6 months. Gagging is also normal and caused by feeling the food at the back of the mouth, which is not the same as choking – life threatening. Babies refuse solid food when they are introduced to them. This is very normal and common. It is very important to respect their decision not to eat those foods and nor force them. Forcing them will make the opposite effect, struggle with food and poor nutrition. So, when you notice the child refusing to eat some food, give them a break from their food for a week. Eating, chewing and swallowing are learned skills. They start as reflexes, but we also need to learn them. Doctors recommend giving the babies purees and allow them to control how much they eat.
How to introduce solid food?
A new research at the Canadian Medical Association has proven that it is best to introduce foods one at a time and wait three to five days before trying another. This is good because if the baby has allergy to some food, we would have enough time to see which food it is. There is no food which is best to introduce first. It is best to start with foods rich in iron such as fish, eggs, tofu, and cereal because breast milk only will not provide enough of the iron especially at the age of 5 or 6 months old.
We cannot determine if the baby likes or dislikes some food if we haven’t introduced him the food 15 times least. We need to be patient and persistent. The food needs to be pureed, tender cooked, finely minced or mashed. When giving him vegetables, we need to make them soft cooked. Give them soft fruits like bananas. The portions should be small and varied in texture.Eye contact and verbal encouragement are very important. Minimizing distractions is also crucial. Don’t be tempted to use the TV to trick the baby into one more bite.
What to do if my baby still refuse solid food?
If, after the age of 8n months, the baby still refuses solid foods, you need to talk to a pediatrician. Children develop eating skills between six to eight months. If they still refuse to eat solid food during this age it is very difficult to teach them to eat after one year age. So, be patient and persistent. Try everything you can to encourage your child to start eating solid food. It is better for their overall physical and psychological health. Choose well combined healthy foods and arrange them so that they seem interesting for the child.