My Baby Doesn't Want to Eat, What Should I Do?
Do you have a fussy eater? It can be tough. Babies won’t just shut their mouths. They can choke or spit up solids you try to give them despite your best efforts. When baby doesn’t want to eat, it can make you feel like you’re a bad parent. But it happens to more parents than you may think so know you aren't alone. Some babies are fussier than others and some babies start solids earlier or later than other babies, there is no "right" way. Here are ways to help your baby want to eat new foods.
First, if you’re trying to get your child to eat solid foods and they still demand breastmilk, that’s not a bad thing. When your baby is 6 months to a year old, the goal isn’t to get them to completely get off breastmilk. Starting solid foods is a journey to help your baby explore food textures and get used to trying different flavors and textures. So don’t feel like you have to force your baby to eat solid foods too soon, your baby will tell you when she is ready to start exploring.
Most children will start to eat solids before they turn two, and there can be all sorts of reasons why they start so late. Perhaps they tried solids like some cereal at a young age and got a little sick. Or perhaps they don’t like the texture, or maybe they only want texture and no puree. Be patient and try a variety of textures, tastes and flavors with your baby until they are ready to open up. Here are some tips that may help:
Eat the food yourself - Sometimes your child just wants reassurance that the food is good. Try some yourself and show them how much you like it. They may try mimicking you.
Don’t try so hard - You can’t force-feed your baby, so don’t try. Relax and let them decide when and what they want to eat (with your guidance of course).
Go back to an earlier stage- If baby won’t try cheerios or some other finger food, but will eat some earlier solids, stick with those and leave some more advanced foods on the side for them to explore on their own.
Mix food with breastmilk - This is a common trick for getting children to eat their first solid cereals. Soak the cereal in breastmilk so they have a familiar taste. You could even mix Amara purees with breastmilk to create a sort of smoothie.
Try, try, and try again - Many babies will reject new tastes or textures the first time they try something new. Try little bites two or three times in a row over several days and at different times of the day to see if your baby starts to get used to the new flavors.
As long as your child isn’t beyond the age of two, it’s okay if they’re taking their time to eat solids. Just keep trying patiently and one day they’ll be happy, healthy solid eaters. For a great introduction to solids, try Amara's Introduction to Solids variety pack.