How to Get Baby Interested in Solid Foods
Question: Is it okay for 11-month-old not be interested in solid foods at the table? She is hitting all her milestones, seems completely normal and chubby but still wants to nurse and doesn’t seem interested in any solid foods at the table.
Answer: Two of our daughters (so maybe it is more of a girl thing?) were not at all interested in table food at this age. One of them was 15 months old before she caught on that table food was for eating. She loved the social setting of meal time and enjoyed sitting on my lap exploring bits of food from my plate, or bits of banana or baked sweet potato. She was really “into it” as a texture to be smooshed between little fingers, but the tidbits rarely got transferred to her mouth and swallowed. She thought the point of having food in her mouth was so to swirl it around as a taste experiment and then put it back. And we were okay with that.
We weren’t worried about her nutrition because breastmilk has all the needed nutrients. We finally figured out that she maybe had food texture issues – an older sibling had that problem, years before when we were still spoon-feeding jars of pureed food and he took a very long time to graduate to the coarser stuff, which made him gag. Also, babies who have a family history of allergies are often slow to start solids. So, if your little one isn’t interested in solid foods, it’s okay, just consider these possibilities:
- Food texture issue
- Food allergy
One guide in starting solids for a breastfed baby who is eager is to not let the solid food replace the breastmilk, to have the baby nurse well before offering the solid. By preferring your milk and putting table food on the back burner, your daughter is simply following the wisdom of the body. She senses that breastmilk is still the food her body needs most. If she has had her hemoglobin checked at a regular office visit, you don’t have to be concerned about anemia/low iron. Some healthcare providers have breastfeeding moms take Vitamin D to “fortify” their milk.
Have you thought of offering bits of ripe avocado? It smooshes nicely, and your baby might just want to enjoy the mouth feel (because of the high fat content) a little longer – then watch and see if it slides down and she looks for more.
Martha Sears, RN