We all experience those times when we put food on our plate, take a taste, and want to spit it all out. Babies are no different than you and me when it comes to taste. We either like it, or we do not. Babies, however, have more reasons than an adult does. When your baby is at the proverbial milestone where food is due to come into play daily, we, as parents, imagine it will be as simple as putting food on the spoon and then into the baby’s mouth. Surprise, the baby pushes the food right back out. This does not mean that the baby does not like it, necessarily. There could be other reasons that the baby is not eating any of the foods you are trying to feed him or her.
1. Tongue Flexing
One of the many actions that babies need to master is the art of using their tongue to shove the food to the back of their mouth. This transfer of food is what enables the baby to swallow food rather than shoving it out of their mouth.
2. The Spoon
It could very well be that the spoon going into your baby’s mouth is what is stopping your baby from eating. This is a strange item to a baby and may take more time to get used to it.
3. Taste Makes The Difference
In all reality, pureed baby food that is in a jar is bland; You may have a baby that likes a little more spice or flavoring. There are tips that you can try to see if it makes a difference as to what your baby will eat. If you are at the stage of plain cereal, there is not much of a flavor there. Take a taste yourself; you might understand that. You can add a spoonful of pureed fruit or vegetables to the cereal. A better flavor might do the trick.
4. Baby Wants To Do It All
Many babies do not like the idea of a spoon in their mouth. At this age, it may be scary to have that hard thing shoved at them. The following tip will be a messy result, so prepare the floor around the highchair. Go ahead and put some cereal or other pureed foods on the tray. Your baby will likely try to grab the food, and as per normal baby behavior, it should follow that it goes to the mouth.
5. Too Runny
It may be that the baby food you are attempting to feed your baby is too watery. The food can be thickened by adding cereal. If you puree your food for the baby, do not puree to such a watery consistency. This will also help the baby as they try to feed themself. Thicker foods will also remain in the mouth longer, giving the baby that chance of tasting the flavor.
6. The Baby May Not Feel Good
Not surprisingly, when your baby does not feel well, they may not want to eat. Ear infections, thrush, sore throat, teething, or even a headache may make the baby not want to eat.
7. Texture Sensitive
It may very well be that your baby is sensitive to the textures of foods. If you find that he is throwing up, gagging, and spitting it out, speak with the pediatrician. Your doctor may recommend a swallow study be done. This is not abnormal, many babies do not like the textures of foods.
8. Not Interested
When your baby continually turns his head, clamps his mouth shut, or begins to cry when you try to feed him; he may be telling you he is not hungry. Avoid any bottle-feeding or breastfeeding before you try to feed your baby. If the baby has had a bottle or has been breastfed first, there is likely no reason that he will eat since he is full. You can give the baby a sippy cup with his or her meal, hold the cup for them and see if they will take a drink after a spoon or two of food.
9. Snacking May Be to Blame
If you, like so many others, have a child that willingly eats snacks between meals, but refuses to eat at mealtime, cut back on the snack. If you cut the amount of snack in half, the baby will not be as full as previously. Many parents will still allow the snack between breakfast and lunch, but eliminate the one between lunch and dinner.
Be sure that when you or the family is eating, include the baby at the table. Creating that time of togetherness, and allowing the baby to see that the whole family is eating is more than a perfect setting. When a baby sees that everyone is eating, it may entice them to try the foods also.
11. Never Forget
Always keep in mind that if your baby does not like a food today, wait a day or two and try it again. Also, even if your baby is making a mess, or refusing to eat, do not get frustrated. This is all part of learning for the child.
Learning to eat new foods for the first time can be challenging for people of all ages. Imagine you are an infant that has never had food before, other than breast milk or formula, it is new, it is strange, and yet it is scary to have someone they trust shove stuff into their mouths. This is the time when you show your baby that eating is a good thing. That is sitting together at the table to eat is a good thing. Do not be afraid to puree the same foods you are eating. Obviously, you may want to leave the salt out of the food when preparing it, as the baby does not need salt added. Do not become frustrated over the lack of eating, the mess that is made, or the continual spitting. Your baby is learning at the same time you are.