Monday, January 25, 2010

Is My Baby a Picky Eater?

Or is she just being a baby?

She has been interested in food for months and months. We started giving her food, some whole chunks, some purees and mushes, when she was about 6 months old. Now, Sweet Pea is eleven months old (tomorrow!) and it is still REALLY hit or miss whether she will eat food at any given meal. I haven't done a post on baby food since October, because I really didn't know what to say. One week I'd think we were "over the hump" and that now she would be eating quite a bit, and then three days would pass with her eating next to nothing! Luckily my milk supply is holding up!

Right now we offer her food about three times a day, and I never can predict whether she will eat it or not. Sometimes she will eat quite a bit (which for her is like a half a piece of bread, or 3-4 tablespoons). Sometimes she will eat nothing. Some days she loves sweet potatoes, other days she spits it out as soon as it touches her mouth, and other days she won't even open up to allow it in! It is like this with every single thing she has eaten so far. One day she loves it, the next she won't even take a bite. Maybe it's a control issue, maybe she is a picky eater, and maybe she is just being a baby and this is a normal course of development for her. Today, for example, she only ate about 3 Cheerios (organic, no high fructose corn syrup) at breakfast, even though that is one of the things she has eaten the most consistently. She spit out the blueberries I tried to feed her. At lunch, she LOVED the plain yogurt with jam that I fed her, and was fine taking it from a spoon (she often grabs the spoon from our hands and won't let us feed her with it). Yet, she totally rejected the crackers and bread that I offered her alongside the yogurt.

I am trying to just go with the flow with this, because I know I don't want to turn food into a battle between us, but it becomes so frustrating when I prepare three different things for a meal for her three times a day, and she might eat one or two of the things, at one or two of the meals, in a totally unpredictable pattern. Sometimes she throws her food as soon as we set it in front of her, sometimes throwing food is a sign that she is done. Should I just buy some processed baby food so that it doesn't make me feel like I wasted my time when she refuses or throws the food that I prepared? Advice?


  1. I think it's normal? Ethan does that, too. Some days he will eat and some he won't. But he will Always eat apples! It's so funny. When he's in one of those moods and won't eat anything I will give him apples and it's like that's what he was waiting for! I'm sure it's something they will "grow" out of. I think they are just trying to figure out what they like and don't like and what their reaction should be.
    I fix food for him but don't give him much at a time in case he doesn't eat it. The rest I save for next time. He will eat on the same sweet potato for 3 or 4 days!
    Maybe don't give her as much of a selection? Pick 2 things, 1 veg and 1 fruit, and feed her that every meal for a few days. That way your not confusing her?
    Do you nurse her before solids or after? I now give solids first and nurse second. If Ethan nurses first he won't eat any solids (except apples!).
    Good luck and keep us updated!

  2. Thanks for the reassurance, and the ideas! I do only offer her one thing at a time, usually, and sometimes it is the third thing I offer that she ends up eating a bunch of! But I never know what that's going to be... Last night she ate a little bit of carrot soup (that's what I had made for dinner). She didn't want any crackers, then, after dinner we had zucchini bread for dessert. She usually could care less about what we are eating after we let her down from the table, but this time she came back to me and opened her mouth, I gave her some, and she LOVED it. It has some sugar so that's not great, but I was just glad she was eating! Today, she had Cheerios and a few bites of a jarred baby food for breakfast, and I'm going to try giving her the baby food all day today and tomorrow. It varies whether I nurse her or feed solids first - I still just nurse on demand, not on a schedule, so I'm not sure. Good thing to pay attention to, thanks!

  3. Rose, I just read this post on a food blog I like, and thought of you guys. Maybe it has some ideas you can use for making baby food from scratch?
    xoxox to you and sweet pea,