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So frustrated with finger foods...help!!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My son will be 12 months on 8/12. He is breastfed and eats purees. It took him a while to get the hang of eating purees but now he does very well on them. A mashed banana with otameal cereal for breakfast, fage and spinach/green bean puree for dinner, and cereal and fruit again, or EB's jars for dinner. It took him a while to eat purees..probably started really doing well around 8 months. He also was nursing 4-6 times a day. Now he nurses morning and bed with sippy/bottles of milk during the day. I started around 7 months with cherrios and he didnt take to them right away, just threw them on the floor. Now he is eating cherrios and crackers, etc, but won't eat food food if you know what I mean. I've tried everything - peas, carrots, nitrate free deli meats, banana, grilled cheese (and mine is fantastic by the way), toast, pancakes, etc, etc...EVERYTHING....I try to make everything as healthy and unprocessed as possible. I've even given in and let him have cake and ice cream..which he still didnt eat. He puts the food in his mouth then spits it out. Again, he will eat the crackers (and like them with hummus), and goldfish - which I hate to give him but thought it would get him started on eating food but hasnt worked.


At one point  - over the course of a week or two, I think I was so stressed out with trying to get him to eat finger foods that he sensed that and now gets upset getting in his high chair and won't really eat the finger foods. Lately we listen to musi and try to have fun while eating - this has helped a bit but he just isnt interested in anything other than purees or yogurt unless its a cracker. He knows how to chew - he breaks off bits of crackers.....I just dont think he likes the texture. He is also now starting to grab for the spoon and bowl..which I let him do bewcause I want him to have fun eating. I give him his own spoon.


On the recommendation of daycare, I tried just giving him finger foods in an attempt to get him to eat them (thought behind it was that he knew the purees would be served so why bother with the finger foods.)....this backfired. He ate very little, then picked up his nursing pace, day and night and was miserable for days. So, I went back to purees. I would rather have him get great nurtition via purees then force him into eating finger foods and compromising his nutrition.


But now I am concerned that he is not going to eat finger foods. I've tried everything even junk (which I dont want him to have and/or develop a taste for since we already have issues) and nothing works.  He will be going to a transitional toddler room in the fall where their meals are based more on finger foods. While I am able to pack my own foods for him there will be less focus on spooning purees for him and more focus on self feeding etc. I have expressed my concerns and daycare is going to work with me. My new strategy is to do the purees/cereal at breakfast and lunch, and replace lunch with finger foods. that way he has a wholesome breakfast, milk and snacks then dinner..so maybe he will "get it". Then I can work on another meal once lunch is sucessful. 


I have put a call into my pedicatrician but I would love to get another point of view on this....anyone else struggle with this? I really do not want to compromise nutrition because he is supposed to be doing certain things by now (btw, he rolled over and back at 8 weeks, crawling at 5 months and walking at 10 months so he is advanced in other areas)....






post #2 of 10

I wouldn't worry about it so much. I mean, it's not like he'll be 2 or 3 and unable to eat his own food. Do you spoon feed him his purees or does he self-feed? Letting DS self-feed with a spoon (even when he was really bad at it) helped a lot with getting him interested in other foods. It also might be that the finger foods you offer are less flavorful than the purees. Do you season the veggies? Here are a few foods DS liked a lot when he was learning finger foods: beans, blueberries, cheese shreds or tiny bites, cantaloupe (either cut up tiny or in a whole slice- medium sized chunks might be a choker), peas, whole grain bread, bites of healthy, homemade muffins, medium-sized pasta shapes like penne with cream sauce or marinara, small bites of chicken, raspberries or blackberries, apple slices, peach/nectarine bites... Hope this helps a bit :)

post #3 of 10

Some kids just take longer to take to solids, and he IS advanced in other areas. More than likely, he will accept finger foods in his own time. However, if you are truly concerned that he's experiencing a developmental delay, I'd act on that. Some kids have great difficulty with food texture due to sensory processing issues. It doesn't hurt in the end for him to be evaluated--- a speech therapist/EI (<--- a free program!) could be just what he needs. Your call, mama. I think it is good you gave your ped a call since you have been concerned. 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I did just talk to the Pedi and she is not concerned. She said some kids take longer than others and that its nothing to worry about yet..to just keep up with the purees and offering solids at each meal. I am not sure why this stresses me out so much..maybe I am concerned he wont have good eating habits if this goes on for too long?  


I am trying sweet potato chunks again tonight and I also bought some Mochi for him to try.


How are people cutting up and slicing things? Maybe I am too small/thin with stuff, or too blocky with others? I've often contemplated letting him have a slice of cantelooupe but what if he breaks off a big piece of it? I worry about him chocking...but, It might be fun for him to hold something like that and eat it.




post #5 of 10

Giving DS big slices of things has always worked well for us... As long as your cantaloupe is ripe is soft, a slice should be fine. Don't leave him alone though!

post #6 of 10

I'd say google "Child led Solids" and "Child led Weaning." Just give him regular food, forget the purees, and he'll eat when he's ready.

post #7 of 10

It sounds like the texture is the problem, I would just start pureeing the food less. So use the same food that you normally feed him just not as processed. Eventually he will be eating finger foods with out even noticing.  It will take a bit of time but at least it will be easier on both of you :)

post #8 of 10
I don't think you'll have to worry too much about nutritional issues. As long you offer enough variation in the purrees your son will get all the nutrients he needs. Nevertheless, there could be various aspects physical and emotional aspects, that can affect a childs eating habits. We have case of a very difficult eater in my family, and at the root of his eating problems was a physical issue. His issue, too, was a texture problem.

The difficult eater in our family mostly liked to drink, eating maybe purrees but no other solids. Crackers that desolved in his mouth were sort of okay, too. After two years of trying all sorts of things, finally a pediatrician realized that the child had chronically swollen tonsils. Eating chunky foods plain hurt, and if a cold came in, the child refused eating alltogether, because it was too painful. They finally had his tonsils capped, shortly before his third birthday, which normalized his food intake some - he is still very cautious about trying anything new.

Apparently, it is not easy to see, if or if not tonsils are in the normal range. However, if you see your pediatrician again, it might be a good idea to ask him/her to have good look at your son's tonsils.
post #9 of 10

Don't give up. My son just turned 12 months and is finally starting to eat finger foods with regularity.  He is still on purees but I'm slowly chunking them up.  We started with Happy Baby puffs. At first that was all he would eat. Then we discovered Moon Pops. They sell them in our Kroger at a kiosk. They are puffed grain discs that he can bite off bits of but then kind of dissolve. It gives him the happiness of feeding himself. He LOVES them.  We tried Cheerios, but at first he didn't like them. We kept trying, then he started eating them. You might also try teething bars. It is another food that they can suck on and it dissolves, but it starts to give them the bug of wanting to do it themselves. Then all of the sudden, wham, he wants to eat everything himself. He still can't do pieces of chicken or things like that, but every day he tries something new.  Don't give up. He'll get there.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!! Really helpful information! I'm glad to see I;m not alone. I am going to work on making his purees chunkier and continue to offer finger foods at all meals. I did make some bananabread and he eats a bit then spits it out...just gonna have to get used to it i guess!

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