When does food become critical? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 01-12-2014, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Daughter is nearing 10 months.  She's never been too crazy about food--be it pureed baby food, appropriate finger foods, etc. There was a period where she was a better eater (still not wonderful) but now she doesn't appear interested in eating much.  She's a very good nurser.  At her check-ups, the doctor asks about what she's eating, but doesn't seem too worried about the amount. 

 

I've heard it said that before a year breast milk or formula are apt at providing all necessary nutrition and other food is more about taste and texture than anything, but part of me still worries she's not eating enough solids.  She appears healthy, chubby, etc.,

 

So I ask, when is the time to start panicking "She's not eating real foods!"


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#2 of 29 Old 01-12-2014, 07:20 AM
 
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Following. I'm actually a bit more concerned than you- my daughter is 11 months old and doesn't seem "chubby" to me. She's always been a bit of a string bean, and with all the extra climbing/walking/exploring she's been doing, it seems like her calorie intake is too low. She nurses way less during the day because she's so busy, doesn't eat more than a bite or two of anything, and is always on the go! She compensates by nursing through the night... but I can't wait to bring her in for her 12 month check up to see how she is, weight wise. Oy.

 

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#3 of 29 Old 01-14-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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If your doctor isn't worried and she seems happy and healthy, I wouldn't worry too much. Keep offering it and let her decide how muh to eat.

My eldest was over a year before she really ate anything but breast milk. I offered it but she mostly used it as art supplies. Lol She did eventually become interested and is now a healthy, happy 6 year old who loooves to eat!

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#4 of 29 Old 01-14-2014, 11:36 AM
 
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I often hear that solids before one are just for fun. The main sources of nutrition is still breastmilk. If her weight gain and growth have been good, it's probably not an issue. I would just keep offering foods and see what she likes.



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#5 of 29 Old 01-14-2014, 02:23 PM
 
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How is her weight for height?

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#6 of 29 Old 01-14-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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My DD just started ingesting solids on a semi-regular basis. She's 15 months. I was worried too until I saw that she was the exact same percentile as previous appts and her iron level was great. I just kept offering and she has gotten more interested, little by little.

I agree with PP who said solids before 1 year are mainly for fun and practice.
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#7 of 29 Old 01-15-2014, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
 

How is her weight for height?


On the low side, actually, but that's always been the case for her.  Doctor wasn't too worried about that, either--and that weight/height was something she worried about months back when my baby was sickish.  Her last checkup was Christmas Eve, and the doctor felt, all things considered with her food intake, body type, and the fact she was breastfeeding, that the weight/height wasn't a big deal.


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#8 of 29 Old 01-15-2014, 05:34 PM
 
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My DD ate nothing of substance until she was nearly 15 months old as a poster above said.  We started foods at 6 months per the recommendation, then held off until 8 months because she didn't seem interested.  At 8months onward we tried to feed her something at least once per day.  We had the best success with a baby led weaning approach, plus this really took the pressure off of me.  DD dabbled a little after 1 year and then really picked up at 15 months.  I was super worried about it, but now I'm on the "other" side of it, and she's just fine.  At 17 months I could finally describe her as a "good" eater and now, at 21 months she really eats almost everything (including olives, peppers, brussels sprouts, blue cheese, etc).  She was always a good nurser, but tiny.  Consistent growth.  Even at 21 months we were stoked to find out she finally hit the 20# mark (but DH and I are not big people). 

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#9 of 29 Old 01-24-2014, 04:33 PM
 
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My first dd also did not eat much of anything until 15-16 months old. I don't know at what age it becomes critical, but for my dd it was very noticeable when formula was not enough to sustain her. She went from eating 8oz every 3 hours then gradually increased to every 2 hours and then very suddenly it seemed like I could never give her enough. An hour, sometimes less after a 9 oz bottle she'd be asking for more. And that's when I started offering solids. Anything and everything, I didn't even care if it was healthy as long as it wasn't junk or candy. Literally overnight she started eating table food and lots of it. Just about anything I shoved her way.  Based on that I think you'll know when it's not enough for her.

 

I was very concerned and even posted about it here eons ago (had to have been over 7 years ago) and there were a few posters who said their dc didn't eat much of anything until 2. So that was my cut off point to demanding answers.  I was getting no where with my pediatrician, who I then fired because of it. The pediatricians ONLY advice was to just stop bottles 100%. She must have table food and must drink water or whole cow's milk out of a sippy and of course she won't starve herself. I don't think the pediatrician understood at her 12 month visit that she COULD NOT eat food. Would gag at it, never was interested in anything including cake a relative tried to feed her, never made chewing motions, never intently watched us eat, all the signs you are told to watch for for readiness. In hindsight I really should have pushed for more. The pediatrician was just regurgitating info from her books. She even sounded like a walking encyclopedia and I don't mean that in a good way.

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#10 of 29 Old 01-30-2014, 05:46 AM
 
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Before one, I treat food as for fun, not nutrition. By about 18 months, I like to see eating for nutrition.

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#11 of 29 Old 01-30-2014, 09:35 PM
 
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My daughter is almost 2 and has pretty consistently always been a really good eater. Before a year, as most people have said, solid food was just for fun, but when I cut back her nursing after a year, she really started to enjoy food. She's willing to try pretty much anything. Just this morning she was willing to eat a good portion of my omelet with spinach, onions, and bell pepper. My issue is that despite the fact that she eats well, she's super tiny, as in 3% length, 15% weight. I'm actually pretty worried about her 2 year old check up, because I think both percentiles have probably dropped since her last check-up at 18 months. She eats, but she hardly grows. What I have to work on is not giving in and letting her eat lots of things I know are not good for her in the hopes that she'll get bigger. If your baby is growing, I think you shouldn't have to worry about her eating habits, especially before a year.


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#12 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 07:32 AM
 
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I was super worried too because by about 1 year old DD wasn't actually eating anything. She'd put food in her mouth and suck the life out of it and then spit it back out. She's now 14 months and finally starting to swallow food. Also she used to love any food now she's becoming super picky. I'm not as worried anymore. They all learn at different times. So long as baby is happy and growing don't fret too much.
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#13 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 11:00 AM
 
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My daughter is 14 months and is eating just baby foods and formula. She won't make the transition to milk we keep trying and she just tosses regular food to the dog. At her 12 month appt her doc said to just keep offering her food. We have her 15 mo appt set for the end of February. She's starting to make me nervous. Her brother wanted food at 9 months. Good luck!


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#14 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 11:03 AM
 
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My 3rd child is nearing 10 years and still rarely eats.  Yet she is happy and healthy (although petite) and at every pediatrician's visit stays at the same slope on her growth curve, and the doctor isn't worried.  She wouldn't eat solids as a baby either and I nursed her for almost 18 months, and she weaned herself.  There are a few foods she loves and I try to have those for lunch and breakfast, when she can choose her menu.  At dinner, she gets what we eat and must at least taste everything.  She actually asked for seconds on both chicken and green beans last night - first time ever!  Seriously!  So I guess my conclusion would be as long as they're healthy and growing steadily (albeit slowly!) I'm not going to worry (too much!)  Good luck - some kids just seem to have weird food idiosyncracies!

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#15 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 11:06 AM
 
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My oldest is now 8 years old.  She loved to taste different flavors as early as 3 months old and was very interested.  But she didn't eat  more than a lick here or there until 15-18 months old.  I remember staring in awe at some of my formula feeding friends, whose babies would eat a whole jar of baby food at 8-9 months.  Just from the people I have met and known through the years, I really feel like many (not all obviously) ecologically breastfed babies are just not that into food until 15 months or so.  They are interested but just don't eat much.

 

At 15-18 months my oldest started eating "meals" per se of bits of food. Now she eats really well, loves lots of things, loves food and enjoys it.  

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#16 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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My DD was 50th percentile for height and weight when she was a baby. But only wanted to nurse till 2yrs at least! Her weight percentile did a nosedive. Freaked me out. She is also extremely active. Walked at 8 months. But one Dr told me there are a lot of overweight kids out there and not to worry. She is 4 now. Never had baby fat but healthy and doesn't eat much. Like less then most toddlers. She has allergies and sensitivities and texture problems. I have learned to make food available and not to worry. She is healthy.
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#17 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 05:00 PM
 
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When my youngest was a baby, we used to hold her on our laps at meal time. As early as 3 months she had her eyes on the food. She would watch us put things in our mouths. I remember one night she was fussing at the table and I offered her the breast. She didn't want it. She wanted what we were having! So I put a little avocado on my finger and put it into her mouth. She grabbed my finger and sucked and sucked. She loved the avocado! That was just the beginning. We started feeding her off our plates. She ate everything. She grew up to be a chef with a weight problem! She's happy, though.

 

I wouldn't worry about not-chubby babies unless they seem lethargic or sick. I wouldn't feed junk just to make them eat more, either, or make them finish what's on their plate. No one should eat if he isn't hungry.

 

I believe in healthy snacks, too, if your child has trouble eating a big meal. Let him have his vegetables at 4pm and his dinner at 6. Why not? What is sacrosanct about 3 meals a day. I'm sure primitive woman browsed as she gathered.

 

We all have our own blueprint for how fast and how much we grow. Just make sure good food is available.

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#18 of 29 Old 01-31-2014, 10:33 PM
 
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My dd is 17 months and weighs 20lbs. She's developing so amazingly so I chose not to worry. She has a unique birth story which is why she's small, but I sometimes go into panic mode and think she needs to eat more than she is (a few bites each meal sometimes) but then I have to remember she isn't a huge baby with a big appetite and she nurses a lot. It's only been the last week she's actually interested in food and wants it and seems to like it. Before she was just not interested. My mom said before 2 my sister and I were not that interested and then it all clicked and we started eating more and more. I think go by your baby's development and mood. My baby is happy, healthy and developing normally. Just not a big eater "compared" to other babies. And she nurses a lot.
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#19 of 29 Old 02-01-2014, 08:42 AM
 
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I'm pretty sure the answer is Never.  Trust your baby, read your baby.  Breast milk IS real food, and she knows this.  As long as you are eating a healthy diet, and she is thriving then everything is fine.  And when she is ready to eat she will probably love eating the foods that you have been giving her through her breast milk.  This realization helped me to eat a wide variety of colorful whole foods while pregnant and nursing, and sure enough my son who is nearly 15 mo. old loves to eat what I eat, which means I've never had to resort to "baby food."  And when I want to introduce him to new foods that he is skeptical of at first I start eating tons of it knowing that he will get familiar with it's taste through my breast milk.    

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#20 of 29 Old 02-02-2014, 06:54 PM
 
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Hey no worries mama! :) My DD didn't have a lick of food until 13 months or so. She was happy to breastfeed exclusively and I was happy to oblige. A lot of the 'pressure' for starting "solid foods" out there comes from the baby food companies who just want our money.  Your breastmilk is 100% real food and like others have said, if she is at a healthy weight, then no worries. (In fact, even if she was at a low weight- I wouldn't necessarily go to solids, I would first work on increasing milk supply and having her nurse more frequently.)

 

Anyway, my dd at 13 months just started experimenting with solids once every few days or so. I would give her a piece of whatever I was eating and if she seemed interested I'd give her more. That went on for several months. Then I tried giving her more complete meals (like small portions of whatever dh and i were eating) in her high chair and she still seemed only half interested but mostly liked to play with it. I wasn't worried because i knew she was a champion nurser and my pediatrician--who is very much not mainstream--said breastfeeding almost exclusively until 2 years old was fine as long she was getting enough iron. So i made sure to give her meats and beans and beets when she did eat. Honestly, she didn't care much for solids until I was 4 months pregnant and my milk supply started to diminish... accordingly it was like each day I had less milk and she had more of an interest in eating solids. Now she is a fantastic eater and everyone who sees her eat her meals says that.

 

So I say that you are doing a great job and applaud you for breastfeeding! And I would read her attitude about solids to be: "Hey mama, I'm not interested in that... I'm getting all I want and need from your fabulous breastmilk!" ;) And when she wants/needs more, she'll start eating the solids more, KWIM?

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#21 of 29 Old 02-04-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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I think food is mostly fun until they're not consuming as much milk.  That could be up to 3, depending on the child.  I think their instinctual reactions to food are appropriate to their needs and personality type.  My oldest daughter wasn't much into food until she was 2.  Seriously.  She was chubby until she was around 1.5 when she started running around all the time and got skinny.  

 

My youngest daughter was into food much earlier, but she has gone through many phases of going in and out of interest.  I think there is nothing to worry about, if the babies health is fine, nothing to worry about.  Relax, mama.  Breathe in, breathe out.

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#22 of 29 Old 02-05-2014, 05:20 AM
 
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Hi,

I think If your doctor isn't worried then do not worry about it :)

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#23 of 29 Old 02-06-2014, 12:56 PM
 
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My first child didn't eat much solid foods before a year, but I didn't really encourage it either.  I also was up a lot at night to provide milk which she wouldn't really drink in the day.  Unfortunately, I was exhausted and realized I needed to do things differently with my second child.

 

Now my 9 month old eats a lot of solid food - everything I eat in fact.  And she sleeps through the night.  I still breast feed her, 5-6 times a day but only 4 of those feedings are 'large' (the ones before her naps, and right before bed).  With my first daughter, I gave her single ingredient foods - pureed or very simple foods and she ate a bit but wasn't that interested.  Now with my second I chew up bits of my own food and give it to her and she really loves a lot of it.  It doesn't matter if its spicy, and she eats everything.  Its much easier than making baby food and I think she eats better as a result because we eat as a family. 

 

But if nursing a lot at night isn't creating a challenge for you then that's also a way to get the nutrition.  It just got too hard for me.

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#24 of 29 Old 02-06-2014, 04:50 PM
 
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It can be totally normal. I wanted to tell you my son didn't eat any solids until 16 months! Extremely intelligent and healthy 2 1/2 yr old now. It was so hard not to question his instincts but they know. Think of times before ovens and easy stoves. Babies drink milk until they can chew and swallow well. That time varies.

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#25 of 29 Old 02-07-2014, 07:55 PM
 
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Don't worry, mama!  Unless your child is lethargic, showing serious personality changes, poor color, etc. she is likely fine and will get to enjoying foods when she is ready.  Not to say that I wouldn't continue offering!  Glad to hear that your pediatrician is supportive, many aren't when you're kiddo starts/stays small but you are the best judge of your daughter's health and you are continuing the give her the best nutrition possible.  Weight charts in particular are misleading, most babies/toddlers are given formula in our country and, without judgment, those children typically tip the bell curve of weight to higher levels.

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#26 of 29 Old 02-08-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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I'll chime in w PPs who've said to relax & be easy on yourself if she's growing fine (btw, the weight charts from the WHO are based on BF infants & are much more appropriate for nursed babies, IMO), but also especially watch her development! That can be a good indicator & also may reassure you not to worry needlessly. Is she continuing to develop new skills as she grows?

 

Although my baby is only 5 mos old, I'll chime in with our story: she was only at the 3rd percentile at birth, then took a nosedive off the chart, even the WHO chart by 2 mos. We worked to increase milk supply/ camped her out at the breast 24/7 & had weight checks 2x per week to see that she was approaching her initial line quickly-- my pedi (who nursed 8 babies past age one herself) said as long as she was closer each week than the week before/ didn't start falling off again *AND* as long as she kept developing skills on time, then we would not talk about supplmenting... fast forward to 4 mos & the typical "solid foods" talk-- she said DO NOT give her anything but breast milk until she meets or exceeds her initial growth curve bc obviously breast milk is more nutrient dense & is better for growth (even of underweight babies) than any other food in existence. Today she's above the 3rd percentile & we have "permission" to introduce other foods. Basically, she didn't want solids to replace any potential breast milk feedings bc she considers other foods to be inferior to breastmilk for infant growth.

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#27 of 29 Old 02-09-2014, 02:26 PM
 
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My son didn't eat much food until past a year. I worried about him not eating enough, too. He was mainly interested in bread or crackers or maybe bananas, if it wasn't my milk. If you want to nudge her toward more eating, you could cut or delay nursings and start with food. Or, you could have her hang out with some other little ones who are eating and she might be interested in copying them, eventually. Breast milk is the perfect food for babies and toddlers, and when your doc says she's healthy, believe it! It's more like breast milk makes up for the inadequacies of a solid food diet than solid foods making up for the inadequacy of breast milk. 

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#28 of 29 Old 02-10-2014, 05:59 PM
 
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My son is nearing 11 months and gets most of his nutrition from milk. He's interested in food, and we always share some of what we're eating unless it's not good for him, but he always prefers nursing when I'm nearby. We're getting him used to lots of different foods. I'm proud to say the only thing he's turned away from is brussel sprouts. Everything else he'll eat, even while making a yucky face :eyesroll. I don't know how food could be better for a baby than breastmilk.

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#29 of 29 Old 02-11-2014, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post
 

I'll chime in w PPs who've said to relax & be easy on yourself if she's growing fine (btw, the weight charts from the WHO are based on BF infants & are much more appropriate for nursed babies, IMO), but also especially watch her development! That can be a good indicator & also may reassure you not to worry needlessly. Is she continuing to develop new skills as she grows?

 

The only skill we are really watching is her crawling/pulling herself up, which she is behind on (not yet in red flag area, though).  Otherwise, she keeps developing skills all the time.  The doctor observed her to be way ahead on social behaviors.


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