FAQ: Please help! My baby is refusing my homemade baby food
Have you just started solids? Are you already struggling with food refusal?
Sometimes, the answer to your problem is over a coffee with a friend, posting the question in an online mother’s group, or secret forum. A fellow mummy with experience can often provide that little bit of wisdom, the glimmer of hope that you have been looking for or at the very least, a new idea to try.
We certainly don’t have all the answers. So these FAQ blog posts are to be seen like this… if our closest friends were to ask our advice, these would be our answers. But don’t let it stop with us, If you have an idea that might help others, we would love to hear it. Leave a comment after this post, or join our Facebook page to talk to other parents.
This reader question was featured in the One Handed Cooks Magazine Issue #2. Yep, you can buy it online while stocks last here. For more great recipe ideas pick up the latest mag today in Coles and all good Newsagents.
Question: My 8-month old son only wants to eat pre-packaged baby food. How can I encourage him to accept purees that I cook for him? Simone, VIC.
Answer: Hi Simone,
Firstly, know you are not alone. This can be a problem for many mums. Babies fed predominantly commercial baby foods when they start solids quickly become accustomed to their flavour and smooth texture. So when they are offered foods such as home cooked purees or finger foods they aren’t familiar with they will naturally want to refuse them and request their preferred foods. Commercially prepared baby foods are convenient and certainly useful at times; however they often include a high percentage of fruit (even despite a savoury flavour), a low percentage of meat or protein, and they rarely vary in their texture. Knowing what is going into the food you give your children is always the best option for their health and your peace of mind.
There are many strategies you can use to encourage transition to home cooked foods. Firstly, start to cook purees based on flavours you know your baby enjoys. You can combine the commercial variety and your home cooked version slowly reducing the quantity of pre-packaged foods you add to the mix, so that soon enough your baby is accepting your own home cooked purees. Once he has begun to accept these, you can become more adventurous in flavour combinations, adding in some simple herbs and spices including parsley, basil and garlic. Progressing even further, you can start to blend appropriate family foods (low in salt) to ensure a smooth transition to family foods. It is also important to begin to introduce texture, and this naturally comes with homemade baby food. For example, the silkiness of a pumpkin puree will always be different from the more fibrous and textured puree that includes peas and broccoli. Introducing greater amounts of texture by mashing vegetables, stirring through small pastas, quinoa or rice, using minced meats and introducing a variety of finger foods at around 7-9 months of age is essential for oral motor development and learning how to eat.
There are some great recipe ideas and lots more practical tips listed in our Five fast purees, Fussy eating, Starting solids, One meal, three ways and Tasting plate sections of the magazine. – OHCs x
STARTING SOLIDS: Do you know anyone who is about to start their baby on solids? Or perhaps you’re after some new puree and finger food ideas for your own baby? Our e-Book is full of recipe’s, nutrition advice and forming positive food associations right from the first mouthful to help you and your baby through any fussy eating phases in the future. Check it out here.
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Don’t forget to read our disclaimer. If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding the nutritional adequacy of your child’s diet or their health and wellbeing please consult a medical practitioner or an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) for individualised advice.Join us on Facebook for other foodie bits and pieces.