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What to do when your little one wont touch food
There are many reasons why your little one may not be interested in eating, but what can you do when littles ones aren't interested in touching their food?
Why? Lets find out
If a little one is not eating, they are trying to tell us something. For some Babies, they simply might not be interested, have the skill, or desire to eat at that moment. For others, it may be more complicated given their history (negative associations such as reflux, bad gag, highchair, etc). Its imperative to listen to little ones cues in any of theses situations while guiding them to learn.
The important thing you can do is bring a calm confidence to the table and believe that little ones can learn the skills for eating.
In other words, stay calm and don't give up!
If your Little one is 6 months old or older
You've done all the reading about starting solids, You have the highchair, bib, and you know what food you want to introduce first. Then in a blink of a camera, at the height of your anticipation, your bubble bursts. Your little one doesn't bring a single thing to their mouth.
At 6 months of age or younger, little ones are often just not ready. Evaluate whether your little one is truly ready for solids and make sure your little one is meeting all the developmental signs before starting solids.
Consider waiting a week or two:
Your little one might be showing all the signs of readiness, but isn't engaging with food offered, try to not worry to much. Many little ones at this age are just not cognitively ready to start feeding, even if they showing the motor milestones for readiness. This is normal.
Let them watch you:
Even before your start solids, bring your little one to the table. Pull up the high chair so they can watch you eat or sit them on your lap. Channel a dinner party vibe - Laugh, smile and enjoy your meal so they can see your having fun with eating. Little ones learn to eat from us, so getting them involved from before they start solids will help in reaching the goals of mastering solids.
Talk to your little one and describe the food:
"This is delicious Pumpkin Dahl inspired from a indian curry!"
Be the mouth model you always wanted to be!
Throw out all those manners our parents taught us and chew with your mouth open so your little one can see what you are doing. When you swallow, point to your stomach and say "the puree went all the way to my belly!". you might feel a bit silly but your model game is a huge deal for many little ones.
If your Little one is 9 months old or older
If your little one is just starting to self-feed, they might not know what to do with the food in front of them. Remember, they've been learning and practicing a different way of eating(spoon fed) they need to learn a new way to eat
Model your daily eating routine:
This is super important if you are transitioning from spoon fed to self feeding/baby-led weaning. Remember, everything your little one one is doing is a new skill and they need to see how its done to understand better.
Bring your little ones attention to the food:
Tap the high chair near there food to make sure they are visually attending to it, call their name and say "look!". Sometimes a simple cue like this is all a little one needs to acknowledge and touch food on there highchair.
Offer food from your own mouth:
Put your manners aside for and try this well tested feeding therapy method: Hold the food between your teeth, lean towards the baby and let them take the food out of your month with their hands.