Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mega List of Table Foods for Your Baby or Toddler


It is time to talk about the first real-deal table foods you should give your baby.  Most of the ideas I am sharing are for babies 10 months and up, but it really depends on how well your baby or toddler is chewing up foods.  You could be introducing these a little earlier or later.  Also, as the parent, you know what's best, go with what makes you comfortable!  If you have questions or concerns about choking and foods that are safe to introduce, then discuss them with your child's pediatrician.  







Clockwise from top: Ripe honeydew melon, whole wheat tortilla, cottage cheese, whole wheat rotini noodles, zucchini bread, shredded cheddar cheese, banana pancakes, and black beans in the middle.
I am going to do this a little backwards and give you food ideas and some meal plans in this post and then follow-up soon in a second post on exactly how to begin making this transition (update: click here and here for those follow up posts).  To be honest, I wanted to have a resource for myself, since Isaac (10 months old) is right in the middle of this transition and I am struggling to make sure he has enough variety.  I do have to admit that Isaac isn't (hmm, need to choose my words carefully here,) the best eater.  He chews and manages food very well, but unless it's not extremely palatable to him he isn't very interested.  Of course, this is very frustrating!  To make sure I optimize my chances at success (aka: he actually eats something other than Gerber Puffs or Cheerios), I need a go to list with all of my ideas (plus some new ones) so I am not scrambling in the craziness of meal prep.  I will be going into more details on troubleshooting in the follow-up post, as well. Anyways, I am hoping some of you can benefit from this list, too!



I am organizing the list into three categories: fruits/vegetables, starches/carbs, and proteins. When putting together meals, plan for at least one food in each of these three groups.  Also, keep in mind that if you mash up a casserole or lasagna all three categories may be covered in one shot.  For example with the lasagna: spaghetti sauce= protein, noodles= carbs, and meat or cheese= protein.  


Important Tips

  • Make sure everything you give your baby for the first time is closely monitored.  Chew a small piece in your mouth first and pay attention to how hard it is to chew.  If it doesn't break down easily and quickly, it probably isn't a good choice.
  • Stay calm if your baby coughs or chokes a little, it will happen. If you freak out they will freak out. If they are coughing or choking on a food frequently, stop giving it to them and re-introduce at a later date.
  • Cut food into small pieces so they can chew it easily.  Cut beans in half and make sure meats are soft and moist.  Help your baby with foods that are difficult to pick up, don't make the pieces bigger until you are sure they can manage them.
  • This is a list of table foods, not finger foods, although many of them are.  For example, spread hummus on crackers or serve cottage cheese.  
  • I nearly always use whole wheat or whole grain for noodles, crackers, and bread.  I would urge you to set the trend now and your child will not know any different.  Okay, I won't lecture on the benefits of whole grains, well not right now, anyways!
*Links are added throughout the post to Amazon so you can see what some of these foods actually are- I know not everyone has had quinoa before! There are also links to recipes!

Proteins

Tofu
Meatballs
Meatloaf
Cheese shredded from a hand grater (it is thicker and easier to grab this way)
Salmon
Chicken (make sure it is extra soft)
Turkey (ground or breast/cutlet)
Hard-boiled Egg
Scrambled Egg
Hummus
Black Beans
Cheese Spreads
Cottage Cheese
Ricotta Cheese
Crumbled Goat Cheese (or use as a spread)
Plain Pulled Pork (make sure it is extra soft)
Shreds of Pot Roast  (make sure it is extra soft)
Yogurt
Tzatziki Sauce (may need to puree if there are large pieces of cucumber in it)




Carbs

Toast
Plain or Buttered Bread
English Muffin
Bagel
Cheerios
Barley
Corn Grits/Polenta
Brown Rice
Short Pasta
Graham Crackers
Town House Crackers
Pancakes
Crepes
French toast
Pita
Fruit and Vegetable Breads (i.e. zucchini, banana, etc.)
Muffins



Fruits/Vegetables

Peaches
Watermelon
Plum
Mango
Banana
Avocado
Potato
Sweet Potato
Applesauce
Pears
Peas
Cooked Diced Apples
Cooked Diced Carrots (great to use pieces from soups)
Cooked Diced Celery
Pureed Soups (i.e. tomato, butternut squash)
Inside of Baked Potato
Mashed Potato
Mashed Sweet Potato
Broccoli (make sure this is extra soft)
Cauliflower (make sure this is extra soft)
Puree Fruits and use as a spread
Butternut Squash
Zucchini
Strawberries
Blackberries
Blueberries
Raspberries (many babies will find these too tart, but still give it a try)
Spinach (use in casseroles or foods you are mashing up)

Meal Plans

Below, I am outlining some various meal plans, just to give you some ideas.  Many of the meals would suit a toddler or big kid as well.  Again, depending on how your child is managing foods, you may need to dice or mash foods more.  I would encourage you to think of what you are eating and if you could modify it for your baby.  Ideally, you want your baby (soon to be toddler) to be eating what you are eating.  This may mean some planning ahead.  Mash up or chop what you are eating into small pieces.  Once you get into this frame of mind, you will be surprised to think of all the foods your baby can enjoy, too!

Also, I try to vary textures at each meal.  Meaning, I want one kind of food that needs to be eaten from a spoon and at least one that is finger-fed.  It doesn't always work out this way, but that's the goal, especially as they are transitioning off of all pureed foods.

I haven't provided snack suggestions in this post, as most babies aren't eating them.  

Breakfast

  • English muffin with cream cheese and chopped strawberries
  • Cottage cheese (depending on age may need to chop coarsely in food processor), diced pear, and graham crackers
  • Diced hard-boiled egg, diced toast with butter, and applesauce
  • Cream Of  Wheat with pureed berries and plain whole milk yogurt (yes, mix this all together)
  • Pumpkin waffles and diced banana

Lunch

  • Tortilla folded in half (quesadilla style) with a little melted cheese inside and mashed avocado
  • No sugar added applesauce, zucchini bread, and shredded mozzarella pieces
  • Tomato soup with black beans and blueberry cornbread
  • Hummus spread on pita with diced fruit salad (or whatever fruit you have on hand)
  • Shreds of pot roast in tzatziki sauce and pureed mango-banana sauce (blend pieces of mango and banana together, leaving it a little chunky). 

Dinner

  • Ricotta or cottage cheese, spaghetti sauce, spinach, and whole wheat noodles chopped coarsely through a blender or food processor.  Also, give some pieces of noodles to finger feed
  • Tilapia, steamed and slightly overcooked broccoli, and polenta
  • Meatballs, barley, and diced carrots
  • Mashed sweet potatoes, tender turkey breast or cutlet, and pieces of buttered bread
  • Canned salmon (I always use wild Alaskan), quinoa, and diced apples/butternut squash
If you have more ideas, please share them!  I would love some new ideas, too! FYI, I used an idea or two from Parents and Babycenter.

Follow along on Pinterest, I am always pinning new, fun, and easy meal ideas. Don't miss any new content by signing up for email notifications (look for the box in the right sidebar)! I have lots more food ideas and developmental info for your babe!

If you are just beginning the process of moving to table foods see How to Transition Your Baby to Table Foods and How to Wean from the Bottle.



112 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! I'm so excited I came across your blog because I have a 10 month old who I'm struggling to impress with many foods thus far...this gives me some new fun ideas. Thanks so much.

    -Amanda

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    1. I am so glad you found it too! The transition to table foods can be challenging, I hope this helps. Stay tuned because I will be putting out a post in the next couple of ways on how to actually make this transition. Nice to hear from you!

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    2. My 15months old baby didn't eat anything..she have 4teeth up and 2teeth below....i don't know what kind of food i can give her...even rice she don't want...i don't know what to do....can somebody help me..

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    3. Hi Che-che, I know this is so frustrating. I would recommend looking at my posts on How to Transition Your Child to Table Foods. You can find it in the sidebar under popular posts or in the menu bar under Article Index. Also, she doesn't need teeth to chew, their gums are sufficient. Focus on crunchy meltable foods right now like graham crackers, cheese curls, gerber puffs. These are great beginning foods, especially for kids that are having a hard time eating. Also, eat with her and leave your mouth open so she can see you chewing.

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    4. Thank you so much for the ideas! My daughter is 10 months and wants nothing to do with her jar food anymore. She loves eating finger foods and isn't at all picky. I was just running out of things and didn't want to keep doing the same old. This was very helpful for me.

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    5. Thank you so much for your posts! I was having a hard time with my 10mo as well. He didnt really want puree anymore but he would gag with anything else. I started with the puffs like suggested (first pieces and finally he picked up the whole thing and ate it). After a little over a week he is now eating soft pasta and veggies. Not keen on meat but I'll take it slow and keep working with him. Anyways came back to get more ideas. So glad I found your blog! Thanks again!!!

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    6. That is great! It will take some time, it has only been a week! Sounds like you guys are on the right track!

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  2. Thanks for all the great ideas. I just found your blog and I am excited to check it out! I have an extremely picky three year old who seriously could care less about food and I get very frustrated trying to come up with ways for him to eat new food. I also have a 16 month old who was an amazing eater until about 1 month ago, and now has decided to follow in her brother's footsteps. I look forward to getting more ideas from you.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, I am glad you found your way here, there is a lot of info so don't get overwhelmed. Feeding our kids can be sooo hard! Start at Basic Strategies in the navigation bar and then read through the posts, even the recipe's- I usually give some good tips at the end! I hope it helps, let me know how it is going!

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  3. I, also, just came across your blog and while this is the only post I've read so far, I am so happy to have found you!! I have a 2-year old who Is not much of an eater and it's making me mental! I'm so excited to see some of what you've written before and what is yet to come. Thank you so much for this!!

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    1. I hear you, really, I do this for a living and my own kids can push me to the edge with eating! There is lots of info on the site, I hope you can find some tips and strategies that will help! Good Luck and let me know if anything was helpful!

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  4. Love this list! I am also glad I came upon your blog this list will be prefect for my 10 month old.

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    1. I am so glad too, thanks for the comment!

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  5. This is so helpful! I have an almost 11 mo old who is actually a great eater and interested in anything I'm eating, so I hope it stays that way, but I'm always looking for new ideas!

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    1. That's great! Glad the list will be some help!

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  6. Finally!! I have been scouring the Internet for a list like this and a how to serve. Thank you for your time of putting this together!!

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  7. This list is fantastic. My 1 year old has been "starving" all day long lately and I've pretty much run out of ideas of what to give her that will really fill her up. Meal time is hard. She's a great eater and will eat just about anything you put in front of her (and has the teeth to do it, too), but I struggle with knowing what to make for her. Typically, she eats what we eat for dinner, and does well with it, but she gets hungry 10 minutes after the meal is over which makes me think she's not getting enough. I try to curb it by giving her water to drink during the day, but I'm not perfect at it. Any tips for how to satisfy a bottomless pit so she doesn't get "fat" in the bad, obese sense? She's a little chunker, but she's a healthy chubby...just always hungry. Anyway. Thanks for the tips! :-)

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    1. Well Mandy, this is a good problem to have! It is difficult feeding any child at this age, it is such a time of transition. I have a couple of recommondations... First, feed her every 2.5-3 hrs apart with nothing but water in between. This is a normal appetite cycle. Give her milk with the meals. Provide a protein, carb, and fruit/veggie, at each meal, even snacks. Try to keep meals to 20-30 minutes. Give her as much as she wants to eat during these meals and when you see her losing interst end the meal. I would try to stay away from feeding her again few minutes later, you want her to learn when it is tie to eat and when it is not, BUT don't put too much pressure on yourself, it is a process! You guys will find your groove soon! Hope this helps!

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  8. This is a very helpful list for my almmost-2 yr old who is getting pickier about her foods day by day. I loved the list and the variety it has. A good friend recommended this blog and it is very helpful. I will keep you posted on how it goes with my daughter.

    Because you are an OT I had a question, my daughter has never been a very social girl, always very shy/scared, cries (sometimes hysterically) when our friends come over or we go for a party or get togethers. She is almost 2 and now our neighbors just dont like to deal with her since she is a "cry-baby". Me and husband and our caregiver are very patient with her, she has no trouble around us.Is there a good way to handle this, does she need an evaluation? Could you write something on kids like her if you have seen them and what was done. Thanks a bunch!

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    1. It is difficult for me to say if she needs an eval, but I have two pieces of advice. One is talk to your doctor, even if it is a sick visit. If you are concerned that warrants a visit. Second, you could just do an eval, they are totally play based for kids at this age and at a minimum it would give you some piece of mind.

      If it were me, I would try to give her regular opportunities to play with other kids in her age group. Ease into it with maybe only one other child at first. Be prepared to back off if she gets overwhelmed. Keep trying, it will get better. As for the neighbors, forget about their comments, people are good at being insensitive and judgmental. I will definitely consider writing a post on something related to this in the future. If you have more specific questions feel free to send me an email, we may be able to do a phone or skype consult.

      So glad you find the blog, make sure to check out basic strategies to improve eating, too. I think it will be of some help. Definitely keep me posted!

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  9. My sister sent this my way, and I'm so glad she did!! My son is only 7 months, so we're very early in this process, but I remember the challenge we faced with my daughter around this age! What great ideas, thank you!

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  10. Thank you so much! It is wonderful for me to hear that it is of some help. Stay tuned, my next post will be perfect for your lttle guy, I am writing on how to teach your baby to drink from a straw.... hopefully it will be up tomorrow!

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  11. This is great! I am starting more to introduce the foods I am eating to my son. He just turned 9 months old and just started finally getting teeth. He pretty much loves all of the jar food I have been feeding him with the exception of squash. I have been struggling to know exactly what I should give him so I am thrilled that I came across this post! So the dairy foods such as shredded cheese and cottage cheese as well as yogurt is okay for a child under 1? I look forward to reading your other posts!

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    1. I know the tranistion to table food can be so overwhelming! First off, I would say check with your babies doctor and then decide on how you want to handle the dairy. Most docs endorse dairy around 9 months as long as it isn't straight milk and it is introduced slowly. It can mess with their digestion, so watch for any changes in their diaper!

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  12. Amazing - This will give us some new ideas for my son 9 months, who has oral aversion and gagging "issues" from being intubated many many times. He likes food so this will help us - anything to gain some more weight!

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    1. Pat yourself on the back for being so proactive! Weight gain can be so stressful, sounds like you are on the right path, though. Good Luck!

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  13. These are a great help, thank you! I have a question. You suggest serving a meal with at least one preferred item. I've done this in the past, and my son (also an Isaac! 14 months old) will eat the preferred item and throw the rest on the floor. What do I do then? He's still hungry, do I give up on the new items and give him more of the preferred food?

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    1. Great question! At this age what they eat isn't really up for discussion. As they approach 2 and older you can start to say things like, "You need to try (or eat) some of everything on your plate before you have more." When you get to this point be careful though, generally I try not to use one kind of food as a reward for others. However, they need to understand that they are expected to at least have a little of everything. For now, all you can do is encourage. Try to feed them a bite of the non-preferred in between bites of something they really like. Not in a sneaky kind of way though, you don't have to hide it. Keep trying, I promise consistency is the key! (P.S. Issac is a great name, isn't it!)

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  14. I have a 10 month old (just turned yesterday) and this is so great! Thanks! Question—Do you make your own Zucchini bread? Do you have a good recipe you wouldn't mind sharing? :)

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    1. Congrats, the first year goes so fast, doesn't it? I do make my own zucchini bread and use a different recipe just about every time because I have yet to find one I really like. I also go for one with as little sugar as possible, which usually means honey. Most docs are ok with cooking with honey, but you may want to check. Here is the last recipe I used, it was pretty hearty, my then 10 month old loved it. I doubled it and froze an entire loaf and muffins, so we have been eating it for a while!

      http://www.simplebites.net/how-to-make-the-best-zucchini-bread-ever/

      I omitted the chocolate, but it definitely would have been great with it.

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  15. I just came across your blog and I can't escape it! I have 10mo twins that were born at 29w. Sensory is HUGE and I'm ALL about it! Thank you for the fresh ideas and thank you for new food ideas too! My daughter is loving table foods and straws and now I have some ideas to get my son up there too! LOVE it! Thank you again!

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  16. Great list! My son is going on 9 months. He was introduced to pureed solids early at the advice of his doctor (4 months), but we went slowly because he's a breastfed baby and we want to preserve that. He is a huge eater. Gobbles up meals of anything I give him. Loves lots of healthy veggies, anything blended with brown rice, etc. And still breastfeeding as much as ever, drinking water from cup and straw...yet he is stil a pinch under weight, not on a worrying way...just in a really fast metabolism way. He is often hungry. I pray his immense interest in food continues. He has only 2 bottom teeth but is using his jaw actively to ' chew' and signal hunger so I think we are nearing a time for table food, pending the go ahead from his doctor. Will try your ideas then!

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  17. Great list, but I think it should mention that egg whites and fish are potential allergens (I couldn't see this info anywhere - apologies if you have it and I missed it!)

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    1. I don't think I mentioned it anywhere specifically. So many foods are high allergens. Parents need to discuss what their comfort level is with introducing new foods. Most doctors recommend waiting 2-3 days between introduction of new foods. Personally, I didn't do that, but that isn't the right decision for all. Thanks, Yvette!

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    2. Any suggestions for a dairy intolerant baby? We are 18 months old and still heavily rely on baby food :(

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    3. Any suggestions for a dairy intolerant baby? We are 18 months old and still heavily rely on baby food :(

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    4. Mandi- I know this can be really tough! I would try and focus on crunchy foods first like crackers that are dairy free. They can be hard to find, but if you keep reading labels you will come across a few. Also, try plain rice cakes, double check, but I believe those are dairy free. I would encourage you to try as many table foods as you can and move away from the baby foods as he tolerates it. Let me know if you need more help!

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  18. I am so excited to have found your website! My son is 15 months old and we are in the process of working with a Speech Pathologist and starting an OT this week. He's been making some progress but it's hard to think of food items that are easy to chew (he's still mashing quite a bit). This list is very helpful! Hopefully he is successful with some of them so he's not eating the same thing every day! Thank you for this great blog! :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for the comment. So glad it is a help!

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    2. I just tried the zucchini bread you suggested on another comment. My son ate a whole slice! :) I have had such a hard time with veggies, that he usually still eats baby food puree. I finally have a "table food" veggie! Thanks! :)

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    3. That's great! Try to build off that now. Try other breads, mix shredded carrot or yellow squash. Try it in muffins. Maybe even venture out to fried zucchini pancakes.

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  19. any suggestions for meal variety for my 16 Month old who has severe milk, peanut and tree nut protein allergies? He does well with fruits and veg as well as grain and carbs and we do soy milk, veg oil based margarine and rice cheese, but he's not a huge fan of the protein category with his only consistent preference being the soy milk. He will eat chicken sometimes or beans sometimes. Is there something else I can try to fill in his protein gap?
    Thanks, I love your site, all the info has been really helpful!

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    1. So many kids at this age struggle with protein and you have a harder go at it for sure. Will eat casserole? If so, you could mix bits of salmon or tilapia, the latter being very mild. Also, could you cut of bits of chicken or beans and add melt into a grilled rice cheese or quesadilla? Ham, sausage, and "healthy" hot dogs might be good to try as well. He may eat those diced up.

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  20. Wow this is a great list. I have two little girls and my youngest daughter is 13months old and has struggled with eating. She wouldnt eat baby food until she was 7 months and has been eating table food for a little over a month. Everything we tried she choked on (might have been texture issue) but now that she's eating I've been so nervous to try new things because of my fear of her choking again. This list helps soo much!! Thank you Thank you!

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    1. Wonderful! I understand you caution, but try not to be too cautious. Try things slowly. It would be texture if she is gagging as soon as it touches her tongue, but may be another issue if it is after it is in her mouth. If it is the latter you do need to be a little cautious. Also, try to have a neutral reaction when she does choke/gag. Kids will respond even to that negative attention or fear from you. Good luck, let me know how she is doing!

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  21. This list is fabulous! I have a 9 month old who is having a hard time transitioning from bottle/baby food to food, she really only likes bagels and bread :/ but this list is great! I will try

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  22. This list is fabulous! I have a 9 month old who is having a hard time transitioning from bottle/baby food to food, she really only likes bagels and bread :/ but this list is great! I will try

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  23. My 9 month old has decided he doesnt want to be spoonfed anymore. Very independent little boy. Some of the items on your list I hadnt thought of to try for him.Alway worry that hes not getting enough variety since I seem to go to the same foods all the time.

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    1. Try to get him to spoon feed himself! Glad the list a help, yes variety is important!

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  24. Honestly, I cannot say thank you enough for what you have put together here! You are awesome and this is a great resource for new moms that have young children that are no longer interested in eating baby food. My little girl is very independent but has been eating baby food since she was 8 weeks old and now at 8 months she refuses anything offered to her on a baby spoon if is not yogurt. And it is a bit un-nerving trying to figure out what I can and should not offer her off of our plates.

    Last night alone she decided she no longer wanted the rice cakes, and will only eat the puffs as a snack anywhere not in her high chair.

    So again thank you for all of these awesome ideas!!!!!

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  25. so glad I found this!! thank you!!

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  26. Wonderful ideas!! Thank you!

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  27. I just found this and it is so helpful! My son is 9 months old and I've been having trouble thinking of things for him to eat for every meal. Love that you provided such a great list!

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing your creative and nutritional ideas! This is so helpful.

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  29. I have been very stressed about what to start feeding my one yr old. This has been a lifesaver!! Thank you so much!

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    1. I am so glad Tiffany! Good Luck!!!

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  30. Hi there ,i am desperatly seeking help for my grandaughter she was weaned at six months but she was not weaned properly in my mind, it was called baby led weaning no structured mealtimes just when she wanted to eat but allsorts of things not jarred foods but what an adult would eat she has always been a very bad sleeper,and her mum breastfed untill the was 30 months,she is a very bright baby as she reads books from cover to cover and has been doing this since she was two also her speech is amazing from two years,she recently saw a pediatrician as regards her eating and reading i was so full of hope he would be able to help with her eating the thing is she seems to be afraid of food and she will not touch any food with her hands as it freaks her out its not being naughty she truly panics if she gets a crumb on her she will not touch a cup you have to feed her from the cup and the only liquid intake she has is a cup well a tiny cup and a half of milk every day,we can get her to bite a sandwich but if any part of it gets around her mouth she panics as with bananas,a biscuit or a crisp this is her diet and i am so scared she will end up in hospital having to be drip fed she also suffers chronic constipation as no veg or roughage no cereals no grains no nothing please help if you can she also stores the food we can get down her in her mouth for up to two hours at a time and ends up having to have it removed as she builds up so much saliva she knows if she opens her mouth it will get on her face and clothes and she will freak,having said that she loves her bath and will get wet all over no problem but the slightest bit of dust or fluff on the carpet she will panic so badly or anything strange like sand as we got her a sand pit she will only use the shovel,but water the garden and herself and me the dog it does not phase her we need help please anybody reading this thank you .

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    1. I am so sorry that your grandaughter is in this situation. I can only imagine how stressful it is. There is a lot of information on this blog about help for kids that aren't eating well. If you look in the menu bar at the top, there is a list of every article under "Article Index". I don't know where you are in the world, but I would look into feeding therapy for her, which is usually don't by a speech therapist or an occupational therapist like myself. If that isn't an option I do offer consultations at a very affordable rate, with a variety of options. I would have a lot of questions before I could you specific advice.

      Generally speaking, try to encourage messy play outside of meal time. Think sand boxes, finger painting, etc. Take it slow and follow her lead with this. Keep doing it until she is fairly comfortable with it. Also, try to get her on a regular routine with eating. Let her use utensils so that she doesn't have to touch the food. I think there are a large variety of issues that need addressed here and there is professional help. Again, I am so sorry for your situation. Please let me know if I can help in any other way, even if it is to set you in the direction of services in your area.

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    2. Thank you i am in the u,k, i have tried with the finger painting and she did it once but had to be cleaned up quickly as she started to freak out we got her sand box for her and she will also, i forgot to mention fuss the cats and dog with no qualms whatsoever and she does freak a bit when the dog licks her hand we have also got her to hold the dogs gravy bones and let him take them from her she will wipe her hands afterwards and also the cat treats and she will hold a spoon and fork but feed invisible food to her toys or the dog there is never food on the spoon or fork as she breaks her heart crying if i as much as put a tiny bit of anything on it she is not being naughty she is genuinly afraid,but if for instance you ask her would you like something to eat honey she will say yes or no and we go through the options this even
      ing she asked for a sandwich and managed three bites before she started to squirrel it away and her parents were here with her and just ready to take it from her mouth and i just said rayne nanny is gonna catch you and giggled she also giggled and said no catch you nanny and she chewed the food and swallowed it as we were both giggling and i chased her up the living room and her mouth was empty and i gave her praise for eating her bites of sandwich and told her its in your tummy now good girl and she told me i had to have my lunch and i must swallow my bite of her sandwich which i did and we went on like that so two finger sized sandwiches with ham and cheese on were eaten without tantrums her mum was stunned as was i but just that giggling helped somehow and her mum is going to try it at home i know its only a small victory and a lot of things need addressing but baby steps as you have said,she also can not stand fluff any size or shape and her mum said when she was in the kitchen and rayne was in her chair next door she screamed mummy fluff and was petrified her mum is well used to this and ignored it untill the babby said mummy quick its running on the floor and the sofa and got really frantic she went to see what was running on the floor and the sofa and got the babby out of her chair and showed her its just a spider not fluff and the babby was made up it was a spider and said hello to it and everything called it leggy and wanted to stroke it she is petrified of fluff but a big hairy spider is her best friend go figure her poor mum however is the most scared person i have ever seen with spiders and will not go in the loo if there is even a tiny one there she will ask me to take it out or kill it i think its bad karma to kill them so let them go in the garden,however the doctors follow up apointment is in december and we are having to fill in all sorts of things about her how she interacts and she is a very loving child and gives cuddles and kisses but does not go to pre school so has no interaction with her peers and her cousins are miles away so we are on our own the parents were told to get her in pre school or a morning group but her sleep is so erratic they cannot thank you for your interest lorraine,

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    3. Hi Lorraine, I'm sure she is a beautiful girl with many strengths outside of eating. The best simplest advice I can give you in the mean time is to stick with foods she has shown interest in or at least tolerated. Keep presenting these foods or foods similar to them, making just small changes. However, try to have enough different foods so she has something different for each meal. It isn't good to offer the same thing all day long. Also, choose foods that make minimal mess. It will be easier for her for now. I hope this helps a little! Again, let me know if I can be of any more assistance!

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    4. Thank you we try and present allsorts of stuff i am going to try the toothpick one as she has not had that one yet and no fingers involved may work its all worth a try, she is so precious and they have offered her a nursery place for 52 weeks but as she is still in nappies none of us want her to go i do not know if you know about the sickos in the uk that were abusing babys that could not tell, one of them was a woman and several of her workmates were also doing it (sick bastards) women and men it was so disgusting and if there is a playgroup she can attend with her mum she will go but as i have said before her sleep is so erratic its almost impossible to take her anywhere i will be brutally honest i think her mum and dad have been so lazy and have never got her into a routine of anything i brought both of mine up alone and had set bedtimes it was wind down time and bath and bed every night and wash up and breakfast every morning they never went to pre school and they would eat what i cooked for us and fed from a spoon from the word go her dad would always spit his veg out and so i hid it in other ways to make sure he had all the nutrients and i introduced water between feeds so both of mine would have it in a cup when they could use one as its very hot now in the uk i worry she will get dehydrated and she will not hold a cup at all and my advice is just not taken at all but thank you for all your help i really am glad to know that we are not alone in this thanks again lorraine.

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    5. I know it is so hard to figure out why and what the best thing to do to move forward is. It does sound like she has some underlying sensory issues that may have been compounded by some of the circumstances you described. Good luck!

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  31. Thank you for providing this list. I have 18 mth old boy/girl twins. My daughter does well with everything but veggies and my son struggles with everything. I've even resorted back to baby jar foods like sweet potatoes, squash and green beans just so they can get some veggies. Hadn't thought about making zucchini bread or something similar and love the idea of freezing it and using it when needed. I will definitely try that this weekend. Another problem I'm struggling with is that if I place more than one item on my son's tray, he will automatically pick up what he likes and eat one of them and then proceed to throw everything else on the floor. Once his tray is clear of the foods he doesn't like, he will then continue to eat his favorite until its gone. Sometimes, he will stop when I tell him "no", but then proceeds to mash it between his fingers until its unrecognizable. My daughter eats way too fast and tries to cram everything in her mouth and when I block her mouth with my hand and tell her to "wait", she tries to move my hand so she can cram in more. She hasn't choked yet, but my fear is that she will one day. She finishes eating in half the time of my son. I've considered feeding them one at a time so I can focus on each of them, but the idea of prolonging meal time sounds torturous to me. Besides, last week my pediatrician recommended I butt their highchairs up to one another so that my son can see my daughter eat the foods he doesn't like in hopes that it will change his mind. Doesn't appear to be working yet and not sure how long I try this method. Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!!!

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    1. The throwing can be so hard at this age- I know from personal experience! Try to stay on top of him about it and when he starts to mash between his fingers change it up in some way- give him a dip, make it fun and exciting. Make sure you demonstrate. If a dip doesn't work then see if you can get him to interact in some way, can he pretend it's a car driving around his plate? Eventually I'd imitate smelling the car and giving it a kiss. Try to get him to imitate you. Check out more on this Exploring New Foods with Your Picky Eater- see the article index at the top. Also, I offer consultative services, see the top menu. Lastly, if you are in the states, you will qualify for free in home state early intervention services. Hope that helps- let me know how it goes!

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  32. OMG! Thank you so much. It's been a long time since I did this. I'm taking care of a friend's baby while she's in the hospital unexpectedly and boy, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. This list was really helpful and especially the picture showing what size! everything should be. Awesome and very helpful.

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    1. Well, I'm glad I could help:) Good luck!

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  33. Hi :) This lust looks really promising for us. I have a 9 month old daughter who previously would eat anything. Now she refuses the spoon and just wants bread and bready-type foods. I am offering a variety, and letting her have a go with her own spoon and bowl, but very little is going down. We have gone from bf'ing just mornings and evenings to maybe 5 times a day. I love to bf, but I am concerned that she's not getting enough 'real' food.

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  34. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. You are a life saver. I could kiss you right now :-)

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  35. this is wonderful!!!!!

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  37. Hi! Thanks so much for this! My daughter just turned one 2 days ago. She's still on pureed foods, but have slowly been giving her a few solid foods (some fruits, puffs, scrambled eggs). I just transitioned her from formula to milk. She's drinking about 20 oz of milk, 5 oz 4 times a day. Should I be changing when I give her milk? Her schedule is as follows:

    Formula when she wakes at 6:45/7 am
    Breakfast at 8 am
    Nap
    Formula at 11 am
    Lunch at 12 pm
    Nap
    Formula at 3/3:30
    Dinner at 5:30
    Formula at 7:30
    Sleep for the night at 8:00 ish

    Any advice would be great!!! I'm very excited to start trying some of your meal plans!

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    1. Yes, ideally you want to get her away from bottles and into drinking milk from some type of cup. Give her the milk with her meals. Start by eliminating one bottle, at a time, which ever is easiest. Also, make sure to give her 2-3 solids on her tray at each meal. If you run into more difficulties getting her off of baby food I am available for consults- no pressure, just wanted you to know:) Good luck, let me know, how it goes!

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  38. Hi! My daughter is 15.5 mo and up til about a mo ago was still eating purees-granted the thicker ones, but she had no interest in table foods or finger foods. Finally I had enough and started putting mashed berries into her yogurt and breakfast pouches (purees) to give it some texture. it wasn't an easy transition, but now it is easy! We also add cheerios. Now for lunch and dinner she eats mashed potatoes with veggies (I cut them in very small pieces) and instead of putting a gravy on it to make it moist, I do put some carrot and broccoli puree bc it is healthier, but she is eating chunky mashed potatoes! She loves ravioli mac and cheese, could live on yogurt with fruit etc. My prob is she can pick up food, big pieces, small pieces, whatever, and foods she eats, foods she LOVES, puts them up to her mouth, then just is like EH and throws it to the dogs or just smooshes it in her hands! She wont eat puffs, cheerios or any other snacks (crunchy). She loves finger painting, playing in sand and all of that stuff. Any idea how I can get her to eat with her hands?? She does show interest in a spoon. We now feed her with a spoon she will eventually use to feed herself and she grabs it and sometimes takes the food off of it and we have even seen her put it in her mouth upside down. She is a far way off from using it by herself, but she does show interest! Any advice would be wonderful!

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  39. Question here....how do you store it all without it going bad. I cooked a normal amount of rice/noodles etc and she is going through it so slow that I am afraid it will spoil. Any good tricks to keep it fresh and accessible?

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    1. Ya, that can be a bit tricky. I freeze what I can and make stuff in small batches. Of course, it is great to eat what she is eating to, so eat some with her:) She will be eating more before you know it, and this won't be so much of an issue.

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  40. Thank you! This is SO helpful I have a nine month old and I have a hard time remembering she can eat real food! I'm so used to only puréed foods and cut up fruits and veggies. She is such a picky eater too, she won't eat the same thing twice!

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    1. Thanks! Just keep trying those foods and keep everything positive:)

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  41. Great ideas for food. I am having a tough time with my one year old right now. He refuses to eat sometimes, but am wondering if I am trying to feed him too much. Do babies this age need snacks? Also, what kind of portion sizes should I be aiming for? I should mention he still gets formula in the morning and evening, but milk all other times. Any advice is appreciated!

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    1. Hi! Kids at that age won't eat sometimes. I would think about weening him off the bottle totally- take it slow, but move in this direction. Also, see my basic strategies in the menu bar at the top- I think that will be really helpful, follow those steps and you will know your on the right track:)

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  42. These meal ideas has definitely given me some insight. I have been so stressed about what I should be feeding my child. He just turned a year and was born at 27weeks. I've been trying to transition him for the last month, but we just moved across country and still trying to get settled so we have not been cooking healthier meals like we normally would. Some days I'm just not sure what to fix for him and revert back to the baby food cause like you said it's easy. I want him to learn healthy eating habits and he does eat a variety of foods, he's not too picky. We are also just now transitioning him off the bottle. Most of my stress I feel like just comes from being a first time mom and not knowing what I should be doing. But thanks for the advise, I have my grocery list ready! :)

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    1. Thanks so much Candyce! It is difficult navigating all of this when it is your first! Let me know if you need more help!

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  43. Tasty ideas. I like the taste of those foods and when some are mixed with cheese and sauce, they should be memorable. Plus, those kinds of foods are supposed to be good for colds and overall health- at least, the fruit, meat and vegetables are. Thanks.

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  44. Thank you!! So glad I found this!

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  45. So glad I found this list! My 13.5 month old son, Henry, us doing well with table food and drinking milk. But right now will only really eat bread, cheese, cheerios, peas and sometimes fruit. His favorites really are any kind of bread/cheese combination - or tortilla/cheese combo. I feel bad giving him this over and over but he really likes it - I have tried tofu, fish, etc. He does get a variety ar daycare so he's getting choices during the day and at home. Can only hope he starts accepting more and more new foods in the coming months.
    Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Melanie, be careful not to cater to him too much. Give him some of what you are eating even if he refuses it and try to set a good example. See my Basics to Eating in the tab at the top of the page for more information.

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  46. I love the list. You thought of things I had not! Some other things I have found are the frozen raviolis and some casseroles (like chicken and rice) work great especially if they have vege's included. Another thing I make are egg frittatas. My babies' favorite is made with kale, roasted cherry tomatoes and topped with cheese. I store it in the fridge and we eat on it for breakfast for 4 days. I'll put some fruit or yogurt with it to change it up a bit,

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    1. Thanks Tonia, sounds like you got your daughter's eating habits off to a good start!

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  47. Hi there, I just found your site today and am reading intently.....
    I'd love some advice: my son turned 1 last week and eating has never been an issue. He will eat anything and has the chubby legs to prove it. I am not much of a cook so I am still working on making him more real menus as opposed to foods put together to make a meal, or buying too much processed food, and this site will help me so much with that.
    The problem I am having is that my son eats with both hands, stuffing as much as he can in his mouth at once, and often audibly SWALLOWING instead of chewing. I'm afraid of a couple of things: choking and overeating. How do I get him to slow down and chew (I do sit there and immatate chewing and say "chew, chew, chew" but if I cover his food with my hand he pushes it away and grabs more. Should I slow the whole process down and only put a couple of peices on his tray at once? He also goes to daycare so I know they will not watch him as closely as I would to reinforce better chewing. Thank you, Lindsay

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    1. Hi Lindsay, this is such a great question. It is really important that he chews. You are doing the right thing by showing and telling him to. I would definitely only put a few pieces on his plate at a time. I would also check out my post How to Transition Baby to Toddler Food part 2. In there I discuss techniques to promote chewing. I think they will be of help! Good luck, let me know how it goes.

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  48. I just found this post and your blog through pinterest! My almost 15 mo old was always a good eater and would eat almost anything put before her until about a month or so ago. Now all she wants is fruit,"puffs", cheese, and chicken. And sometimes not even that. So glad I found all your suggestions and I have also been looking for recipes to "hide" veggies in (found one for zucchini "tots" on pinterest) so that I can get her to eat veggies!! She doesn't seem to like eating pork chops or roast, but I wonder if that could be a texture issue? Loves chicken, turkey, ham, and lunch meat (though I try to limit the lunch meat). She eats fruits wonderfully (all kinds) and likes cottage cheese/yogurt etc. Any other tips would be much appreciated!!

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    1. Hi Jessica, glad you found your way here. I would definitely check out my basics to eating, which is a tab at the top of the page in the menu bar. Start to implement these steps and make sure she isn't having anything but water in between meals. Meats are really difficult for kids especially at this age, try to stick to softer things like meatballs, salmon, chicken nuggets, etc. Good Luck!

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  49. Hi... I came across this blog very late I guess... My son is 17 months old still doesn't feed himself anything. As a baby he never mouthed any toy.. I don't know what to do. If I give him table food he just throws it away. He doesn't even hold his own bottle or beaker.
    Really in need of help.
    Thxs

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    1. It is never too late, tara, there is still time. I would give him teethers, still and dip them into applesauce or yogurt to encourage him to mouth them. It is important for him to chew on these, as it helps with chewing and feeding. I have a post on how to teach your child to self feed. You can find it in the popular posts in the section in the side bar or in the article index in the menu bar at the top. In the mean time keep showing him, putting your hand on top of his, helping him as little as possible.

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  50. this is exactly what ive been looking for! thank you! so glad i found this! :)

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  51. Great ideas! Do you have any healthy lunch and dinner recipies appropriate fire my 11 month old? With my husband always gone I never really cooked much when out was just me here. I struggle to know simple, but nutritious recipes for the while family, but that are safe and appropriate for my 11 month old. Can you help? Thanks!

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    1. Yes, see the end of the post, I have a bunch of meal ideas listed there. Also, if you look in the article index under recipes you will find more- almost all of those are geared towards first foods or can be easily adapted.

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  52. Great ideas, this will help me to feed my 16 month old on different food choices.

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  53. The meal plan is AWESOME! Do you have any ideas for snacks? I'm having a tough time trying to find quick and easy-to-eat snacks for my 11 month old. I'm tired of always giving her crackers, puffs, cheerios, and crunchies but she only has 6 teeth right now. So it's hard finding something fast, healthy, and easy to breakdown.

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    1. Thank you, glad it is helpful. I would try cut up fruits, as an addition. You can also do dehydrated fruits, if you are on the go. Also, think of using dips for crackers like hummus or guacamole.

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    2. I actually have given her hummus and she licked it off of the crackers! Lol. Good ideas! Thank you! :)

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  54. This is incredibly helpful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  55. This is a really good list. My 13 month old son is getting bored with my homemade baby food. He is still being nursed and will not drink whole milk. Should I try mixing it with breastmilk?

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    1. Yes, I definitely would. Start with very small amounts at first and every couple days add a little more as he is tolerating.

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    2. Okay. I will try that. Thank you. I can't wait to try some of the food suggestions. My son is bored withthe ground beef and ground turkey I've been feeding him. He eats a lot of veggies, but I think he is eager to try new things. This list is really helpful for a working mom like me.

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  56. I'm so glad I found your blog, but now I'm freaking out that we've ruined our 11-month-old's eating habits as he's still 100% on donated breast milk and formula and organic baby food pouches. We've been trying puffs on and off for the past month, and he's just now getting the hang of them. Please tell me we haven't screwed him up completely (first-time parents, obviously)!

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    1. Oh my goodness, no you have not! Follow these steps and see the articles on transitioning to table food for help- they are in the side bar or the article index in the menu bar. Definitely focus on table foods now without stressing yourself or the baby out. Let me know if you need more help!

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    2. Hi Kristen, my name is Victoria and I just found this web-site, read the article, scrolled down and saw your comment. Dont EVER think you ruined anything about your child, I dont even know you and I'm sure you are doing 10000000% of the best you can. My daughter just turned 1 year old and she just started chewing. All babies are different. As a Mom that is going through postpartum depression I just had to comment and tell you not to freak out and dont ever think you screwed up his feeding habbits!! He wont go to college on breast milk and formula LOL!! xoxo

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  57. Wow great ideas. Thank you. I've been trying to transition to table foods. This will make it easier to have food and meal ideas.

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  58. My little girl just turned one. She looks great but she is in the 3rd percentile in weight, which seems to concern my doctor a little. However, her frame is just petite (exactly how I was when I was her age). To put it in comparison her head circumference is only in the fifth percentile, but her height is in the 75th. She quit eating baby food a long time ago, something about the texture. Her pickiness isn't as much of the issue when trying to get her to eat real food as is her attitude. She wants to be independent. We are doing our best with variety and just letting her eat on the go, as she won’t sit for long. She doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite either. Her brain development is amazing. She is recently obsessed with the new baby mommy is going to have and at her recent doctor’s appointment she went over to the doc and untied her shoe before I could get a chance to stop her (haha and doc was impressed). I tell this just to show how great this area of development is. She also walks (no runs) all the time. I am worried about her eating habits but not necessarily her gaining weight. My question is if gaining weight is an issue, should I NOT try to get her eating less bottles of formula (around 24 oz a day). She won’t drink whole milk or pediasure and she has a very sensitive tummy. For the first 9 months of breastfeeding I couldn’t eat tomatoe sauce or any dairy. We have also been having issues with constipation and I’m wondering the best way to keep this in check as well. We do miralax, benefiber, and caro syrup (seems to work the best and not make her sick). I try to do as much fiber in food as I can and avoid cheese, but she loves cheese and it’s great for her gain weight. Whether or not she will eat anything I put in front of her is a constant guessing game. I need something to aid in her potty going so I can focus on helping her gain and keep up weight. I just switched doctors and am trying to development a eating plan with her. However, I’m curious for your input. Your sight has been very helpful!

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  59. Thank you for posting this mega list. It is so helpful and nice to have all this great info in one place. Great Article.

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  60. Thank you SO much for posting this! I have a 9 month old and have been looking everywhere for menu examples, as he is starting to ween off baby food. This is fantastic!

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