Mum Hema Canchi Jauhari wrote: ‘I am facing a problem with my 3-year old. He does not like eating any solids. He drinks milk only in the night. Can you help me with some ideas to make him eat?’
Mum Sonal Pandey wrote: ‘My baby is 09 months old. Initially he took daal ka pani or mashed fruits, but these days he is not eating, not even taking water. He is only taking breast milk. I am really worried, could you suggest something please?’
Dad Dev Shukla wrote: ‘Please suggest me how to deal with my 10month old baby. She does not eat anything, she only picks up food to make a mess of it. I really don’t know what to do!’
Mum Farah Fairy wrote: ‘My baby is 10 months old. Since the last 4 months I am trying to give her formula milk but she always rejects it. She never sucks the nipple. I have tried giving her fresh milk but she rejects that too. I give her milk when she feels hungry, but she still won’t take the bottle. Please help.’ This was another problem faced in the SOS Mom forum and you may find this article helpful.
We shared these parent problems in our SOS Mom forum and here’s what most of the parents had to say from real experiences:
- Divert their mind through games, stories and immediately put the spoon of food inside the mouth. Don’t give big bites as baby may tend to choke if not interested in eating.
- Try some variations in food. If they are not interested in solids, go for healthy liquid options like soups, dal, or even variations in solids like idli mixed with paalak (spinach) puree, aaloo parantha, mixed vegetable parantha, paneer parantha, and other variations that include some ingredient that your baby likes to eat. Giving ghee and sugar paranthas is also a healthy way to get babies to eat and provide instant energy.
- Take some spinach, tomato, daal, rice and capsicum. Boil everything in a pressure cooker. Grind and add little salt. Give as a soup and you can even use this water to add to other dishes.
- Dip a badaam in a cup of water and keep overnight. Drain the water in the morning and crush the badaam to make a paste. Add a teaspoon of honey to the paste and give baby.
- Babies’ taste buds keep changing and developing. If they are not showing interest in a particular food, dont give up. Give it again next week and keep trying.
- Sometimes, changing the environment can be fun. Pack baby’s meal in a tiffin box and take baby out to the garden. You can try and make baby eat while playing and taking a walk.
- Mixed soups like carrot-potato-apple or bottlegourd-potato-onion are delicious and healthy. Try some variations too.
- Try giving meals in attractive cups and bowls with favourite characters. Play-act with food, make a spoon a play aeroplane with foodie passengers on them that baby will eat!
- Sometimes, its okay to take the help of favourite television shows and let baby eat while being distracted. However, make sure you’re not making this a practice as it may create problems later.
- Do not force feed baby. Yes, mommy knows best, but sometimes, babies do know when they are not able to take anymore.
- Its a great idea to have a common meal-time. Watching others eat, especially other kids, is a great way for making baby eat up too.
- Let others in the family make baby eat too. Sometimes, its good to bring a change in face. So let papa, grandparents, aunts, uncles take to the baby bowl too.
- Do not bribe to eat food.
- Talk to your kids while you make them eat. If they are younger, talk about things that interest them. If they are school-going, talk about what they did at school and other activities that interest them. Talk about daily routine and things that baby sees – like birds, animals, people etc.
- Letting baby eat from your own plate is a great way of encouraging your little one to eat and feel like a grown up.
- Start giving baby bites from the family pot. Avoid too much spice, but start on same meals as the family, after baby has crossed a certain age and doctor has advised it’s okay to start eating with others.
Parents who sent their valuable suggestions:
Komal Goenka, Neha Kulkarni-Chavan, Preeti Vyas Parashar, Alka Tayal, Shruthi Aasoori, Divya Sundaram, Ridhi Ashish Abrol, Jayashree Vijay Kumar, Dhanashree Ranade, Nisha SharmaDurbakula Lakshmi Sakuntala, Namrata Samel Dixit, N Mukesh Vyas, Minal Chatterjee, Rachita Yogesh, Poorva Ranjan