Diary of a Supernanny – “My son won’t eat lumpy food!”09/02/2012 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Supernanny, Top Tips, Uncategorized, Weaning | Leave a comment
I was contacted by a very anxious mum whose 13mth old refused to eat food unless it was puréed to a smooth consistency.
Caleb had been weaned on purée at 6 months, which mum had gradually made lumpier. Initially there wasn’t a problem, but when Caleb reached 7 months he began gagging (and sometimes being sick) when trying to eat lumpy food. This made mum very concerned, so she carried on feeding smooth purées.
When Caleb reached a year of age (following the advice of a health visitor) mum was very persistent with re-introducing lumps. This lead to Caleb getting very upset at the mere sight of his highchair!
Our tactic was a three-pronged approach:
Firstly, we needed to change how Caleb felt about meal times so that he could begin to enjoy them. We achieved this by…
- Using the highchair for play-times to break his negative association.
- Taking the ‘pressure’ away from meal times by reverting back to puréed foods (which we knew he would readily accept/enjoy) and by introducing his favourite ‘story time’ whilst eating to make meal times enjoyable.
- Encouraging mummy to eat lunch with Caleb and for the whole family to eat tea together. The family had never eaten together but as soon as they did, Caleb showed a noticeable interest in what the rest of the family were eating.
Secondly, we needed to encourage Caleb’s interest in foods with texture. After he had eaten some puree at meal times, we done this by…
- Letting him ‘play’ with food on his highchair tray. This started off by offering food from mums’ lunch plate that Caleb had shown an interest in, like a cucumber or carrot baton, tomato pasta, chicken in a sauce, pitta bread, etc. It was VERY messy but he enjoyed smearing it around his tray and soon began putting the food in his mouth. At first he spat it out but it wasn’t long before he began chewing!
Thirdly, it was important to mum to break Calebs negative association with being fed lumpy food on a spoon. We achieved this by…
- Letting Caleb choose his own spoon, which was mainly used for banging and pushing the lumpy food around on the tray at first.
- The following day mum used her spoon to offer Caleb a spoonful of the food from his tray. When he refused, she stopped and tried again the next day. It took about week for Caleb to take food from mummy’s spoon and a little longer for him to chew rather than spit it straight out.
It’s been a few weeks since my last visit and I am delighted to hear that, after a lot of patience and perseverance, Caleb is now eating lumpy food from mummy’s spoon (and by himself!).