This post is brought to you by Plum Organics®. All opinions are our own.
Transitioning your baby to solid food isn’t supposed to be hard. Most babies just sort of naturally go through the stages to solid foods. By around 10 months, they’re ready for fingers foods. It’s not supposed to be a challenge. Unfortunately, my son completely missed that memo.
I kid you not, I thought Jacob was going to start preschool still eating stage 2 baby food! Transitioning my baby to solid food was more than a challenge! It was an epic journey! The thing is, he transitioned from a strictly liquid diet to cereal, stage one and stage 2 without a single problem. The moment I added any sort of chunks or real texture to it, though, he stalled.
How do you deal with major challenges in transitioning your baby to solid food?
When I say “stalled,” I mean he completely refused to move on from that stage 2 food. We were well past his first birthday and moving towards his second birthday. I finally got him eating cereal puffs, but that was as far as it went. I knew he couldn’t spend the rest of his days eating puffs and baby food. By his second birthday, I admitted I needed help. How did I handle it? Here are my tips, from personal experience.
- Talk to your doctor…sooner than later. I assumed that Jacob stalled because he was a preemie. Then I thought it was no big deal, he’d move on when he was ready. By age two, I finally admitted that he should be eating more than just stage 2 baby food and talked to my doctor. He recommended an Early Intervention Program.
- Use free therapy resources. Jacob was already in the Early Intervention Program because of his speech delay. I found out that they offered occupational therapy for eating challenges. They brought in a magnificent therapist to help me and Jacob transition to solid food. The program is free of charge to parents of all income levels.
- Keep a log. During those challenging months of transitioning your baby to solid food, you’ll be experimenting like a mad scientist, trying every flavor and texture imaginable. Keep a log of your baby’s reactions. Even if he refuses it, make note of his face. Did he like the smell? Did he seem intrigued by the texture but not the flavor? Every detail matters.
- Try different textures and flavors. Speaking of textures, try everything! Maybe your baby will surprise you and like the crunch of cereal or smoothness of a peach. With Jake, his delay seemed to be as much about texture as taste. Thankfully, Plum Organics has an incredibly diverse variety of both flavors and textures, so you can experiment away while making sure your baby is getting the best ingredients possible.
- Make it fun. Jacob’s therapist turned every session into a game. They played color games, where Jacob tried several foods of a single color. She let him thread cereal onto a big string or get messy with whipped cream. I know we grew up hearing “don’t play with your food,” but this made a huge difference in getting him to try new things.
- Try, try again. Just because your baby refuses, say, zucchini, on the first try doesn’t mean he’ll never like it. Try it combined with different flavors next time! Plum Organics makes this easy by repeating flavors in many different ways. Also, if you find something your baby likes, try it mixed a different way next time to expand his palate.
By age 2.5, Jacob was eating some solid foods finally. He’s always been a picky eater, but that part is all my genes. He enjoys a variety of textures and flavors. In fact, he loves things that I wouldn’t touch! Yes, it’s frustrating when you face challenges transitioning your baby to solid food. Just hang in there, though. You WILL get through it!
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Did you have any challenges transitioning your baby to solid food? How did you overcome them?