Help! My baby doesn’t want to eat baby food

Do you have a baby who’s just started to eat baby food and is wary of anything new? Read parents’ tips on how to whet the appetite of those tiny diners.

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Happy baby eating baby food
Honestly, adults don’t like all kinds of food so we can’t expect that our children think everything tastes good either.
Photo: Johnér

Is your baby about to go from breastfeeding or bottle to eating baby food? You probably have either an easy-to-please eater or one who’s posing a bit more of a challenge. Maybe your baby has no interest at all in baby food and doesn’t understand why she needs to abandon her yummy milk for something that tastes and feels completely different.

Or it might vary from day to day, or between different periods and phases of development. Some days your baby simply does not feel like eating baby food. So what should you do to awaken your little one’s appetite?

Baby food doesn’t have to be bland.

We asked parents on Facebook about their best eating tips for babies and got a lot of great advice. Here are 7 tips on how to get your baby to like to eat food.

Getting your baby to like baby food – 7 tips

  1. Let your child be with you and watch you cook
    “Our little one is six months now and eats everything on offer – even what we don’t offer if she can get her hands on it. She thinks it’s fascinating to watch when we’re cooking, and sometimes gets to taste what’s she’s allowed to try. We even let her smell and feel the food if possible.”
  2. Eat together at the dinner table

    “We have a baby who eats everything, but then again we’ve let him sit at the table every time we eat. He got to taste what he wanted to taste and drank water from our glasses early on. He thought it was super exciting to see us gulp down our drinks and chew on food! So, my tip is: Always let your child sit at the table.”
  3. Let your child explore on their own — but have an extra spoon handy
    “Let your child eat and explore the baby food whatever way they want to, with their hands or with a spoon. Then you can have an extra spoon on the side filled with food that you occasionally sneak into the mouth of the little explorer. Has worked great for us.”
  4. Make it fun

    “You eat a lot with your eyes, so have a lot of color in the food, like peas, carrots and corn – colorful food. And to make it a little bit more fun we also make the food into different shapes. And last but not least, we buzz, hum or fly the food into our kids’ mouths, so then they usually give us a big smile and open their mouths.”
  5. Divide the food into small piles instead of mixing it
    “I work as a preschool teacher and I think that many children don’t want you to mix their food. They prefer when you divide the food up into small portions. Like corn in one pile, potatoes in another pile, fish in another one. So, that’s my best eating tip!”
  6. Follow your child’s interests and spice it up

    “Go by your children’s own interests and let them try a lot of different flavors and consistencies. Baby food doesn’t have to be bland or unseasoned. Avoid giving salt to babies but don’t be afraid to try different seasonings. Our youngest didn’t like baby food at all, but just wanted to have well-seasoned food, preferably with garlic and chili!”
  7. Let your child take things at their own pace without pressure
    “Setting a good example at home as far as food goes works best at home with us. I never force food on her – it’s better that she gets to try things at her own pace. Honestly, we adults don’t like all kinds of food so we can’t expect that our children think everything tastes good either.”

Baby food in other countries: What do Italian babies eat?