Should I Be Worried That My Baby Isn't Interested in Food?

 

No, there’s no reason to be worried just yet. 

There are three parts to my answer here. The first is about meeting your baby’s nutritional requirements. 

The second is about baby readiness - is your baby physically and developmentally ready to start solids foods?

And thirdly, it’s about building a positive relationship with nutritious whole foods. 

At  7 month, your baby’s main source of nutrition is still breast milk or formula with solid foods  being “complementary” to this. As long as they are still having plenty of breastmilk or formula, their main nutritional needs are still being met. 

All babies are different and grow and develop at different rates, and while it’s hard not to compare your baby with everyone else’s, doing this, can create a whole lot of stress for yourself!

There are a few reasons your baby may not be keen on solids yet; 

They’re simply not ready yet. 

They are still learning how to how to use their tongue and mouth in an entirely different way to breast or bottle feeding. Eating also takes quite a bit of coordination, which can take time to develop too. 

A strong tongue-thrust reflex

If they have a very strong tongue-thrust reflex, this might mean that they keep pushing food out with their tongue. This usually starts to diminish at around 6 months, but can take longer in some babies. 

They don’t like how food feels

Solid foods feel very different in their mouths than milk and this can take some getting used to. 

We teach our children what and how to eat with every meal, every snack and with the language we use around food. Your baby is watching everything that you do and your relationship with food will become their too - so be aware of your own feelings about food and be a positive role model for your child by showing them that you love to eat nutritious whole foods too. 

My recommendation is to continue offering your baby a range of different foods - this could be a teaspoon of puree or a piece of steamed broccoli on their high chair tray to play with and explore the different tastes and textures at their own pace. 

Don’t force them to eat if they’re not interested - this can have negative long-term effects  - for example, they may associate foods with negative emotions. And try not to get frustrated or stressed about it as your baby will pick up on your feelings. 

By keeping meal times light and fun with no expectations of how much they are going to eat, you are more likely to help them to build a positive relationship with food. 

One more thing to note -  your baby’s appetite may also change from day to day or week to week - they may be ravenous when they’re having a growth spurt - then eat very little for days. 

This is typically nothing to worry about and completely normal. Just like us as adults, there will be times when they are hungrier than others. 

But loss of appetite can be a concern, so it’s  important to keep a close eye on your little one to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.

Reasons that could affect their appetite include;

  • Growth spurts
  • Teething
  • Illness
  • Food intolerance
  • Constipation or
  • Vaccinations 

If you have any concerns, always see your child health nurse or GP.  

I want to reiterate this point - YOU are the expert in your child, you know them the best. If you have concerns, never doubt yourself - it’s always better to check things out. 

If you want to learn more about this, then I go into more detail on this topic and much more in my “Get it Right From Their First Bite” Program for introducing solids… so scroll down below this video and click on the link to find out more about the program.

Click on the button below to learn more about the "Get it Right From Their First Bite" Program.        

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