Food & Nutrition

Baby only wants to eat cheerios

I started feeding purees at 6 months, and shortly thereafter introduced puffs & cheerios to build the pincer grasp.  I've been trying to get away from the purees and instead offer finger foods since she is 10 months now and is perfectly capable of feeding herself.  She is not interested in eating most things I put on her high chair tray.  She was always a good eater with purees, and liked almost everything I fed her.  For example, she enjoyed pureed peas, but when I put peas on her tray she refuses to eat them.  She'll pick one up, squish it and then drop it.  I leave the peas there hoping she'll eat some and she doesn't and so after 15-20 minutes I test her and put down some cheerios and sure enough, she eats them with no hesitation.  So she is hungry, she just doesn't want to eat much else besides cheerios.  The same thing has happened with carrots, chicken, turkey, pasta, and many fruits (she's eaten all of these in puree form and seemed to enjoy them).  At first I chalked it up to teething, but it hasn't gotten better.  For breakfast she will eat toast or waffle, but that's pretty much the extent of what she'll feed herself.  I'm starting to get worried just because lately most of her calories are coming from breast milk instead of solid food and I know that pretty soon that has to change but I don't want to rely on spoon feeding purees anymore.  Based on everything I've read on here, most babies are eating anything and everything that mommy and daddy are eating.  Any other mothers experiencing similar eating behaviors or have any tips/suggestions besides to just keep trying?

Re: Baby only wants to eat cheerios

  • Eating cheerios doesn't necessarily mean she's hungry.  It means she's familiar with them, and knows they're food, and can go in her mouth.

    Pureed pees are very different than real peas.  They look different, feel different, taste different.  What she's doing with them is exploring that "difference" when she squishes it.  And the same is true for the foods she used to eat in puree form, but doesn't want in solid form.

    We started with "whole foods" not purees, and what you seem to be experiencing is the beginning stages of that - which is natural and normal.  They play and explore for a while before they actually start eating.  I'm sure that many of the babies who eat everything mom and dad do didn't start with purees and magically pick up solids and start chowing down. 

    Also, right now, she shouldn't really be hungry when you're feeding her solids. And it sounds like you're there - with the breastfeeding being the source of most of her calories.  As she starts taking in less breastmilk next year (by her choice or yours) the solid intake should increase because she actually will be hungry.
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  • My LO wasn't eating anything and everything that we eat at 10 months.  Not even now at 21 months, although he does eat a pretty good variety of foods.  At 10 months, he was good with purees, and took to some finger foods more easily than others.  I think it's partially a texture thing.  At least it seemed so for us.  DS loved carrots, squash, sweet potatoes in puree form.  He will eat carrots now but they generally need to be fairly soft for him.  Frozen carrots he's so-so about, which I liken to a texture thing, but he loves canned carrots.  He still won't eat squash unless we were to puree it and he seems to think the only way he will eat a sweet potato is if it is in the form of a french fry.  (And I learned that baked sweet potato fries are fairly yummy to me too).  He wasn't as keen on pureed peas, but loves real peas now.  They are one of our staple veggies. He doesn't like the texture of mashed potatoes now all that much, but if they are hashbrowns or french fries he will down them like he's starving.

    Everytime I felt like I was ready to give up and revert solely back to purees, he would start eating something new.  I also didn't completely cut him off from purees when he started eating more solids.  I would offer a mix of purees as well as foods with other textures. 

    Hang in there.  It's a process.  But it will come, I promise! 

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  • Robi1Robi1 member
    I think it's hard for a baby to switch gears from being spoon-fed purees to all of a sudden being expected to pick up pieces of food and eat them. Puffs, and to a certain extent, things like cheerios, waffles etc, will melt in her mouth and she won't need to chew as much. The texture is just different. This is one reason why we started with table food and skipped purees - so she wouldn't have to make the adjustment down the line, she has only ever learned one way to eat. 

    If you're worried she's only eating cheerios, my suggestion would be stop feeding them to her. I don't give choices for meals, whatever I serve is what we're having. If she wants it, ok, if not, then she can decide not to eat, but I'm not going to give her an alternative. She will eventually eat the foods if that's what you're offering, and she's hungry. Just keep offering a variety of foods and textures that are healthy and balanced. 

    There is definitely some exploration involved in early learning to eat as well! Make sure you give her plenty of time and let her play around with the food. Eventually she will put it in her mouth and realize it's food. 
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