Dear Is This Normal,
Is it normal for my baby to not be eating finger foods at 11 months? She will pick the food up and throw it on the floor. She will eat puffs, yogurt melts, and toast, but she doesn’t like touching certain foods and if she does, she throws it on the floor. I’m getting really anxious because she’s almost a year old and I see all these other babies eating table food and I feel like she’s going to starve when we switch off formula. Help!
Not Sold on Solids
Dear Not Sold,
This is totally normal! Oh man is it normal. Not only is it normal, this is all part of the process when it comes to fully transitioning off purees and bottles and onto big kid foods. Your daughter is at an age where she’s picking up new skills left and right, she’s learning new tricks and habits and starting to process an INSANE amount of information in her developing brain. Her picking up and throwing food? As annoying as that is, playing with food is sort of par for the course right now. You say she’s not eating finger foods, but mama, she is—she’s eating puffs, and yogurt melts, and toast. Those are finger foods! Her palate may not be very adventurous right now, and she may be taking her time trying new foods, but she’s definitely eating the Toddler Trifecta of table and finger foods. So it doesn’t sound like there are feeding concerns.
Remember when you started her on solids all those months ago, and your doctor told you that she may reject foods a bunch of times before finally deciding she likes them? Same applies at this age and this stage. Most kids aren’t naturally “picky” eaters. They may have slight aversions to certain textures or strong flavors, but generally speaking, they’ll usually try a food if you put it in front of them, and will eventually learn to like it after trying it enough times. Are the foods she is rejecting all similar in texture? Maybe switch it up a bit—if she’s not down with softer foods like noodles or scrambled eggs, try different textures like roasted veggies, tofu or polenta crisped up in an air fryer. Give her one or two small pieces at a time so she can’t toss them all over the floor. Experiment with flavors by giving her a little sauce to dip her finger foods in—kids LOVE to dip! Ketchup, ranch, even just a little bowl of Greek yogurt are all great options.
Another pro tip, make sure that you’re not offering solids AFTER she has her bottle—you want her to be hungry, so you can offer table foods before she tops off with formula.
Now, this one is going to sound a little strange, since we assume toddlers and finger foods go hand-in-hand. And they do! But what if you changed it up a bit? Get a toddler fork and spoon, and let your little one use them to feed herself, rather than making everything a finger food. The concentration required to use the utensils will likely hold her attention for longer than using her hands, and she’ll be less likely to fastball her dinner onto the floor this way.
Lastly, make it a point to sit down with her at meal time and eat the same foods you’re giving her. Kids mirror what they see from us, and when she sees you enjoying your food, she’ll be more intrigued to try what’s in front of her.
Most of all, have patience, mama. Patience with her, and patience with yourself! You’re not raising all those other kids—you’re raising this one, and she is going to do things on her terms (welcome to having a toddler!). If her doctor isn’t concerned about her weight, then try not to stress about it. She will eat when she’s hungry, and if some days all she eats is toast and yogurt melts, that’s OK! Everyday isn’t going to be a gourmet homerun. You take the wins where you can get them, and you WILL get some more mealtime wins soon, I promise.
Keep Trying to Close the Sale,
Is This Normal