I thought that my daughter didn't like solid foods until I realized that she didn't like me putting the spoon in her mouth. When I allowed her to try to feed herself, either with the spoon or with her fingers, she dived right into the solid-food experience! Sure, it was messy at first, but eventually she became somewhat neater.
Self-Serve Baby Food
My 9-month-old daughter decided one day that she no longer wanted to be spoon-fed her baby food. But she wasn't ready to hold the spoon, and she had very few teeth. So I spread the baby food onto slices of whole-wheat bread and broke them into tiny pieces so she could feed herself. She loved the freedom, and I was glad that she was still eating well.
When my 10-month-old son started eating canned peaches, he had a hard time grasping the slippery pieces. So I put some wheat germ into a plastic bag and added the peaches. I shook the bag to cover the fruit, then gave him the coated pieces. The nutritious wheat germ makes the peaches easy to grip.
Yeah for Yogurt
When my twins first started eating solid foods, I often fed them dry cereal for breakfast. To minimize the mess, I mixed in custard-style yogurt instead of milk. This worked wonderfully because the cereal would lump together, and the twins could pick up the clumps with their fingers. Eventually, they began to use spoons and had an easy time keeping the yogurt-covered cereal on the utensils.
Start with Greens
With my first son, I introduced sweet things like custards and pureed fruits before green peas or squash. As a result, he spit out all the vegetables and ate only fruits. With my second son, I introduced pureed greens and orange vegetables before he learned to prefer sweets. He ate them with gusto. He also liked the fruits with I gave them to him a month later.
Trickery Doesn't Hurt
Our foolproof method for getting our 7-month-old daughter to eat vegetables is to feed her a spoonful of fruit followed quickly by a spoonful of vegetables. She tastes the fruit first and doesn't even realize that she's eating the vegetables in the next bite.
So Long, Sticky Fingers!
Our 10-month-old daughter's hands always get sticky during mealtime, but she hates to have them wiped. Since she loves baths, however, we found a solution: After meals, we give her a "finger bowl" -- a bowl filled with warm water -- and let her splash away. She may get wet, but we're just happy she gets clean without a fuss!
Kate and John
A Great Way to Eat Together
My husband and I used to feed our son while we ate our own dinner, because we wanted to sit down as a family. But we soon realized how difficult it was to feed ourselves and him at the same time. Whoever was feeding him had to devote full attention to the task or he got mad! Switching off only meant that my husband and I wound up eating cold food. So now, we feed him right before we eat and then put him in his swing chair by the table.