Q: My 10-month-old is not interested in eating table food. He only wants baby food and formula. Is this normal?
A: A child’s interest in more complex textures of foods is highly variable. When the child is sitting well, begin socialization of eating. In other words, only feed the baby solids at the table when the rest of the family is eating. Try placing a few pieces of finger-soft food (soft enough to smash easily between fingers) on the high chair tray for them to manipulate on their own. This should be a food the child has already eaten as a purée. Solids from 6-12 months are given primarily to teach new flavors and textures—they are not a significant nutritional component except for iron. If a child is struggling with a flavor or texture, it may be helpful to offer it first when he or she is the hungriest. So relax, practice multiple types of foods, and teach your child to enjoy a wide palate of flavors.
R. Allen Coffman Jr., M.D., FAAP
President, Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
4519 Hixson Pike
Hixson, TN 37343