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He is 15 months old and is still not eating lumpy food!

Hi Leanne
My son Cohen is 15 months old and is still not eating lumpy food! I have to puree everything..I dont know what to do anymore, I feel like he is not eating foods that are good for him..has he just gotten into a habit or will he grow out of it? He is teething at the moment, could that be the problem?
Help, please....Haley

Leann...
Answer: Hi Haley, Yes certainly teething can influence their eating habits, swollen gums can of course lead a toddler to want soft foods for a time. But having said this if Cohen has never made the move to chunky foods it is probably a good time to look at some strategies to move forward. You may like to chat to your ECHN and ask for some tips or failing this an early childhood consultant should be able to give you some behavioural strategies to begin the transition. It is likely to involve slowly working up through textures, lots of praise and using any whole foods he does eat as a `spring board`. If though you believe that it may be more of a mechanical issue I would recommend a paediatric speech pathologist or deglutionist. Most hospitals can refer you to a local person and some have them on staff. They deal with all things oral and can pick up on issues from enlarged tonsils to tongue-tied. Swallowing is a skill that requires many mechanical factors to be in place. I hope that gives you a starting point. If there is no mechanical issue, you are likely to find that with a slow transition from pureed to mashed and then chunks that your toddler will move out of this phase, there is nothing easier than pureed food and it sure is a quick way to eat and get back to the fun stuff! So persevere, go slow, use his favourite foods to increase texture with, offer lots of finger foods and make them fun and he will come out of it. Cheery oh, Leanne
Answered: 22 Apr 2009