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I am always making her nutritious home cooked meals that end up going straight in the bin

Hi Leanne
I am getting a little concerned about my 10 month old daughter. She has progressed to the lumpy foods okay eg eats cheese chunks and soft fruits etc, but she is a real fussy eater. It feels like I am always making her nutrious home cooked meals that end up going straight in the bin because she just won`t eat them. I have tried disguising veggies in sauces, tomato based, cheese sauces etc and offer her a wide variety of meals like meat bolognaise, chicken casseroles and finger foods. But it seems the only thing she will religiously eat is the Apple & Oatmeal and the Sultanas, Fig & Oats in the Heinz Jars, cutards and yoghurts and cheese. That`s about it!

I am still breastfeeding 3 times a day and she has a formula feed in the middle of the day while I am at work, so I am hoping she is still getting the nutrients she needs from here. Is that right? Is it wrong to always give in and give her just the few Heinz jars of food that she will actually eat in the meantime until something else appeals? Meal time is becoming a dreaded affair for me, because it is frustrating that she won`t eat those things that I know are good for her.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
Rebecca

Leann...
Answer: Hi Rebecca, Yes fussy eating can be hard enough in the toddler years, let alone in bubs. Generally it doesn`t hit till about 14 months, so it is likely that at this age baby has picked up just how to get what it is she prefers. One of the issues with commercial foods is that they do tend to be softer in texture (for safety reasons often) and many varieties use apple juice as a sweetener. Babies innately have a preference for sweet and salty and once you `open the gate, the horse can bolt quickly`. Soft foods of course barely need any effort so it can slow the development of oral mechanics. You could try slowly `weaning` bub from the jars by adding in your food. Starting with a small amount in her usual meal, working up to greater and greater amounts until you can make the switch. Going cold turkey is an option but can be stressful and if you are already dreading meal battles who needs just a new battle ground. Yes, the breastmilk and formula will help with many nutrients and of course immunity etc. So its good to keep that in mind so you take breath easier. If you really find things don`t improve I would recommend an early childhood consultant for behavioral techniques to make the switch to home foods. All the best, fingers crossed, Leanne
Answered: 01 Jun 2009