my good/picky eater.


sigh… all of a sudden my once great eater will hardly eat anything, leaving mom frustrated and a bit drained.  he still eats a fair amount of pureed stuff which we’ve been constantly trying to ween him from but he has always had a tough time with certain consistencies of food.  therefore, he doesn’t like to chew a lot.  plus, his bottom two first molars are popping through so I’m wondering if that could be part of the not-wanting-to-chew culprit?  lately, he only prefers to feed himself but has no clue how to eat with the spoon yet.  {we try and each time it results in a gigantic mess – but I know he’ll eventually learn!}  I cut up things like blueberries, corn off the cob, beans, etc and put it into a little bowl and he LOVES to eat that way, but the second I try to feed him the same thing with a fork, he spits it out!  even *gasp* strawberries.

any thoughts, advice?



  1. 4


    Brooke R. said:

    Juni is a great eater and at 18 months still doesn’t use a fork or spoon much. I just make sure her food is pick-up-able. If Wolf will eat most things by feeding himself with his fingers then I say just do that for now.

  2. 4


    Amy said:

    My 6 1/2 year old still prefers to use her hands;-\

  3. 4


    jocelyn said:

    our little guy just turned 1 and while we never did purees he still has some texture issues. he’ll spit out anything with a skin (like peas and tomatoes) but he’ll eat blueberries if we cut them in half. babies are weird :) we’ve been sticking to anything soft that he can still pick up (well cooked broccoli, bits of spinach, sweet potatoes, soft fish and chicken, fruits, etc.)

    don’t worry about the spoon and fork, it’s still early! hide them for now and he’ll eventually want to imitate you! i think it’s natural for them to want to only feed themselves, especially at this age. i highly recommend the book Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley if you haven’t read it already!

  4. 4


    Lauren said:

    I agree with Brooke, for months now I’ve only given Colin food that he can feed himself, so try to expand on that. If you’re concerned he still needs the veggies that pureing try giving him the squeezes that he can feed himself.

  5. 4


    Claudia said:

    Bah, don’t worry! As far as I’m concerned, it is perfectly normal! Your kid won’t starve himself to death. Just take it easy. Even if it is frustrating, try to enjoy your meal (do you eat at the same time…a family meal)? When the parents are having fun eating, it is more tempting for the kid to eat…well, I think!

    With Alice, since she eats exactly (well, 95% of the time because I can have once in a while a hot dog craving!!!) the same thing as us, I just make sure that there is one meal with food that she really loves. I don’t push anything but I realized that some food act as “starter”…like she will be more open to eat her entire meal after she had, I don’t know, cauliflower (she loves it).

    About the spoon, it will just happen one day…just like that. Alice eats with a spoon her yogurt, cereal, apple sauce…and, yes, I have to wash the floor after ;) Except for soup, she is on her own using her fingers (or her spoon) and, let me tell you that the dog is getting crazy with all the food that goes on the floor!!!

    We are “teaching” her to use a glass and to keep her plate on the table. It is far from perfect but we make it a positive experience and one day it will happen…when she is ready.

    All that to say that stuff like that is NORMAL. Our babies are still very young and food is a very bizarre universe for them.
    Take care mama :)

  6. 4


    shayna said:

    E was an awful eater for months and months and it is, indeed, exhausting and frustrating…hang in there. When she showed more interest in using the spoon, I would give her one and while she was busy trying to use it, use my spoon to feed her…which worked pretty well. E just started to really master the fork and spoon now, at 18 months.

    Also, our Dr. (and also our favorite book) said that they really only need a couple of tablespoons of food each day and that especially while they’re working on walking and teething that you shouldn’t be surprised if their appetites change frequently. The book advises to look at the entire week to gauge food-intake as it changes so drastically day-to-day.

    Side note: When E wasn’t gaining enough weight, I ended up weaning her from nursing (on the advice of our Dr.) so that she would turn to food for more sustenance…it was hard but totally did the trick.

  7. 4


    Meg said:

    My Suggestion would be to try placing the foods he likes or is more likely to eat in several little plastic bowls, some kids like this and find the food more appealing if its in a bowl. Let him use the utensils of he wants to, it’s messy but the more he uses them the faster he will improve!
    Otherwise, I would recommend placing the foods you want him to eat on a plate in front of you, not him, and eat them with him. Babies and toddlers generally want what you are eating, I find the girls I care for will eat ANYTHING off my plate but won’t eat the exact same foods from their own tray.
    Don’t stress too much though, he will come around, feeding babies is frustrating, they love something one day and won’t eat it the next, just keep offering different foods and retrying things. Good luck!

  8. 4


    Daniela said:

    I agree with Claudia, family meals have really improved my daughter’s appetite! Also, I think they learn in their own pace, so for now, making food fun and exiting is great, and the spoon will come, Olivia still only eats with her fingers and she just passed a couple of weeks with a nasty cold that made her miss her appetite and it has been the biggest struggle to get her to eat. (We even had to use Shaun the Sheep and Baby Einstein to get her to open her mouth and get some food in her), but it passed, and now, she’s back to normal, so, that is one lesson I keep learning over and over again: Everything passes and things come in their own time. Good luck :)

  9. 5


    C Rooney said:

    I just read this on Cup of Jo and thought it was useful.
    I hope it helps.

  10. 5


    Helen said:

  11. 5


    Mfree said:

    You should check out the Baby Led Weaning cookbook or book. They have a ton of great ideas for food that babies can handle and feed themselves. We’ve been doing it for about 3 months now and out little one loves it!

  12. 5


    charlotte said:

    hey alison
    we did baby led weaning with louis, started when he was 6 months old, it really works, it is a hands off approach and all about letting them eat at their own pace so as to avoid fussy eating… he eats anything and everything, get the book and give it a go!

  13. 5


    Rachael said:

    I think we’re just a month behind you, and Lux has no interest in purees either. (but our teething days are just beginning now)
    a few favorite finger foods these days:
    sliced bread spread with tahini
    pinto beans, with a little olive oil drizzle
    cut up avocado, mango, banana, asparagus, etc
    brown sticky rice with sesame seeds
    strawberries dipped in greek yogurt

    • 5


      Carmella said:

      A great book for encouragement is Child of Mine… It really assures you when your toddler’s diet ebbs and flows and gives you confidence in their preferences and style. Baby Led Weaning is also pretty great.

    • 12


      alyson said:

      great suggestions. I bought Wolf some english muffins and spread them with hummus and he loved it. thanks Rachael!

  14. 11


    Angelica said:

    I’m confused because it doesn’t sound at all like your son has an eating problem. Why is it so important that he knows how to use utensils right now? I say relax and feed him his purees and let him feed finger foods to himself. He sounds perfectly normal!

    • 11


      alyson said:

      thanks Angelica. sorry you’re confused! I’m not worried about the spoon and fork – as I mentioned in the post, I know it will come. more of my issue is that he WON’T eat things that he has to chew. he’ll take it into his mouth and chew it around for a bit then spit it out.

  15. 11


    Meghan said:

    I think it’s just a moment in time… My son is doing the same thing, and our sons share a birthday. :)

    Yesterday we had success with a frittata! Veggies, protein, finger food – not a puree, but it’s easy to chew! Good luck!

    • 12


      alyson said:

      thanks Meghan! we tried out frittata tonight with sweet potato, kale and caramelized onions – it was a big hit!!

      and happy belated to your sweet boy!

      • 13


        Meghan said:


  16. 27


    Mary said:

    Just keep trying. Everything you’re eating yourself. Kids go through phases.

  17. 11


    Angela said:

    Check out this book from your local library: How to Get Your Kid to Eat (But Not Too Much). It talks about the “neophobia” stage of development, when kids who once ate anything suddenly become freaked out by everything. Our 4 year old is still neophobic and subsisting mostly on Annie’s Mac-n-cheese and canned green beans. Sigh. The book also encourages parents to relax about all this stuff, which I needed to hear, for sure. As the author puts it, it’s the parents job to put good food in front of the kid, but that’s the end of your job. It’s the kid’s job to decide how much or even if they eat. Hard to let go like that, but it is super important in preventing food hang-ups that may plague the child for life. Good luck! To all of us! ;)