Since bub started solids, I have been trying different things to get him to finish what I’ve prepared for him at each meal. Over the last 5 months, I’ve observed that breakfast is the meal that poses the biggest challenge out of the three meals of the day. As bub’s attention span is short, he quickly loses interest in the food and starts wriggling around wanting to climb over my shoulder to look at the sofa instead (hmm sofa vs food… I think I’ll go with the sofa instead!)
I know from conversations with other mums that feeding bub is a big challenge so I’d like to share my ahem, ‘strategies’ that I use each morning to ensure that bub finishes his bowl of food.
1. I rotate the types of food I feed him to keep things interesting – one morning he’ll have rice cereal, second morning he gets wheat cereal, banana porridge and other mornings bits of hard boiled egg and so on. This exposes him to different textures and tastes and keeps him interested in his food. (Imagine if all YOU ate daily for brekkie was eggs and toast, here variety is the spice of life).
2. When I observe that he’s losing interest after a couple of spoonfuls, I try and distract him i.e. I’ll sit him on my lap, facing me and talk to him so he is forced to look at me, then sing his favourite songs and then spoon food into his mouth in between songs. He’s more willing to eat if I’ve occupied him with something else instead of mechanically trying to shove food into his mouth.
3. I play the ‘Airplane’ or ‘Car’ game with him where the spoon is the helicopter or plane and make it zoom around his head with the appropriate sounds like vrroomm or peep-peeep( horn of a car) and the minute he opens his mouth in glee, in goes the food. Thank God no one is home to witness this but hey it works!
4. If he’s being good, I let him play with a toy while he’s eating, he finishes his food faster – the distraction technique again.
5. If he’s unwilling to eat right that moment, after all the above techniques haven’t worked, I let him play for a few minutes after which I try to feed him again. Most often this works beautifully, I try and not let too much time lapse between these feeds.
6. Finally, consistency is key – I feed him in the same place and around the same time each morning. Babies respond well to a routine and this helps them anticipate what activity is coming next.
If you have enjoyed reading this post please leave your comments below on how you tackle the challenge of feeding your baby. Do you have any tips to add to the ones above?
Thank you Nina, Mommy Thoughts reader from Sleepingshouldbeeasy.com for her tip ‘ Don’t make a big deal out of eating. When parents are stressed out, the kids can sense that this can be a potential power struggle or cause of argument.Instead, make it fun and enjoyable. If he doesn’t want to eat the whole thing, check with your doctor and if they’re not worried then I wouldn’t be either’.