Why does your baby refuse solid food?

When to introduce solid foods?

When your baby is ready for solids, she will show you. Different babies are ready at different times. Before you start feeding your baby solid food, check with her doctor or nurse. It's important that she is healthy and has used the toilet numerous times before starting solid food. To help make sure that your baby is six months old, use our checklist below:

  • Baby can hold her head steady when upright. Baby shows interest in food other family members are eating. Baby can sit up without support from another person or object (e.g., chair).
  • Baby starts trying to pick things up with thumb and finger around 4–6 months of age and uses an actual pincer grip by about 7 months. Baby tries to imitate others.
  • Baby is gaining weight or growing well, following her birth-to-five growth chart for length/height and weight.
  • Baby is breastfeeding at least 6 times a day.
  • Baby has not started crawling yet. When your baby starts solids, she will get new tastes into her mouth that will change the way she thinks about food later on in life.
    You don't need to start with the same food every family member eats, but you do want to watch for any reactions she might have so she can start making some of her own choices later on in life about what foods are okay for her body to eat based on how it makes them feel when they eat it (e.g., make them feel sick so they don't eat it again).

How to give your baby solid foods?

Let your child eat by herself. Don't try to feed her or help her in any way. You want her to make associations between eating and feeling full. If you hold the baby and even take a bite for them, they don't compare it back to their own hunger and what causes it like they would if they did it on their own. So let them do things on their own as early as possible so that learning can happen faster and more naturally because you're not doing anything to 'help' the process along.

When you introduce solids, start with one food at a time and only give it to your baby for 3–5 days before adding another. If your baby reacts badly to something (e.g., rash, diarrhea), wait two weeks and try again just in case she was having an allergic reaction that will go away as she gets older or if the food was not agreeing with her system for some other reason.

If you can't tell what is upsetting her body after trying more than one thing, stop all solid foods until you figure it out and talk to her doctor about getting tested for allergies because there is no point giving her something that might make her sick right now when she needs nutrients to grow properly and stay healthy! Babies change their diets very quickly and unexpectedly, which can make it hard to tell what is upsetting your baby's stomach. Her doctor will know the proper testing for allergies and how long it takes currently.

Remember: Solid food won't stop her from getting all of the nutrients she needs from breast milk or formula (food works as a supplement at this time, not a replacement).
If she wants more than you offer, let her have as much as you want her to have—just don't push her beyond what she wants because that might backfire later on in life if they're not full when eating "healthy" food options but still think they are because they were forced as a child to eat something whether they wanted it or not. Instead of force-feeding her, you might try making her favorite food and seeing if she wants to eat those types of foods instead of what you normally give her.

It is never too early to introduce solid food; an infant's digestive tract matures between 6–12 months, so it is ready for solids around this time. If your baby has not started eating solids by 6 months, talk with her doctor about when would be the right time to introduce them (not before 4 months).

When your child starts eating solid foods, they won't need milk anymore because breast milk or formula will provide all their necessary nutrients. You can continue breastfeeding or offer whole cow's milk (3.25% M.F.) until 12 months of age but after that, you can switch to lower fat milk (2% or 1%) because your baby will not need so much fat anymore and it is important for her body to get the right nutrients.

What food can you give to the baby?

However, not all solid food will be appropriate for a baby. Special care should be taken when choosing the food to give to the baby. The mother should consider some important things while choosing the food for her baby.


Vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and roughage that are needed for growth and development. There are many vegetables that can be given to the baby. However, it is also necessary to consider any allergies or intolerances of the child while giving vegetables to him/her. The following points will help you in understanding about varieties of different vegetables that may be suitable for your baby at various stages of his/her growth:

Vegetables can be introduced to a baby when he/she is 6 months old. At this stage, only one vegetable should be given in a week. Introduce one vegetable at a time and then you can increase the number of vegetables that you are giving to your baby.

  • Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, etc., may cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth of the child if given raw. So they should be cooked properly before serving to the child. If there is any history of allergies in your family, while introducing different types of vegetables and fruits, you should consult your doctor about it so that precautions could be taken while feeding such foods or fruit to your baby.
  • Bottle gourd, potato, and carrots when given in large quantities to the baby, can cause constipation. So care should be taken while giving these vegetables to your child.
  • Spinach, pumpkin, green peas, etc., are rich sources of iron and calcium. These vegetables should be introduced cautiously to babies who are under 6 months because it has oxalates which could interfere with calcium absorption by the body. Spinach also contains a high amount of nitrates. Consumption of spinach by your baby may result in methemoglobinemia (blue baby syndrome).
  • You can give one vegetable at a time or two different varieties together but avoid mixing more than 2-3 types of vegetables together while feeding them to the baby.
  • Tomatoes are not suitable for babies under 6 months old because they contain an amino acid called asparagine which could cause vomiting and diarrhea in the child. This problem will be completely resolved in a few days after stopping the consumption of tomatoes in your diet. If you want to give tomatoes to your baby, do it only when he/she is at least 12-15 months old.
  • Green or black olives are not appropriate for children below 5 years old because they may contain high amounts of sodium that could lead to elevated blood pressure in children.


You can introduce fruits to your baby when he/she is 6-8 months old. Only one fruit should be introduced at a time and it should be given for at least three days before you give any other fruit to the child. This is because there could be some allergies or intolerance of a particular fruit, so it is better to find out first if your baby has any problem with a particular fruit.

  • Fruits like apples, pears, and grapes can cause choking in babies under 8 months old. These fruits may block the windpipe of the baby because he/she does not have enough molar teeth to chew these fruits properly. So avoid giving such fruits to your baby until he/she is at least 8-10 months old.
  • Banana, orange, strawberry, etc., are easily digestible by babies over 6 months but they must be mashed before feeding them to the baby.
  • Papaya, mango, and peach should be given to your baby when he/she is at least 10-11 months old because they contain a substance called salicylate which could make the child irritable and hyperactive if given in large quantities.
  • Avocado is one of the most easily digestible fruits for babies but you must introduce it only after 1 year of age because it contains personal to cause, which can vomiting and diarrhea in young children.
  • Berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc., are good sources of Vitamin C that are needed by babies for proper growth and development. You can feed them mashed or pureed form depending on the age of your child.

Grains and cereals

These foods are highly nutritious and good energy providers for babies, but care must be taken while introducing these food items to your child's diet. Cereal and grains like wheat, rice, etc., form the staple food of many countries, and infants can also be fed with such cereals. After 6-8 months of age, you can start feeding them wheat cereal mixed with milk or water after cooking it properly.

You can add a pinch of salt if that is liked by your baby. But remember not to give too much cereal since it may harden in the intestine and cause constipation in some children, especially those under 1 year of age. So gradually increase the amount of cereal as he/she matures and tolerates it well.

  • Rice should be given to your baby after 8-9 months of age because it is the least allergenic cereal for babies.
  • Oats, cornmeal, etc., can be introduced when your baby turns 10-11 months old because they are rich in fiber content which will help in binding the stools and facilitate easy bowel movements.
  • Wheat should also be given to the baby only after 1 year of age because it contains gluten that could cause allergies in children before 1 year of age. Gluten intolerance can damage or destroy cells in the small intestine called villi which are responsible for nutrient uptake from food.

Why does your baby refuse to eat solid food?

The reasons may be different for different babies. It may be that your baby is just too small to eat solid food or that he/she does not have enough teeth to chew solid food. In such cases, you can feed him/her milk and milk products. Some other possible reasons could be the refusal of the child to take in new tastes, textures, or even a sudden change in taste or smell due to a cold, infection, or some seasonal allergies in the child's environment.

Possible solutions

Here are a few tips to help you solve this problem: First of all, keep a close watch on your baby's weight and height because if his/her growth begins falling below normal then it might be an indication that something is wrong with his eating habits.

Secondly, always try to feed your baby at regular intervals and attend to his needs of thirst, etc. Thirdly, you must take note of any food that is causing allergy in the child. If you notice yellowish stools or diarrhea after feeding him/her any particular food then avoid that particular food for some time. Fourthly, never force your baby to eat solid food since he may reject it no matter how tasty you make it by adding salt, spices, etc.,

Finally, remember that a child may refuse to eat solid food because he/she is not mature enough but this does not mean that she cannot be fed healthy nutritious foods. So do not put too much emphasis on the refusal of the child to eat solids, but do keep a check on her growth because it is the only way to keep your child healthy.

Bottom line

So, if you notice that your baby is refusing to eat solid food then do not panic because probably he/she may be just not mature enough for it. Only increase the frequency of meals and introduce new flavors gradually in his diet. If your child does not show any signs of improvement even after trying all these tricks then consult your pediatrician immediately.