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My toddler refuses table food
Q: My 19-month-old son refuses most table food. He’ll eat yogurt, frozen pops, pudding and applesauce, but he turns his head when I try to offer anything with texture. I’ve tried sneaking food in his baby food, but he’s gagged and even thrown up. Do you have any advice?
Heather Raleigh, N.C.
A: Heather, take away the baby food! As long as you continue to serve it, he won’t take the challenge to move on. Start with foods that have texture but are soft, like toast and scrambled eggs, which require him to learn to chew before he swallows. He will probably give you a hard time for a day or two, but you shouldn’t back down.

By not eating enough table food, your son’s not only lacking variety in his diet – he’s not developing his jaw muscles appropriately. Unless there is a physical reason why he can’t progress to table food, there is no reason for him to stay on baby food. Continue with the yogurt, pudding and applesauce but consider juice-based frozen pops instead of the regular ones, which provide no nutrition.

Susan M. Leisner RD, IBCLC, RLC Nutritionist & Lactation Consultant