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Should I Feed Baby the Foods that Make Her Cringe?

By Esther Haynes |

Hazel's sour face

Hazel's adventures in solid foods

Well, Hazel got over her hatred of bananas —now she loves bananas!—but has transferred her dislike to carrots. So currently we get the sour face and body shivers every time we feed the baby carrots. Is this going to happen with every new food? My fiancé bought her peas to try, but I don’t know if I can even give her those, because the thought of having to eat runny peas seems so disgusting to me, I think I’ll have a hard time not puking myself.

Anyway, for comfort, I looked through this slideshow of sour faced baby videos, and all I can say is, I can totally relate. This is what I’m looking at every day when I feed Hazel, who is six months old, her new solid foods.

But I’m going to continue to try to give her a range of food, because when I was little, I had so many food allergies, I never wanted to try anything new. And now that I’m older and eating a wider variety, it’s still a drag, because there are some items that I would really like to like but am just repulsed by. Such as eggs, which taste (and smell) disgusting to me, even though, strangely, they always look delicious—so I feel like I am missing out when I go to brunch and half the menu is off the table for me. Thus, my goal is to feed Hazel a variety of baby foods at a young age to try to get her used to new things. Including everything that I, myself, hate. I’ll just have to learn to be a good actress when I’m doing it.

So here’s my question: How many times should you try to feed baby a certain food before you give up? I mean, if she cringes and spits it out the first five times, should you even bother trying a sixth? And how much is nature vs. nurture—can she learn to like something if I pretend I’m really enthusiastic about it? Fill me in!

More from Esther:

Do You Just Let Your Baby Cry at Night?

‘Is Santa Real?’ Should You Lie to Your Kids?

Tips on How to Travel With Baby

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About Esther Haynes


Esther Haynes

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6 thoughts on “Should I Feed Baby the Foods that Make Her Cringe?

  1. Lou says:

    You should defiantly keep trying her with new food, it can take many many times (up to 10 times I think I read?) for a baby to get used to the taste, so don’t give up for a little while yet!

  2. Danielle says:

    Yes, keep trying. Also, we gave vegetables before fruits, so that our daughter wouldn’t just get used to sweet and reject the vegetables.

  3. Jill says:

    Before 12 months, solids are simply to introduce new tastes and textures. It’s not about nutrition, per se. The main bulk of baby’s nutrition is from breast milk (preferably) or formula. Solids supplement that. If a baby does not like a certain food, leave it. There should be no pressure…. if a baby gags, it is likely that her tongue thrust reflex is not developed enough and she is not ready for solids in the first place. A baby can very happily subsist on only milk until at least 9 months or so with small spoonfuls per day of solids.

    No solids should be given before MINIMUM of 6 months. And after that, small tastes can be offered slowly.

    It is a myth that veggies should be given before fruits. Breastmilk and formula are sweet enough, that baby already knows those tastes.

  4. Stefani says:

    I feel you on the peas. I mixed organic applesauce in with the peas to give them a more palatable flavor. It does take at least 10 times for a baby to decide if they like something or not. You just have to keep introducing it, maybe in different combinations. My son is now 10 1/2 months old and I’ve given him everything from Indian Curries to African stews, plain split pea soups and homemade chicken sweet potato purees with spelt pasta and apples. He is an avocado freak. Some of the foods he tried 7 times before (handing most of it to our dog) and now suddenly gobbles them up. I think the important thing is to offer a variety. So if they don’t like one thing, they can try another. I always offer just a little bit of steamed pears or apples, organic cheerios, avocado, diced sweet potato, or whatever I have on hand. Sometimes he’ll play with the food for a while and I think “Man, he doesn’t like any of this” but then after a while, he eats it all and our dog is getting fewer handouts.

  5. Heather says:

    I’ve heard it can take up to 14 tries for a baby to adjust to new foods. Mine rejects ALL cereals. But she loves fruits and veggies. I’ve tried mixing some of those into her cereal, but she still rejects it. My pediatrician said to lay off the cereal for a week or so, then try it again. I figure that would work with other foods, too.

  6. Samira says:

    babies taste buds are always changing and developing thus she may just need to “grow into” the new taste keep trying every few weeks or so

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