Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – General Food Refusal

Since having a cold my daughter of almost 7 months is refusing most solids

I started weaning Olivia at about 41/2 months, strictly following the CLB Book of Weaning. She took solids with no problems and seemed happy on them. About 4 weeks ago she got a slight cold. Since then she refuses to take her solids and is only happy with milk and water. Sometimes she will eat solids (rice cereal and pureed apple or pear) at the 6pm feed. We were at the end of the first stage of weaning when she got the cold.
Olivia is now almost 7 months and weighs 8kg. She has 4 milk feeds a day: 7.30am 240mls, 11.30am 180mls, 2.30pm 180mls, 6.00pm 240mls and 60ml of water at 4.15pm.
She doesn’t seem hungry as she is not looking for feeds earlier or waking in the night. She sleeps well from 7pm to 7am.

It can take a while for babies to recover from illness. Olivia probably found it easier and more comforting to suck rather than eat when poorly. You now need to get her taking more solid food. By this age she really needs to have some protein.
To help her have more of an appetite for her solids, begin to cut back a little on her milk. It would seem that she is filling herself up with milk and just isn’t hungry.
Feed Olivia her milk at 7am, and then offer her a small serving of cereal at about 7.30-7.45am. If she accepts this, then push her lunch forward towards 11.45am.
At 11.45am offer Olivia just 2ozs of milk before offering her some solids. If Olivia refuses the vegetables she was accepting before she was ill, try her with baby rice mixed with courgette puree. This is more like the solids she has been accepting at 6pm. Once she accepts this, replace the rice with sweet potato and gradually reintroduce the vegetables she enjoyed before her illness.
If Olivia still won’t accept solids at 11.45 after a small amount of milk, try giving her 2ozs of milk at 11.15am then a break until 11.45am, when you offer her solids. If she feels hungry, Olivia should be more willing to eat again. Once she is accepting solids at this feed, begin to introduce some protein, as the weaning book explains. Once protein is established at this meal, you can cut back on Olivia’s milk feed and then offer her water to replace it.
Milk can prevent the absorption of protein by up to fifty percent. As Olivia is formula fed she will be receiving some iron from her milk but all babies’ iron supplies run low by six months and they need to be given iron-rich solids.