Feeding FAQ: 6-9 months – Weaning/Solids

Henry of 6.5 months refuses any savoury food unless it’s sweetened with apple puree

Help. My son is 6 ½ months old, he weighs 18lb and is extremely happy and contented. My problem, I think, has been self inflicted, but I am desperate to get him back on track. I recently weaned Henry from breast to bottle. He wakes around 6.30-7am and I give him a bottle of formula; sometimes he will take 8oz and others 4-5 oz. He then has a little play for a couple of hours and I feed him his breakfast around 8.30am which typically would be fruit puree with yoghurt or baby cereal mixed with fruit. Again, I offer him the remaining milk after making up the cereal and he happily takes this. I then put him down for a sleep which usually is for about 45 minutes. I give Henry his lunch around 12-12.30pm which is usually chicken or fish with vegetables, and this is where the problem starts. He has a little drink of water first, then he refuses to take anything savoury. I made the mistake of mixing apple puree in with this meal and he then would finish the bowl. After this meal, he takes 2-3oz of milk. He then plays for a short while and I put him back down for a sleep, which is usually for about one hour. Dinner is around 4.30pm and I usually give him a rusk mixed with fruit puree and 2 teaspoons of natural yoghurt which he finishes, followed by a bottle of formula and he usually takes around 4-5oz. He plays and then dozes for about thirty minutes in his highchair and is in the bath with his sister around 6.30pm, and ready for bed at 7pm. He is given a bottle then and usually takes 7-8oz. Henry usually sleeps right through, but he has been waking in the night and playing – I leave him and he goes back to sleep. I feel that feeding times have become a constant battleground with screaming and crying unless the option is sweet. I have been tough and not given in, but I need some help over which way to go. Do I go back to basics again?

Henry definitely seems to have a tendency towards a sweet tooth and he will need to gradually be weaned off having his savoury food sweetened. Begin to eliminate the apple puree very gradually and use sweetish vegetables such as carrot and sweet potato with his protein as you begin to decrease the apple.

Once Henry is taking more savoury food at lunch, I would begin to offer a savoury tea, such as thick vegetable soups, pasta with vegetable sauces and vegetable bakes. Introduce him to finger food such as mini sandwiches, small pieces of roll with savoury purees spread on them and lightly steamed vegetable batons of carrot, peas and broccoli florets. Being able to feed himself may help him get used to more savoury tastes and feeding times should be more enjoyable for you both.

Now Henry is taking protein at lunchtime, I would replace his milk at that time with water. Offering milk when protein is being eaten reduces the iron absorbtion from the protein up to 50 per cent. If you think that Henry is still hungry after his savoury, then give him a piece of fruit or a natural yoghurt with fruit puree afterwards.
If you move his tea/ dinner to 5/5.30pm you may find that Henry is hungrier for it and more willing to eat a savoury meal.