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I was excited when our pediatrician said it was time for our son to start eating solid foods at four months old. I couldn’t wait to see him experience new flavors and learn new skills. We gave him rice cereal first. What fun! He laughed and kicked because he loved it so much. Introducing carrots was also easy.
Next, we introduced avocado. As soon as the spoon entered his mouth, we knew this was a no-go. He grimaced and gagged. Not knowing what else to do, he left the food on his tongue with his mouth open. After a few seconds, he gagged so hard that he threw up! We quickly tried to help him get everything off of his tongue. Although it was pretty funny, we felt bad for him. I learned from the AAP that it can take 10-15 tries for a baby to like a new food. I was determined to keep at it, but didn’t want another vomiting episode. I was able to use the following tricks to help my son learn to enjoy not just avocado, but peas and green beans too! He hasn’t throw up again, and it took less than 10 tries.
- Mix the new food with breastmilk. I was able to use this trick with avocado and peas. I started with about 1 oz of breastmilk in a bottle. I put one spoonful of avocado in it and stirred. I gave Cameron a spoonful of the milk that now had a hint of avocado. Next, I added one more spoonful of avocado to the milk and gave another bite. I continued adding avocado and giving bites until I could tell he was used to the flavor. At this point, I tried giving him plain avocado, and he ate it without a fuss! I used the exact same process with peas. *Note: The AAP does not recommend mixing any food into milk for the baby to drink from a bottle. If you use this trick, feed your baby from a spoon.
- Mix the new food with familiar solids. When I had my son try green beans, I didn’t have any pumped milk on hand. After his first bite, I could tell he hated it. I pulled out some carrots and added a very small amount to the green beans. Over the next few days, I would add a little bit of green beans to whatever vegetable I was feeding him.
- Make meals a fun experience. Even after he was a little more used to the flavor of green beans, he still didn’t want to eat them plain. This is when I tried something new. With each bite of green beans, he would grimace and gag a little, but swallow it. After a swallow I would clap and say, “Good job!” I played with him and sang some songs as he ate. I also talked to him about the food. He gradually grew to enjoy his green beans!
Give these tricks a try and see how they work for you!