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Tips on trying new foods with a baby

Trying new food with your baby. It’s a milestone that can be scary. It’s exciting. What’s the best route to getting your baby off formula and onto table food?

My littlest one is turning 1 in just a few days and with that comes weaning off baby formula and eating more table food. I don’t know about anyone else, but I cannot wait to be off formula. It is so expensive and with the shortages this past year, it will be nice not having to worry about if our baby will have the food he needs. It was crazy having to go from store to store looking for formula, but now we will be able to have him eating more regular foods.

Now, how do you start that? I know everyone is different and does different techniques with their little ones, but what works the best?

We started with the baby oatmeal and pureed foods for the last few months and now we are trying small bites of table food. We have been giving him everything we eat, but in smaller bites.

However, he doesn’t seem interested. He will eat a few bites of spaghetti noodles or meatballs and then be over it.

We know he is wanting to wean off the bottle because he isn’t interested in having it as much or as often anymore, but how do we gain interest in table food?

I think one thing we are going to try is laying the food out on his high chair and letting him explore it and feed himself what he wants. It’s easy to think that babies won’t be eating enough table food, but we were told that a tablespoon or two of finger food is plenty and we can supplement with baby food at first too if we don’t think he was eating enough.

The other hard thing is worrying they are going to choke. Do you cut the bites up small so the little ones don’t choke or leave them big and have them chew bites off? We have been going with the first option of making everything small for him. We even started with baby puffs or yogurt bites that would melt quickly in his mouth. We also bought one of the Dechoker devices, just in case he was to choke. The device acts like a plunger and will suction the choked food out of their mouth.

I think the most important thing to remember, myself included, is that each baby is different and will eat when they want to eat. We don’t need to force-feed them, unless told by the pediatrician they need more. We also can call the pediatrician anytime we have questions and not make ourselves an island. There is support out there for us and our babies.

So, let’s keep learning as we go and don’t feel judged by others because they are doing things differently. Everybody parents differently and that’s OK.

ANN BURNS is a Morgantown native, raising two young children with her husband, Drake. She writes weekly columns for The Dominion Post. Contact her at