"My five-month-old has just started eating pureed vegetables and fruits. The baby books say she ought to start on a tablespoon and work her way up slowly from there, but she can't get enough of whatever we feed her. For instance, she progressed for a tablespoon's worth of banana the first night to an entire banana's worth by night three. Are we risking too much too soon? Are there any dangers of her overeating?"
"My daughter Olivia, seven months, always wants to feed herself these days, but she doesn't seem to get much into her mouth. I'm worried that she won't get enough food if I leave her to it. Is it best to leave independent feeding to finger food to start with I give her chopped melon, banana etc and to feed her for her main meals? When is it okay to hand the spoon over to her?"
"My son, three and a half, will only eat certain foods. Avocado and eggs are a favourite, but trying to get him to taste other foods, such as vegetables, seems to be impossible. He's just not interested. Do I have to resort to 'hiding' vegetables in mashed potato and bolognaise or is there another way of getting him interested?"
"Dinner always turns into a battle of wills at our house with my two-and-a-half year old daughter, Tana. She will not eat in the evenings and I've tried all sorts of things, like moving the time so she's more hungry, and cutting out snacks mid-afternoon. I worry about her not getting enough food if she doesn't eat her evening meal. Any suggestions?"
- Be calm and remind yourself that meals are times for connecting not fighting
- Offer her healthy choices in several bowls, banquet-style, in front of her empty plate, so that she can eat as much or as little of what she chooses
- Set a reasonable time limit, perhaps 20 minutes, that you sit with her or eat at the the same time.
- Allow her to leave her seat whether she has eaten or not when the time is up.
"My son Eli, nine months, is in love with dairy food – yoghurt, cheese and milk – and doesn't seem to want much else apart from the odd bit of fruit. Is this okay? Can a baby have too much of one food group?"
"Katherine, my daughter who's two, just doesn't eat. She seems to eat a biscuit and a few bites of banana a day. I take her to the GP frequently, but she just says, 'don't worry', which is very hard. Is it really okay for such a tiny person to have hardly any food all day?"
"In one of our baby manuals it says give babies vegies first rather than fruit. Is this a good way to go?"