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My 1yr old son is still taking formula and 2nd foods because when we try most kinds of blended foods (foods with texture), he gags and throws up all over himself.

I've read quite a bit that this gag reflex is natural and he should be gagging as a reminder to shift the food around his mouth and chew.

Unfortunately, he is now refusing any foods with texture. We can't even give him a cheerio without him locking his lips tight and pushing away with his hands.

What can I do to help my son graduate to table food?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Maybe he should not graduate from liquids to solids, but first from liquids to semi-solids and then on to solids.

Soft fruit would probably make a good transition food, and mashed potatoes. Once he gets used to those, it will be a smaller step to move up to real solid foods.

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Your son appears to be having hypersensitive responses to texture. How long have you been trying more textured food? Gagging is a protective reflex. But, it and vomiting is not a pleasant experience. Children can quickly decide that food is no fun and even adversive. This can create feeding problems for years to come.

Gagging and vomiting with food can indicate a variety of feeding issues. It is possible that he just needs texture introduced gradually for a while longer. I suspect this will be difficult since he is now rejecting textured food. He could also be suffering from several other problems including reflux or even difficulties related to his swallow mechanism (not likely, but possible).

Children need pleasant experiences with eating or they learn that eating should be avoided. This is my biggest concern for your child. Also, eating textured food is an important link for oral motor skills that are the foundation for development of speech skills.

As a speech therapist who works with children with feeding difficulties, I recommend that he be seen for a feeding evaluation by a occupational or speech therapist. They will be able to help you plan an approach that will give you peace of mind and move your little one forward on developmental feeding skills.

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Practice. Give him some kind of food to suck on(strawberries come to mind) so he can simply suck the food away. Put the food between his lips without him chewing or biting pieces off and let him get used to the great taste that comes with more solid kind of foods.

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