My wife and I have six month old twin daughters whom we have just begun to feed solid foods. Per our doctor's instructions we have begun feeding the girls Beech-Nut Rice Cereal. In an effort to control acid-reflux one of the twins has had this rice cereal in her bottle for many months. This twin is doing excellent with spoon feeding, the other is not. Each spoon feeding session quickly causes her to break down into a fit of hysterics. We aren't sure if this is because she does not like the taste or if she isn't ready for spoon feeding.

Other than working with her do we have other options for limiting her fit? Should we wait a few weeks and try again? Should we try adding rice cereal to her bottle to get her used to the taste?

  • Do you have any specific medical condition for which Beech-Nut Rice Cereal is the only option to feed to your babies? – Péter Török Jan 16 '12 at 20:45
  • @PéterTörök no. It was just the first recommended option and adding it to the child's bottle who has the acid-reflux has worked wonders. – ahsteele Jan 16 '12 at 23:12
  • Some babies prefer to touch their food more than others. When my little one is avoiding being fed, I prepare for a "messy meal" - put the tarp underneath the high chair, remove some of the baby's clothes, etc. I let her mess up the food in her tray then sneak in the bites with the spoon. – Rhea Jan 20 '12 at 22:26

We aren't sure if this is because she does not like the taste or if she isn't ready for spoon feeding.

Try different foods (other grains, veggies, fruits) to find out. Even though they are twins, they may have different taste. Don't try to introduce new foods too much too fast, though - children need time to adapt. So approximately one new food per week. Let them taste each a few times, even if they don't like it at first. You may also try tasting it yourself, in front of the babies - this confirms for them that it is indeed safe to eat it.

  • Suggestion on other grains to introduce? – ahsteele Jan 17 '12 at 16:42
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    You can try oatmeal. So long as it's a single grain it's okay these first few weeks of eating solids. Our first food was mashed up avocado. We did the Baby Led Weaning approach. We did a lot of real food and few jarred foods. At 8 months old she protested jarred food, not sure if you want that effect or not. She has been eating table food since. – Rhea Jan 20 '12 at 22:22

Most doctors do recommend rice cereal as the first food, as there is almost no worry of allergic reaction. As well, most common thought says don't put it in the bottle as there is no benefit to this as it is so thin that it doesn't teach swallowing of solid food. (obviously the twin with major acid doesn't fall into general instruction, as it was given to her for a different reason.) I would let the one who is having trouble simply play with the spoon while you feed her sister. Let her associate the spoon, the food, the highchair, etc. with positive thoughts. Try again next week.
You may also try oatmeal, as that is also used for the same reason as rice cereal (have you tried rice cereal, it is truly gross!)

Just some added advice, do veggies before fruits, I have done it both ways,and the ones that I stayed away from fruits have much less issues with a sweet tooth (not a scientific study:))

  • Most doctors in the US, that is. E.g. in Finland, they almost always start with potato and carrot mash. In Hungary, apple and pear. (We Hungarians do tend to have sweet tooth btw :-) – Péter Török Jan 16 '12 at 22:08
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    Ditto, rice cereal is nasty tasting. After I tasted it, I never gave it to my daughter again. We switched to oatmeal for cereal which she loved. – Rhea Jan 20 '12 at 22:19

Eating off a spoon has to be an unusual experience for them. I imagine that many times you have taken things away from the children that they have tried to put in their mouths, so it must be terribly confusing until they get the hang of the idea.

Having said that, the thing that kids do best of all is mimic. So for sure try other foodstuffs, purified fruit/veg/different cerials etc, but importantly let them see you eating from the spoon too. This has the added benefit of not giving the children things to eat that you wouldn't touch. If you think it tastes bad, imagine what it might taste like to someone with developing tastebuds.

Also, consider the actual spoon, make sure it's not cold like a metal spoon from a drawer, the soft touch silicone ones are handy, and give them one to play with while you feed them with another.


I also used oatmeal early on instead of rice.

We introduced avocados mixed with bananas as one of the first foods. My boys loved it. They ate it every day for lunch for almost a year and a half. Even now they love it as a treat.

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