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I was interested in baby-led weening. However, my daughter does not tolerate solid foods. A piece of banana the size of pinky-nail placed in her mouth will result in her gagging and eventually vomiting.

What is the best way to start solid foods? She is almost one year old, with current diet of bottle + baby food from jars, stage 2(lightly pureed).

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    Does she like banana flavoured food in general? Apr 8 at 13:46
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    Does your daughter try to chew the banana, or does her gag-reflex kick in when she tries to swallow the piece whole? Apr 9 at 10:56
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau I believe when she tries to swallow any food, she gags it up. Might not be chewing it?
    – paulj
    Apr 9 at 17:42
  • Our kids learnt to “chew” by chewing or biting stuff like carrots as they were teething - better than biting bits off toys...
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 16 at 19:48
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Gagging is a protection mechanism of the body to prevent either objects accidentally entering the throat area (i.e., without the intention to swallow them) or trying to swallow too large objects.

It is entirely possible that the pinky-nail sized piece of banana is still too large for your daughter to swallow without chewing. Another possibility is that her gag reflex is too sensitive. If you suspect the latter case, then I recommend you see a doctor.

Chewing is a learned activity that a child typically learns by imitating their parents. If your child is gagging in their food because they try to swallow it whole without chewing, then you might have to more actively teach them that activity.

Try to both eat something, where you chew your food very explicitly (and maybe in an exaggerated way) and you encourage them to do the same with their food, even if it is the same puree that goes down well without chewing. Once they get the idea that food needs to be chewed, you can do the same game with small pieces of soft solids, like banana.

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