My Baby Will Only Eat Sweet Foods

Posted on Oct 9 2008 - 2:34pm by Christine
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We received two separate e-mails this week from Mums whose little ones seem to have developed a sweet tooth already!

Connor only seems to like certain fruits

Mum Beverley told us…

and he’ll eat sweet potato for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But that’s all – if I try to offer him anything else, he either grimaces, gags or won’t open his mouth at all.

Well, Beverley, this is actually a very common problem – and it’s not surprising when you consider that infant milk (breast milk in particular) has a very sweet taste. If milk has been your little one’s sole source of nutrition for much of his first 6 months, then a little resistance to an entirely new flavour is natural!

That being said, we DO recommend trying to nip this in the bud as early as possible. Tempting though it may be to keep your baby happy by indulging his sweet tooth, in the long term it may limit the range of nutrients he receives and lead to very picky eating later on.

My baby will only eat sweet foods

In our experience, the best way to get around a preference for sweet foods is to serve savoury ones in disguise!

Say, for instance, your baby has a passion for sweet potatoes but will steadfastly refuse to eat zucchini (courgette). Then try serving a meal of sweet potato, with just half a teaspoon of zucchini stirred in. Continue to serve this combination for a couple of days, then increase the quantity of zucchini to 1 teaspoon. Over the next few days, continue to increase the amount of zucchini you are adding to the dish, until it becomes the dominant flavour. Eventually, you should be able to serve it separately to the sweet potato!

Of course, we are using zucchini as an example and you can apply this technique of combining sweet and savoury flavours to any foods that your baby either enjoys of refuses.

Don’t always assume that a grimace means your baby doesn’t like a certain food!

Anxious to please their babies, some parents are quick to withdraw a particular food, convinced that a grimace means that their little one does not like the flavour. However, babies expressions at mealtimes are not always reliable indicators of their opinions – they may pull a face more in surprise at a new flavour than in displeasure! It may also take several attempts to get your baby to try – and appreciate – a new taste… so don’t give up too quickly and assume that your little one will only eat sweet potato!

Veggie recipes to tempt your baby

Take a look at some of our vegetable recipe pages – we have lots of ideas and delicious combinations to help your baby enjoy a range of flavours…

Pumpkin

Swede (rutabaga)

Bell peppers

Lentils

Butternut squash

Sweet potato

Vegetarian recipes (6 mths+)

Vegetarian recipes (10 mths+)

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share YOUR tips for helping a sweet-toothed baby appreciate a wider range of flavours!

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11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Niki November 9, 2008 at 2:35 pm -

    My 4 month old son, dylan will eat all the fruit flovoured foods, but as soon as we try to introduce savory flavours he refuses them and has a screaming fit, i am trying everything i can, please help. he wont even eat sweet potatoes etc…. thankyou!

  2. Christine November 11, 2008 at 12:53 pm -

    4 months is quite young to be introducing a wide range of flavours to your little one – in fact, many pediatric professionals recommend waiting until 6 months of age before introducing any solids at all. Your baby’s refusal of certain flavours is more likely to be connected to the fact that he is not yet ready for those foods, so I really wouldn’t worry that he only seems to favour fruit purees at the moment.

    At 4 months, it is very important that he is consuming plenty of breast milk or formula, as this provides all the nutrition he needs. An intake of solids at this point may lead to him consuming less milk. There is also a risk that – by trying to introduce too much food too quickly – your little one may learn to dread mealtimes, making things miserable for you both.

    Our advice – if you really wish to continue with solids at this point – would be to only introduce one or two types of food (see this page for ideas) and not to worry if your little one refuses. Certainly do try to avoid situations that leave your baby screaming – his introduction to ‘real’ food should be relaxed and enjoyable.

  3. Mamashares January 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm -

    Introducing savories as you mentioned is absolutely correct. You can also add fresh apple sauce to a lot of savory dishes. Additionally, my daughter grimaces when she tries new flavors, so as you mentioned, that is not an indicator that your child does not like the food…however, clamping down may be!

  4. Niki January 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm -

    Here’s a follow up on dylan… Following some advise I 50/50 the spoons with sweet and savory, so he first tasted sweet then the savory… worked a treat! He npow only has a sweet as an occasional treat and loves all savory food!!

    Niki

  5. jen June 25, 2011 at 1:16 am -

    i love this article! thank you for helping me out!

  6. Christine June 25, 2011 at 7:40 am -

    You’re very welcome 🙂

  7. Matt December 20, 2011 at 9:51 am -

    Hey

    My 7 month year old started loving all foods.. in fact she was an angel.. now she only eats sweet foods or those flippin ella’s kitchen which cost a fortune.. even mixing foods she is too bloody clever to fool she knows what is going on.. i have a feeling she also loves the handheld food too much now and its destroying my wife as she spent 20 days filling the freezer up with food!!

    someone suggested either starting from scratch and going back to milk, the other said no finger food at all.. i dont think either is right…

    heeeeeeeeeeelp x

  8. Christine December 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm -

    It really sounds as if she is an independent little girl – if she seems to be happy holding foods and feeding them to herself, then please do let her! There’s no reason to withhold finger foods from her – we often hear from parents who are having trouble getting their babies to eat, and are then amazed to see how good their appetites are if they’re left to feed themselves!

    As for the purees your wife has already made – they can still be used! Try serving them as dips, thinning them and using them as gravies, or serving them over pasta as nutritious pasta sauce!

  9. mommyluna December 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm -

    I started my daughter off with Earths Best and she loved them, and her grandmother bought my a bulk pack of ellas kitchen and plum organics food which my daughter LOVED so we kept buying them, however, they are very expensive and i decided to go back to earths best, and now my daughter us refusing to eat them, unless they are sweeter tasting.. i wanted to introduce new flavors like meaty ones and i feel as if tho i just wasted money, she will spit it out, spit it up, or simply refuse to open her mouth. is this because shes only ever had fruity, sweet flavors and needs to get accustomed to meaty ones? please help me 🙁

  10. MissChristina April 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm -

    @Mamashares — My son is currently 10 months old. He started solids at 4 months, and has been a great eater. When I introduced meats (chicken, beef, pork) and vegetables that aren’t naturally sweet, I added a bit of apple for flavor, wetness, and sweetness. Unfortunately, I think that has backfired on me. My son now refuses any food not sweetened with apple. He got sick this week, and I made a chicken soup puree. It’s lightly sweetened with carrots. But he’s literally sobbing when I try to feed him. He usually takes about 1 ounce before getting completely hysterical. I don’t want to turn mealtime into a fight but it’s heading in that direction! Would you have suggestions on how he can start accepting savory foods, and foods not sweetened with apple??

  11. Jo June 28, 2017 at 8:37 pm -

    Hi.
    Having the same sort of problem with my 7 month old. Things started out great. We began weaning at 4 months with a very small amount of puree. Since giving up breast feeding, I think this is when the “problem” began. He will have a few spoonfull of puree then refuses to eat anything else, unless it’s milk or fruit.
    Our routine is:
    Between 5 & 6 am he has a bottle
    Around 8 some cereal.
    Between 11.30 & 12.30 lunch purée and some milk as he won’t finish his food
    After his nap a little snack/bottle
    7.30 his last bottle

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