Has Your Bub Gone Off Solids?

Toddler girl being spoon fed by woman

There are many reasons your bub might have gone off solids and it is actually totally normal for their appetite, the amount they eat and what they prefer to change over time.

This sudden change can be a surprise if your bub has been really into solids from the start and it can be anxiety provoking to see them suddenly refuse their food.

So, why might your little one be refusing to eat much?


Especially if you have started childcare or have older kids around your bub might be experiencing a wave of colds and bugs that make them feel flat. Just like us, babies often don’t want to eat as much or even the same sorts of food when they are unwell. Eating is also hard work for little people, and they can be more tired when sick. Focusing on fluids for hydration and offering small amounts of softer or easier to eat food more often than usual can also help.


Some babies cruise through teething without so much as a warning that there is a pearly white about to erupt through the gum. For others, well you know about that molar for weeks in advance. If you have ever had a toothache, you will know how unappealing a crunchy bit of toast might be. Try offering cold or softer foods or purees and focusing on fluids to keep them hydrated. A frozen breastmilk or formula popsicle in a mesh or silicon feeder can also offer relief and keep those fluids up.


As babies get older they really do start to develop their own taste and flavour preferences and they can also start to get bored of the same foods. Try mixing it up a little! If they have gone of certain vegetables try roasting with some herbs and spices instead of steaming, you could add a sauce or even take that food out of rotation for a couple of weeks. Just like adults, some bubs don’t want the same thing every day or just go off a food for a while. This is also something that gets more pronounced in toddlerhood so staying relaxed and mixing it up is worth practicing early.


If your bub has gone off solids looking at their routine and what is happening for them over the day is helpful. They may require a longer gap between meals and snacks and are not coming to the highchair hungry. They may simply be eating a lot more at breakfast and lunch and just not be hungry at the end of the day. Try not to focus on one meal but take a step back and look at what is happening for them over a couple of days.

Growth slowing

This is a biggy! Our babies will never grow as quickly as they do in the first 6 months of life and because of this incredible growth they need a lot of fuel going into their bodies, which is why it can feel like all they do is feed. As they enter the 6-12 month age range that growth, while still significant, does slow a lot. Their growth then slows even further from 12 months onward. So, if their growth is slowing, it makes sense that their appetite might also slow down. Little people are incredibly in tune to what their bodies need when it comes to how much they eat, so keep this is mind if they are eating less overall but growth and development are on track.

When to seek help

Although going off their food can be completely normal for a few days, there are things to keep an eye out for. If you are concerned about:

  • Hydration
  • Ongoing refusal of food for more than a few days
  • Weight gain, growth or development
  • You are feeling stressed, anxious or worried
  • Refusing particular food textures or appear sensitive to specific textures
  • Repeated gagging, vomiting or choking
  • Refusing whole food groups

Your GP is the first person to see if you’re worried about your baby going off their food and will be able to check that everything is okay. Always trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right to you, you’re never going to regret getting a once over from your doctor to put your mind at ease.

For individualised advice and recommendations for routines and strategies to suit your family you can book a one on one consult with our paediatric dietitian!