Dealing with food refusals in Baby-Led Weaning babies, especially at the beginning of their BLW journey, is a common challenge. Here are some tips to navigate this phase and encourage positive eating experiences in your baby right from the start:


Stay calm and patient

Babies have sensitive taste-buds. They need time to adapt to new textures and flavors as they only drink milk for the first few months. If your baby refuses food, stay calm and act patiently. Avoid pressuring, threatening, bribing or coercing your baby to eat. Offer the same food after some time. If they still won’t eat the food for the 3rd time, offer them their comfort food. Try with the same dish a few days later.

Respect their appetite

Babies have small stomachs, and their appetite can vary from day to day and even from meal to meal. Allow them to eat according to their hunger cues. It’s normal for babies to have a few bites at one meal and then have 2-3 helpings at another. Both scenarios are normal and fine. Things are a bit different in the baby world!

Offer a variety of foods

Introduce a wide range of age-appropriate foods to expose your baby to diverse flavors and textures. This not only helps prevent food boredom but also makes your baby adjusted to a variety of tastes and flavors. This way your baby will easily transition to the family pot when it’s time.

Be mindful of texture

Ensure foods are soft and manageable for your baby to grasp and chew. Hard or textured foods may lead to food refusal. At the same time, ensure the food is not too soft or extremely mashed as the baby will not be able to grasp it or eat it. This may lead to mealtime frustration.

Explore flavor combinations

Mix and match different foods to create interesting flavor combinations. This can pique your baby’s interest and encourage exploration. You may add boiled and mashed corns to upma, steamed carrot slices to idlis, or ripe mango cubes to moong-dal halwa! The possibilities are endless.

Model eating

Sit with your baby during meals and demonstrate eating by enjoying similar foods. Babies love to mimic their parents. If possible, have meals with your baby at the same time as them. This will help you bond with your baby and your baby to bond with food. You can also add a story around the meal you are having.

Offer finger foods

Finger foods are easier for babies to handle. Offer foods that are easy to grasp and allow your baby to feed themselves. Cut steamed, cooked, and fried foods into thin 2-3 inch long strips so that your baby may easily grasp it and then bring it to their mouth. As your baby gets skilled at picking up their food, you may cut their food into small 1-inch bite-sized pieces.

Be playful with food

Make mealtimes fun by presenting food in creative ways. Use colorful plates and utensils to engage your baby’s interest. Make smileys or cartoon faces on your baby’s plate with chutneys, dals, or homemade sauces. Be creative while serving food to your baby.

Limit distractions

Make sure there are no distractions during meals, such as screens or noisy environments. This will allow your baby to focus solely on eating. Never use mobiles or any screens near your baby when they are eating. It’s also a good practice to not use any screens yourself while eating.

Monitor for allergies

Be aware of potential allergens and introduce them one at a time. Watch for any allergic reactions and consult a pediatrician if necessary.


Remember that food refusals are a normal part of a baby’s development. BLW is about exploration and learning to eat independently. Keep mealtimes positive and enjoyable, and trust that your baby will gradually become more comfortable with a variety of foods over time.