16mth old still eating paste like porridge?


New Member
Hi all,

My dd is 16mths now .. being a first time mother, i tend to hear different opinions and views but sure do understand all who have given me their views and advices are genuine concern of my dd. Anyway, my mil believes that toddlers of her age all do not know how to chew and when she eats apple or anything solid, she will spit them out. She said its normal and they will learn naturally on how to bite and chew their food. She said no need to worry, they will just learn. so, todate she is still using slow cooker to cook all her porridge until they are soft ... my grandma sais must let her eat solid food so that she can learn how to chew her food ... Foods like rice mixed with soup and plus vege and no longer cooking in slow cooker kind. im so confused and do not know which i true ... any mummies out there got any experience to share? What kind of food should they be taking now ?

does your gal eat hard foods like biscuits and apple cubes? if yes, then i think she has no issue with chewing/ sensitive to textures...

you just need to expose her gradually to more adult foods like rice mashed with soup and minced fish/ pork etc, so she gets use to eating more textured foods..

my kids are 3 and 5, and still love porridge (easy to swallow i believe), but they also eat rice and noodles and other foods =)
actaully my gal is coming to 17mth and i am still giving her porridge. Sometimes i am giving her rice with soup and she has no prob with that, i can see that she does like it
My dd eats biscuits but i think biscuits will melt in mouth and doesn't required chewing at all. Apple cubes she eat and she spit them all out after she has finish eating the juice of it. I always ask my mil cook soft white rice with hot soup but she said no nid to worry they will learn it by themselves. do your kids take brown rice or plain white rice porridge? my dd takes all organic food, i got nothing against organic foods, but if she eats only organice foods, then afraid she will becum easily infected with unclean food next time ... sigh ...
oh yah another qn .. do u all send your kids to child care centres? full day or half day kind ?
i wanted to ut her on full day to get her to socialose with other kids and also learn more things. But hubby said he heard if kids put full day, easily fall sick .. also true .. dilemma ... but i dun want her to be at home with my mil and maid cos my mil totally is spoiling her .. when she cries, mil will give her whatever she wants . i dun like it.. Now, whenever she cries, or i scolded her or just stared at her, she will go running to my mil for help ..
yr hubby is right for childcare, for e initial period, will fall sick easily.. but once got used to it, will be ok. avoid air-con cc. take cod liver emulsion to boost up immune system. cc takes in toddlers 18th mths n above.

think shd exposed yr dd to non organic food as well,dont pamper e stomach. must exposed to varities. I start my boy on porridge 5th month. by 10th month, he is taking solid rice with soup.
My son is 16 months too. I have just started giving him soft rice with soup, plus his usual steamed fish and veg (broccoli, cauliflower or blanced spinach)

He started teething only at 9.5 months and now he has 8 teeth. You need to give him a new texture to try.

It's normal that she first reject the new texture. Keep giving her the new texture and she should accept it after a few days. Never give her the old texture again.

My son doesn't like meat and egg alone. So I double mince the pork loin and steam with egg, tofu, sesame oil and water. He eats it.

I used to use Organic brown rice to cook my son's porridge but now I am using Fairprice Thailand Healthy rice for the whole family.

Grandparents tend to "spoil" their grandkids but I think it's better than putting them in childcare centre because I don't trust other people taking care of my son other than my own family members.
My daugther now 27mth still dont know how to chew her food ! She can only eat soft porridge, so there is alot of food which she cant eat. She dont even eat biscuit. how? needs advice....
Hi Shir,

I have a friend with a ds also cannot chew solid food. Will gag and spit out everytime he eats rice. She kept persisting in letting him get used to the texture and when he was about 3yrs, he got over his problem.

Maybe can try to add more water to steam the rice so that it is soft and a little mushy, or try to cook mee sua which is softer but texture is still there.
My son is now 15 months old, he still does not know how to chew. And he either gets choked or he will not want to eat.
i think as a mother we should b very patient. when they grow, they will learn to chew. it's just the matter of time
Once their first molars are out, it'll be easier to introduce food with texture to them. My son 18mths still eat porridge like a paste, cos his molars are not out yet and he don't chew much. Occasionally I do give him soft rice in small amounts, sometimes mixed with soup.

As long they are able to digest their food, that is the most important thing. If they eat harder food and hv difficulty digesting it, it'll cause indigestion and weaken their stomach in the long run. So give them time to adjust, and they will learn to chew.
I hear different theories but I think it really depends on the kid. My son was fed Western style pureed food since he started weaning but he has no particular preference for soft foods. Around 18 - 20 months, he prefers rice and would start to reject porridge. In fact he wasn't much of a porridge eater. Now at 23 months, he more or less eats our food cut up using kitchen shears into small bits.

My son is quite hard to feed and is quite skinny and we used to think he doesn't eat this or that but we notice later that if we go to a good restaurant or if the food tastes better, he eats better! Also he needs to have control over the process. If we let him feed himself, he would eat. Not only that - he must have variety!

Some kids are just fed porridge day in day out without a problem and would allow you to feed him/her. I think it is best to treat the kid as an individual and find out his or her preference.
yeah, i too think it's depends on individual babies. my 17+ month girl only has 5 teeth! how to feed rice? my girl know what is chew but she doesn't do it all the time..

occasionally we do give her rice mixed with soup and will try to mesh up the rice.. for fruits, she will suck out the juice and spit out most of the flesh. i think she's not really ready for rice and hard food.. like pingping, i think indigestion is really the last thing i want it to happen to my girl..will take it slowly to introduce hard food to her..
There is no right or wrong. Soft food is easier for toddler to digest. But occasionally 'solid' food trains them to chew and exercise the face muscles. Baby's gum is powerful to mash food, only thing to look out is if he/she can swallow well.

Although rice seems hard, after you'd mixed with soup, it will absorb the fluid and soften (not as soft as porridge thou). So it become quite easy for them to mash with their gums.

For Meat, you might want to try having a few pieces of very very tiny pieces (less than 0.5cm cube) for him/her to chew. DO NOT mix a spoonful of rice when feeding. Which mean just 1 piece of the meat in the spoon. Let him/she feel that the texture is different. For me, each time b4 I place the meat into his mouth, I'll tell him 'it's meat' and remind him to chew. And because it's so small, it's still quite easy to swallow.

For fruits, don't cut into cubes. cut into VERY thin slices so that it is easy to break even without molar.

Personally we cut into slice that are about 1cm by 2cm and barely 3mm thick. Each time only 3-5 pieces when we initially try. Now we can just cut the apple into slices of thicker thickness and let him bite off into bite size himself.
My DS just turns 1 two wks ago, me still feeding him porridge. My sil kept telling me to feed him more solid food, but i'm not sure whether he is ready for it. She kept rushing me, giving me so much pressure. How to tell whether he has digestive problem after eating more solid food? Thinking of giving him 'harder' texture porridge, not sure whether he know how to chew cos he normally swallowed his porridge.
hi dada,

Pls dun let anyone pressure/rush you into introducing "harder" foods. Only you know your child best and wheher he is able to take it. Instead of giving rice for one meal, maybe you can try to give him a few grains of your rice soaked in soup. If he can take a few of that with no problem and there's cheing motion before he swallows, then I should think he is ready.
Hi dada,

Valsboys is right, only you know yr child best. When introducing "harder" foods, do it gradually so that yr child's stomach has the time to adapt to the new texture of the food. If yr child experience any indigestion, his stomach will be bloated and there is a lot of gas. You will know when you pat his stomach lightly.

When yr child's first molars are out, his stomach will ready for slightly harder foods. No matter what, always monitor any changes to ur child's appetite and stomach (bloated or not).
Generally i think it is ok not to be able to chew at 15/17/18 months - just keep a close watch & make sure they are able to chew later on... BUT, if after 2 years old still not able to chew, i don't think it is something we should ignore.

Just to share my son was not able to chew food when younger...he chokes each time we give him small pieces of sliced apples or pears and i was of the opinion then that i shouldn't be overly worried & i shouldn't rush my child. So i blended everything for him to eat (so long as he eats & gets the nutrition needed).

However (after what happened recently), I am now convinced that it is not about rushing a child... we have to keep monitoring their development closely ..cos their ability to chew or not affects their speech later on.

My son is now 30months old and is able to chew slightly but has not developed any speech and has recently been diagnosed as autistic....my world came crashing down and i started to look back & wondered why i never paid attention to all his issues earlier....altho at 30months, doctor still said there is time to intervene but the waitlist to all the therapies takes approx 1 year .. by which time, he would have turned 4.

So to mummies out there - only u know better. If you really think your child has an issue, do not ignore but Don't press the panick button all too soon either...just keep a close watch...and bring them for a professional opinion if you sense something wrong. If anything, it is always good to detect early...but nothing, better still...at least you can be rest assured your child is fine... for peace of mind, why not?

Just sharing my opinion.
For child so young, its fine w soft food n realy close monitorg is important. My nephew was hospitalised 3 times due to indigestion. E doc had adv tat as he was too young, his stomach cant digest e food even thou he ate them. So even if they are able to chew, take note tat they are stil young n prob e stomach is stil young for solid digestion.
Ying Ying, if u dun want to wait too long n if financial u can handle prob u can try private as they dun hav tis long waitg time.
Hi Jaja,

I think that you shouldn't be worried on this matter as long as your dd is eating. It will take some time for them to adjust to the texture of food.. try to introduce some solid food like the " melt in the mouth" biscuit first... this is when my girl start to chew... they will pick up the chewing gradually.. so enjoy the period when they still rely on porridge... once they start chewing and holding food on their own... it can be quite messy.

my gal who is 27mo used to have that problem of not chewing. she was a lazy eater. in fact it was just a few mths ago. when i put soup in her rice she would just swallow. one day a fren shared with me that a PD told her that chewing exercises the jaws and hence if there is a lack of chewing, the child's speech development will be affected. my fren's son who is 4yo is also a lazy eater and today he has a slight speech problem. so try not to prolong this. perhaps u can try to give them food that they like to chew. for my gal, she doesnt like to eat rice but prefers to eat the side dishes like fish, meat, eggs, bread, veg etc. she also likes noodles.
if your child prefers porridge, ok, so be it.

but you can introduce like apples/ biscuit... such harder foods. likely your child will learn to 'chew'. also, allow self-feeding will encourage the child to feed better.

this is the right age to give a bit more solid food. like the porridge can see the rice grain shape. It is soft but yet child can still have chewing work to do. however, the other ingredients like vegetable/meat should still be really very chopped up.

chewing helps exercise the jaws and that promotes speech.

earlier and slowly switching to more solidify food... he will "chew".

those kids who have soft porridge for too long, will take even longer to learn how to chew.
Hi I need some advise...

my son is 13 months now. He started eating porridge when he was 11 months. but now he refuses to eat porridge and only wants to have cereals. He refuses to opne his mouth even after distracting him. Please advise what should I do to try and made him eat properly.

He was 12 kg and now he has dropped to 10kg. I'm getting worried.
Hi mummies..

not sure if this thread is still active but defintely i m finding all the replies shared by mummies useful to me with the situation i m facing now ..

My baby just turned 16mths and she had recently just recovered from high fever as well as roseola infantum last Friday. As u know kids will definitely lose quite abit of weight when they are sick as their appetite will be affected and being cranky and crouch during the past week, I didn’t manage to feed her that well and she has lose quite abit of weight. Anyway my baby belongs to those 25 percentile group and every meal time is like war time at home. She is quite a fussy eater in the sense she seem to eat out of obligation and don’t show much interest in food except for FRUITS, BREAD and Cheese 

Anyway jus over the last weekend, my girl for the first time, rejects porridge. I was really at the verge of breaking down feeling so mentally drained off yesterday when she suddenly gave a loud burp and vomit almost all the porridge that I painfully feeding her for the past ½ hr for lunch. cos she was crying during the last 10 mins and I think the build-up of the wind trigger the burp. Anyway she behave the same during dinner and no matter how I coax, coerce and divert her attention, she simply refuse to eat. So I thought of letting her try abit of rice with some soup my mum cooked. And to my surprise, she ate a few baby spoons. And later on, as usual turn her head away.

My worry now is what should I let her eat for her meal times now. Mum says to try use normal pot to cook instead of slow cooker and don’t cook until so runny but like semi-porridge (in btwn rice and porridge texture) to slowly transit her to eat rice slowly. My concern is she has only 4 teeth and the 5th one just spurt out. Yah, she’s quite slow in her molar development. And she has the tendency of vomiting every thing out if she chew on something too tough for her to manage and really, all our efforts will be gone just by her vomit.

I need some advice from mummies here. Already her low weight is of a great concern to me. And added on by her lost weight and refusal of porridge.. haiz, driving me crazy at times.

sometimes when i feed to fast my boy will also vomit everythg.
u can try gv him other texture like potato puree, or well cooked mee sua?? i cut the mee sua in v fine pieces like him try. he loved it.

sometimes bb will suddenly dun like the same old taste/ texture, mayb u offer more varieties. must try n try n try, dun gv up.
motherbear, my son went thru periods of puking out EVERYTHING. he seemingly burped and EVERTHING would come out. for months!! on off it'd happen.. v frustrating n worrying...

at ard 11, we brought him to see a gp, he gave some med for wind, it really helped and my son is more ok now. at least if he burped and some food came out, it'd be a little.. not like entire feed like last time, v scary..

however,he is still a bad eaterat times. he is only abt 9kg and alr 15 m old!! having said tt tho, he is still being fully breastfed so i dunno if that makes him leaner..
Hi Skinneybeenie,
My gal was a great daily vomitter like what you described for 2years. I surrended at her 20th mth and went to her PD, given zantac for 2months long therapy. It seems to have worked.

Now, having gone through vomit episodes - I'm again faced with my gal's sudden withdrawal to porridge and end-up, I decided to start her with rice few days ago, at 27th mth now..

She doesn't gain much weigh, stays at 10kg still due to her severe vomits for past 2years. I'm in rush of time to train her solids now with her vomit a bit settled..but currently facing setbacks as mentioned below..


Just to ask you for some idea of their development on picky eating:-

How do you know that your child started picky and want more varieties and different texture?

Does your child covers mouth and nose at meal time despite it's feeding hour due?

How long does your child takes to eat rice at each meal? How much portion inclusive of ingredients and rice your child can eat at one meal sitting? Do you serve ingredients and rice separately or all stir-mixed inside the bowl/plate or do you feed one spoonful rice follow by one spoonful ingredients, etc?

I have just started training my gal now to eat rice..she is 27th mth old now. when did you start train yours and initially how long your child takes to eat from then vs now? any improvement of hours say, from 2 hours at initial feeding to now maybe 0.5 hour?

At initial training to feed your child eat rice, did you just simply stop at 0.5hour no matter how many spoonfuls he/she has taken knowing that they are still not full yet or you continue to feed them until like 1-2 hours where food already turns cold?

Pls advise me.

i start giving my son noodles, soft rice to taste taste from 14mths. by then bb usually hv some teeth, so let them try other textures besides porridge is good. my son reject porridge since 16mths old n i start gv him full serving of noodles. he loves it.
my child also try all sorts of food and it's better this way not so fussy with what he eats. thanks for the link. learning alot through this forum.