13-month-old only eats pureed food [Reasons & Solutions]

Verified by  Ana Carolina, MD
Verified by Ana Carolina, MD

Dr. Ana Carolina is a Pediatrician. She has been practicing for 7 years and is passionate about providing comprehensive care to children.

If your 13-month-old only eats pureed food and you are concerned, then please know that this is a common concern for many parents. The transition from pureed to solid foods is an essential step in a toddler’s growth and development.

This article explores the reasons behind such a preference, offers strategic solutions to broaden your child’s food preferences, and highlights the significance of nutritional diversity.

Four Common reasons for a 13-month-old toddler’s dependency on pureed foods

The four common reasons for a 13-month old’s dependency on pureed foods are as follows:

Dental or oral health problems

Some toddlers may struggle to chew or swallow chunky or solid foods due to dental or oral health issues, such as teething discomfort, so they may prefer softer, pureed foods. Regular check-ups with a pediatric dentist can help identify and resolve these problems.

Sensory processing difficulties

Sensory sensitivities can make the transition to textured foods challenging. Children with heightened sensitivity to textures may resist lumpy or chunky foods and prefer the smooth consistency of purees.

Feeding habit and routine

Often, a toddler’s dependency on pureed food could be a result of the feeding routine established by caregivers. If a child is regularly fed pureed food beyond the recommended age, they may develop a preference for it.

Possible medical causes

In some cases, medical issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), or oral-motor difficulties might be the reason your toddler sticks to pureed food. If you suspect a medical condition, seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Four Strategies to encourage the transition from pureed to solid foods

Here are four strategies to encourage your 13-month-old to transition from pureed to solid foods.

Gradual introduction of textures

Patience is key when introducing new textures. Start by adding small bits of soft, mashed food into purees, gradually increasing the ratio as your child becomes comfortable. It’s perfectly okay if your little one takes a while to adapt – everyone learns at their own pace.

Exploration of various food types and flavors

Introducing a variety of flavors and food types can make the transition exciting and less daunting.

Try different fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, ensuring they’re appropriately soft and safe for your toddler to consume. Remember, it’s all about exploring and experiencing new things together!

Creating a positive and stress-free eating environment

Creating a relaxed and enjoyable mealtime environment can be incredibly beneficial. Encourage self-feeding, involve your toddler in meal prep, and ensure mealtimes are distraction-free. It’s essential to make this journey positive and fun, rather than a stressful task.

Consultation with health professionals

If your child consistently resists transitioning to solid foods, it’s a good idea to consult with a pediatrician or a pediatric dietitian. They can provide expert advice and strategies tailored to your child’s specific needs. You’re not alone in this journey, and there are many professionals ready to help.

Importance of nutritional diversity in a toddler’s diet

We understand that as a parent, you want the best for your child, especially when it comes to nutrition. As your toddler grows, they need a range of nutrients – from protein and healthy fats to vitamins and minerals. A diversified diet, beyond just purees, can ensure they receive all these vital nutrients.

The role of texture in the diet: moving beyond pureed food

We empathize with how challenging it can be to introduce new textures. However, diverse food textures are not only important for a balanced diet but also for developing oral motor skills, which play a significant role in speech development.

Potential issues with prolonged dependency on pureed food

It’s natural to feel concerned if your child relies heavily on pureed food. Prolonged dependency on purees could potentially limit their nutrient intake and delay the development of chewing skills.

Remember, it’s not about rushing the process, but gently encouraging progress. You’re doing a great job and your efforts are paving the way for your child’s healthy eating habits.


As we conclude, it’s important to remember that every child is unique, progressing at their own pace, and many parents face issues when their 13-month-old only eats pureed food.

This journey, from understanding potential reasons such as sensory processing difficulties or dental issues, to employing strategies like gradual introduction of textures and creating a stress-free eating environment, is all part of your toddler’s developmental process.

The importance of nutritional diversity for your toddler’s growth can’t be overstated, and even though the transition might seem tough, rest assured that you’re not alone.

Reach out to professionals if needed, and always remember, your patience, understanding, and consistent efforts are the key to helping your toddler embrace a world of diverse foods. You’re doing an amazing job!