Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

My Preemie’s Eating Difficulties

My preemie is almost three and she still chokes on certain table foods.  When she was just starting to eat table food she definitely took a while to get used to new textures, and especially to be able to chew and swallow things without choking.  I mashed up her foods or cut them into tiny pieces for a long time, like noodles and fruit, and she couldn’t even eat cheerios or other cereal as a snack until long after other kids her age.  She just choked… on everything.  Just a few months ago she was still choking every time she ate carrots.  She still chokes every time she tries to eat apple peel.  And, up until about 6 months ago we had to make sure we gave her a certain type of bread because she just couldn’t chew up certain brands of bread.

I’m not sure what the reasoning is, really, because she got all of her teeth on schedule and has caught up to kids her age pretty well in size and weight.  She’s just always had eating issues.  However, she’s always been a very good eater in that she eats lots of food!  Her weight hasn’t been a problem since we brought her home from the NICU.  She’s really thrived.

I think all kids go through phases with eating, and I’m sure preemies are no different.  Kids will eat more when they’re going through growth spurts and then not be as interested in food when they’re not growing much.  I’ve decided, myself, to not get too caught up in what my preemie should be able to do, based on what other toddlers are capable of, and just let her excel at a comfortable pace for her.  Of course, this is as long as she’s progressing and developing at a healthy and acceptable pace.

What eating issues have you faced with your preemie babies?  Has weight gain been a big factor in your preemies eating habits?  Please share with us!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. As far as weight gain is concerned, it seems that my preemie’s weight is normal as compared to other toddlers her age. It’s been a little frustrating though that she has a hard time eating (or rather attempting to eat) some foods that other kids have been eating for a long time. What tends to worry me the most is that a baby sitter or family member is going to feed her something that she can’t handle when I’m not around… maybe I’m just being overprotective.

    • i am so worried as my 28 weeks preemie who is 13 months now hasn’t gain any weight for 4 months, since i introduce solid to her. she is 13 weeks & weight 7.2kg. i don’t know how to make her eat. she has flux & very afraid of eating. she accept only water. i feel very stress. is there any mom like me? how could i do? thank you for any sharing.

  2. Hi, I have a daughter and she was born at 26 weeks. She is now 15 months old, and we are giving her table food. But, she chokes, especially on those dissolve stars and gerber dissolvement products. I give her stage 3 baby food, but she don’t eat a lot of table food. I really have to chop it up if I do, and she still sometimes choke. I don’t know what to do?

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