Children typically go through a period of only consuming liquid as babies, and they'll work their way up to including soft or pureed foods and then solids as toddlers. This progress typically coincides with the growth of children's teeth, but some children will move on to the next food phase before other children do. If your child is still sticking only to a liquid diet, this could be concerning for their health, especially their teeth. Teeth being bathed in liquids all of the time can cause decay and tooth issues that your child can spend a lifetime combating. Here are some ways to get your child to move on to the next food phase and encourage good dental habits. 

Have your child checked for sensory issues

If your child is not interested in chewing or swallowing food, this could mean that they have a sensory issue. This problem can especially be found in children who have autism or Asperger's syndrome. If this is a problem for your child, or if they have a sensory issue without another underlying syndrome, your doctor can help you select a good diet that your child will adhere to. See both your pediatrician and your pediatric dentist to help develop an eating plan for a child with sensory issues. 

Offer temperatures that are soothing

Heating foods to soften them can often make them more appealing to your child. Steamed vegetables are easier for some children to chew and eat than are hard vegetables. It is also possible to cut steamed or heated options into smaller chunks, allowing your child to eat at a pace that makes sense for them and does not look overwhelming when placed on a plate. Heated or warm foods will also encourage your child to eat them because they won't cause the same kind of tooth and gum irritation that some cold foods do.

Cut liquids other than water

Children's dentists give the advice that children are not to go to bed with bottles or sippy cups that are filled with liquids aside from water. This will keep the teeth from constantly being submerged in acidic liquid. Receiving water only during the night and during meal time will encourage your child to consume some solid foods, instead of looking for a bottle or pureed foods to offer all of their nutritional needs. Chewing is an integral part to developing healthy teeth, so giving your child water plus a balanced, solid diet will get them started on good dental health.