Have you started adding purees into the mix or are you not quite there yet? Either way, here are a few tips on when and how to start adding more texture into the food.
As a general rule, though, it’s a good idea to introduce some texture into your baby’s food once he has been enjoying pureed foods for around 3 weeks, which usually takes place around 7 months. Some babies, particularly those that are breastfed, don’t start solid foods until towards the end of their first year. In this case, you can often dispense with pureed foods altogether, as these babies tend to be ready to deal with textured foods from the outset.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GIVE BABY MORE TEXTURED FOODS?
If you give your baby only pureed food for an extended period of time, you may find that he becomes unwilling to accept lumpier textures and baby feeding problems may develop.
Learning to chew, either with teeth or gums ,is an important part of your baby’s development because:
- it strengthens the jaw muscles
- it helps with the development of speech
- it helps ensure healthy teeth
- it enables him to enjoy finger foods and other foods that the rest of the family are eating.
HOW TO START ADDING TEXTURE
- Start by thickening baby’s purees by adding cereal or even mashed egg yolk. Although thicker, the puree should still be smooth. This allows your baby the opportunity to become accustomed to a “heavier” type of food before he has to deal with actual lumps.
- Next, try using a food mill to grind soft fruits or vegetables which will give you a texture that is only slightly lumpy.
- You can also try grating a peeled apple and adding this to a smooth base, such as yogurt.
- Another good method is to puree half of your baby’s food and grind the other half.
- Once baby is happy with these foods, you can move on to mashing food and, finally, chopping it.
Source: Journal of Pediatrics