Weaning, check! Your baby is well and truly loving solid food and eats three pureed meals a day with relish! Congratulations, now onto the next stage – lumps! We all get excited about moving our baby into the world of food, but when it comes to moving from a puree to a food that has texture, the worries creep in.
As grown-ups we love food, not just because it tastes great but because we like how it feels too. Introducing new textures and tastes can be a bumpy journey but what matters is that you just explore lots of different foods and try and have fun with your little one. Encouraging your baby to explore a range of textures is great because it helps to build confidence and enjoyment with food as well as being an important milestone in development.
Variety is key and trying food with lots of different textures can help your little one become more familiar with and open to a wide range of foods, which continues as they grow older.
As adults, we already know which foods we like and dislike, and texture is often a deciding factor in this. Between six and twelve months of age, your baby’s acceptance of different foods is much higher, so now is a good time to introduce them to a variety of different tastes and textures.
Weaning: how and when to start introducing lumps
As soon as your little one is happy with smooth purees and has successfully learned to spoon feed, he’s ready to take the next step into the wonderful world of texture. If he doesn’t yet have teeth, don’t worry, his gums will be hard enough to get to grips with what you’re offering.
- Start by gradually making your purees a little less smooth, with small soft lumps and make sure that the flavour is familiar and is something that he’s not only had before, but enjoyed!
- Offer the new puree at a time when he’s at his most calm – usually lunchtime, (too hungry at breakfast and too tired at teatime!) but you know your baby best!
- Remember that your little one has never experienced lumps so may react strongly, and may even gag, but keep offering it so that he can get more used to the texture.
- If he makes it clear that he really doesn’t like the new texture, refusing to eat and getting upset, just return to smooth purees for a few days and try again. You’ll need to persevere, but not to the extent that it’s stressing you and upsetting him!
- If he doesn’t like lumpy purees, try introducing some finger foods that he can explore in his own time.
Offering your little one more challenging textures and letting them explore various foods will not only help them learn the skills needed to manage lumps, but will also help them build a lifelong love of good food.