Now that your child is eating purees well, the next step is to introduce foods to chew.
- Begin by introducing soft, mashable foods that will dissolve when mixed with saliva, such as a baby biscuit or cookie.
- Give him only small pieces about 1/4″ in diameter, and only one small piece at a time. Try to tuck the food into his cheek pocket. This will help him begin to chew.
- When he is ready for more serious chewing, use a piece of bagel or other chewy food that you hold at his molar. Cut it so it is long and thin, about the size and dimension of a standard French fry. Hold this at his molar so he can chew on it a few times.
- Introduce large baby cookies or biscuits that are grasped in a whole hand, and are good to suck on without breaking.
- As his hand skills develop you can place small pieces of food on the tray that he can pick up. Sometimes he can pick it up but not let go of it in his mouth. He also may crush it in his hand until he develops better hand control. Giving a variety of food shapes, textures and sizes helps to refine this grasp.
- As he gets better at chewing, introduce foods of different textures and resistances. Cooked carrots, tofu, avocado, and hard boiled egg yolks are good starter foods.
- Changeable Food Elements:
- Shape and Size
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Suggestions for Transitioning to Table Foods
New eaters should remain on single ingredient foods for at least 3-5 days. After your baby has a small variety of single ingredient foods that they enjoy, begin to vary their diet. Be sure to change only one element of the food at a time.