By 6 months of age if your baby has met the feeding and nutritional goals outlined in the previous post, you can start the important and exciting next step in your feeding journey – expansion and exposure!
Between 6 and 8 months of age, you and your baby will continue to practice and eventually master the skill of spoon feeding (post on cup drinking coming soon!). You should first thin out the puree with breast-milk or formula before gradually cutting back on the amount of liquid as your baby gets used to thicker purees. Once your baby is tolerating thick purees you can start to boil and mash the foods instead of pureeing. This may be a noticeable change for your baby as this advanced texture can bring lumps and bumps – a whole new sensory experience! Remember that babies making faces and grimaces doesn’t mean they don’t like it. Keep exposing, encouraging and praising your little one as they embark on this new texture adventure.
Look for the following skills to make sure your baby is on the right track to being an adventurous eater with a balanced, nutritious diet:
- Baby recognizes the spoon
- Baby opens mouth in acceptance of the food offered on the spoon
- Baby’s jaw once opened, remains in a stable open position to allow for the food to be placed in the mouth, with the tongue resting in the mouth to assist with acceptance.
- You should no longer see a strong tongue protrusion of the tongue out of the mouth at this point, so minimal to no loss of food should occur.
- Baby should now be able to tolerate thicker purees, with some small soft lumps and clumps.
- Jaw moves in an up and down “chewing” motion showing baby is getting ready for more advanced solids
- All the above PLUS emerging diagonal/lateral tongue movements as baby learns to use their tongue to control food and position food on the molar area for more effective mashing and chewing of foods.
- All the above PLUS upper lip moving downward to assist with clearing the food off the spoon as the spoon is removed from the mouth.
Skills> foods > textures
What to try: We recommend fruit and veggies first, then proteins.
Fruits: Pureed or strained fruits such as bananas, pears, apples, apricots, prunes, peaches, mangoes, nectarines, papaya, plums, pumpkin, avocado.
Vegetables: peas, green beans, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach, zucchini
Proteins: Beans, tofu, chicken, turkey or beef can be introduced when a variety of fruit and veggies are being tolerated well. We recommend stage 1 jarred meats, or cooking until soft, and pureeing with some broth as needed to thin to baby’s current preference.
|Foods||How much||How often|
cereal with iron
|1-2x per day|
strained, plain fruit)
|2x per day|
strained, plain vegetable)
|2x per day|
|Proteins (Pureed with broth)||1-2 table
|2x per day|
Happy 8 months to your baby! I hope you are enjoying watching your little one meet their milestones. The next step on our feeding journey will be a huge one! Stay tuned for our next post as we get ready to help you transition to table foods!