Is your baby ready to eat table foods?
If your baby has progressed through the stages and skills outlined in our previous posts then they are ready to transition to table foods. During this transition certain table foods may be selected to introduce sooner than others, or some modifications may need to be made in order to make tolerating table foods a safe and enjoyable experience for you and your baby.
At this time your baby should have been exposed to many different foods in puree or soft mashed versions. During this transition to table foods the focus shifts from introducing new foods, and instead you will continue to give the same foods they know and love, but in a different textural presentation. One of the most important rules of feeding therapy is making one noticeable change at a time. You can set your baby up for success by keeping the foods they love consistent in taste and flavors, while they get used to tolerating them in a different texture. First you can mash foods less and less, with eventual transition to fine chopped, then coarse chopped and eventually table food presentations cut up into bite sized pieces. YAY less work for you!
Signs your baby is ready for this exciting new step:
- Baby is approaching their first birthday and has met all prior feeding milestones
- Baby is an efficient and happy eater of purees and soft mashed foods presented on the spoon
- Baby is able to chew foods placed on the molars
- Baby is able to use their tongue to move food placed in the center of the mouth over to the molars for chewing
- No food is lost out of the front of the mouth during spoon feeding
- Baby’s lips are active while the jaw moves up and down to chew foods
- Baby’s lips draw inward and down to make contact and mouth closes during chewing
- Baby uses front teeth or gums to retrieve food from the lips
- Baby can hold a soft cookie between the gums or teeth without clenching or biting all the way through
By baby’s first birthday you can offer baby most foods that you are having (with the exception of very hard foods). How many teeth your baby has will help guide you on how coarse or fine to chop baby’s foods. As your baby get more teeth you can start to offer larger pieces.
What can I give my baby?
- Soft meltables like teether cookies such as mum mums or puffs
- Coarsely chopped soft table foods and easy to chew meats (like chopped roasted chicken)
- Soft chewy or gooey cookie (break off pieces or have baby hold and bite)
- Well done pastas (pastina or orzo is a great first pasta)
- Cooked veggies
- Chopped or cubed fruit
Not sure what you’re looking for? Send us a video of your little one or schedule a free consultation! Our excellent feeding therapists are here when needed or let you know you’re on the right track 😊