When introducing baby food to your bay for the first time you will notice the ‘tongue thrust reflex’. This is a natural reaction from your baby and will go away over time. If your baby refuses to take the spoon then your baby is not ready for solid foods yet. Be patient as your baby will tell you when the time is right. Your baby is incredibly curious and probably sees you putting food into your mouth and will be likely to mimic you! If you didn’t manage to feed your baby solids because they weren’t ready then try again later in a week or two.
Your baby will be curious and by allowing them to taste something different to breast milk or formula could get their taste buds going. You just have to be patient and watch how they react. Some babies are ready for solids sooner than other babies – remember it is not a race and don’t feel bad if your baby is not ready for solids in their early age.
When feeding your baby from the spoon especially when you start on solid foods that your baby might gag when the food is in their mouth. This is a perfectly normal reflex as your baby gets used to eating food. It is a natural defines against choking so don’t panic. However you must pay close attention to the gag reflex in case any food does get stuck. You should know how to clear the airway in case of choking.
Some babies don’t like lumpy food and will refuse to eat the lumpy bits. If you notice such a reaction then stick to purees for the time being. The most important thing to remember is that mealtimes should be fun and a positive experience for your baby. Every baby is different in their development as some start early and some start later on solid foods. A good way to introduce lumpy foods is to try mashing instead of purees which is a blend of puree and lumpy. As your baby grows in confidence at mealtime you can make the mashing rougher and have more lumps.
It is good to start to introduce textures in your baby’s food after 3 weeks of starting. By doing this your baby will gradually adapt to more lumpy foods a lot easier with less problems later on. Long periods of feeding your baby pureed food can make it difficult when wanting to encourage chewing at mealtime. Did you know that the chewing of food for your baby strengthens the jaw muscles, helps develop speech and allows your baby to enjoy finger food.
Adding Texture to your Baby’s Food
You could try to thicken the purees by adding cereal or a mashed cooked egg yolk. This will made the food heavier and would be a good transition to lumpy foods. A food mill is also useful as it can break foods down into smaller easy to swallow pieces that is only slightly lumpy. Try a grating an apple or pear and add some yogurt to smooth out the texture. Another way is to puree half of the food and grate the other half to get a slightly lumpy meal. A good alternative to this is to feed your baby cottage cheese as it too is slightly lumpy and would encourage chewing. If you can get your baby to eats foods prepared like this then maybe your baby will be ready for foods prepared by mashing and finally chopped foods.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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