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Mmm, mama: Introducing more textured foods to your baby

Some babies will catch on faster than others, but you won’t know that until that first bite.

Mmm, mama: Introducing more textured foods to your baby

If you start solids by giving your baby purees, you might be wondering when it's time to bring in more textured foods.


What to watch for

There's no hard and fast rule, but in general, all you need to do is to watch your child: If they are handling the smooth purees easily, aren't pushing much food back out with their tongue, and are moving the food around in their mouth without trouble, you can start to offer foods that are slightly more textured.

When to start

This will likely happen between 6-8 months, depending on when you started solids.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

Blend the food just a little less.

If your baby is used to very smooth purees, step things up by simply not blending the foods quite as thoroughly. (Think of the difference between the texture of baby rice cereal and that of instant oatmeal, or smooth applesauce versus a kind that has small yet soft chunks.)

Mix in some Stage 2 foods.

If you're using purchased baby food, start offering some of the foods labeled Stage 2. Include them in the rotation of your baby's daily foods so that you are offering both Stage 1 and Stage 2 alternately before moving over to just Stage 2. This will give your baby a chance to learn how to manipulate the more textured foods.

Start with small tastes.

Some babies will catch on faster than others, but you won't know that until that first bite, so keep the amount of food on the spoon small to avoid overwhelming them.

Consider baby-led weaning.

More parents are skipping purees and simply offering the same table foods that they eat.

Baby-led weaning works best when you have time to let the baby explore, when you are comfortable with your baby learning to move foods around in their mouths (which will likely lead to some gagging), and if you aren't worried about immediately replacing their breast milk or formula intake with solids.

But the big benefit is that you don't have to make separate food! Good foods to start with are avocado, mashed or roasted sweet potato, apples roasted until very soft, banana, or very ripe pear.

Amy Palanjin is a writer, a mother, and creator of Yummy Toddler Foods.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

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Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

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Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

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Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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