Once your baby is happy taking solids from a spoon, they’re ready for the next stage of their adventure into the culinary world. Now you can start introducing soft lumps and more interesting mashed textures to their food. While ages do vary, it’s likely your baby will be ready for soft lumps once swallowing is established, from six months onwards.
Here are a few things you’ll need to know:
- Soft lumps – try for small and soft lumps in a thick purée. Harder lumps, like whole peas in a sauce, will be too much for them. They’ll struggle to separate them while eating and run the risk of choking.
- Mash it – try fork mashing a banana into small pieces. That’s about the texture you should be aiming for with their new menu.
- Jaw development - These soft lumps and mashes are important as they learn to chew, it encourages tongue flexibility and movement.
- Gumming it - most babies can still learn to chew soft lumps with just their gums. Don’t worry if their teeth haven’t come in yet.
- Getting to know food - experience with new textures now might make them less likely to reject lumpy food later on.
A few fun lumpy foods to try:
- Mashed banana
- Mashed ripe avocado
- Rice pudding
- Very finely flaked fish in sauce - be careful you’ve removed any bones
- Minced chicken and sweet potato
- Small pasta pieces in cheese sauce
- Cooked mashed egg – like you have in an egg sandwich
- Lentil dhal or lentil casserole, but make sure there are no hard solid lumps like peas in there!