Your little one is enjoying all the amazing purees you are making them and now you are wondering when and how to transition them to table food, also known as solid food. But how do you go about doing this, what age do they need to be and can they eat solid food without teeth? Don't worry, the answers are quite simple.
Is your baby ready for solid food?
You are going to know this better then anyone else because there is no specific age they need to be in order to start eating solid foods. So you just need to watch and listen to your baby's subtle [or not so subtle] signs.
- Refusing to eat off a spoon unless they have control over it
- Pincher grip has developed and baby can get most foods to his mouth
- Can mash thicker purees with no problems
How to transition your baby to solid foods?
There are really two methods for transiting your baby to solid foods. The first method is to slightly thicken the purees you are giving them each week by simply not blending them as much. So you will go from a fine and silky puree to a chunky and thick puree in about a month or so. You can also increase the size and amount of grains, meat and beans you put into the puree. Once they are fine with eating the chunky puree, you can offer small chunks of soft and mushy food along side the chunky puree, always giving them the option of what type of food they prefer. Depending on your little one, this might take some time to get them to start eating solid food rather then puree or they might take one bit of the solid food and never go back to a puree. Either way, is just fine.
The second method, is to just go straight from the purees to the solid food. I would recommend offering a puree alongside the solid foods to make sure they always have an option. Some babies just want to use their fingers to eat and to be done with purees altogether. Which is also just fine.
What foods do I offer them?
The key here is to offer them small pieces of mushy, steamed, soft or cooked foods to prevent any choking hazards. Start with a small pea size piece of solid food and work your way up in size.
- Pieces of ripe banana, avocado or pear
- Steamed carrots, peas, corn, sweet potato or yellow squash
- Cooked pasta - ziti, bowtie or orzo worked best for us
- Cooked Chicken or Fish
- Soft cheese - mozzarella, goat or cream cheese
Can they eat solids without teeth?
Absolutely! At this age, they are going to mash the soft solids with their gums [which as you know are very hard]. As they get their teeth you can offer harder and bigger pieces of solid foods.