Is your baby getting ready for table foods?

Is your baby getting ready for table foods?

Hello again!

Hopefully your baby is now an adventurous and happy eater of pureed foods and is ready to take the exciting next step towards table foods! If you and your baby are still working on acclimating to infant cereals, pureed fruits, vegetables, and proteins – feel free to check out our previous posts for some handy tips and guidelines for success.

Today’s post will focus on transitioning from purees to more solid textures as we get ready for table foods. To be ready for this step, baby should have progressed to the following feeding skills:

  • Spoon feeding (closing lips to take food off the spoon, with lips closed and tongue staying inside of the mouth to swallow and not pushing food out of the mouth)
  • Chewing action when managing soft lumps in the puree foods (up and down movement of the jaw before swallowing)
  • Interest in advanced foods (interest and reaching for foods from parents or other caregivers

At 8-10 months if your baby has mastered spoon feeding of single ingredient pureed textures you can start to introduce combinations of ingredients, mash foods less, and start to introduce the food presentation with a bit more texture to facilitate chewing and mashing. During this stage:

  • Baby’s formula/breast milk intake decreases as they start to take in more solid foods
  • Baby can sit up for feedings with the back of the chair at 90 degrees without support
  • Chewing skills improve
  • Baby should start to lateralize food (use their tongue to get food from the front of the mouth over to the molar area for effective chewing)
  • Lips close to keep foods in the mouth and move forward and down to assist with drawing foods into the mouth and keeping in the mouth for better management and control
Foods How much How often
Dry infant cereal with iron 5-8 table spoons 2x per day
Fruits (strained or soft mashed) 2-4 table spoons 2x per day
Vegetables (strained or soft mashed) 2-4 table spoons 2x per day
Proteins (Strained or ground**) 1-3 table spoons 2x per day

** Can offer ground proteins once baby is tolerating strained proteins well

At this stage as baby’s intake of solid food increases, their diet and variety of accepted foods should grow as well. At this point baby should be eating or getting exposure to any/all of the following:

  • Fruits: avocado, apple, mango, pear, banana, apricot, mango, nectarine, peach, plum, prune, pumpkin, blueberry, cantaloupe, cherry, cranberry, fig, grapes, kiwi, papaya
  • Vegetables: green peas, sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, parsnips, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, beets, sweet peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, potato
  • Protein: black beans, chicken tofu, turkey, beef, fish, pork, egg
  • Grains: barley, oats, rice, pasta, quinoa
  • Dairy: Yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, other soft cheeses

Hopefully you and your baby are enjoying the progression to being healthy adventurous eaters. If your baby is progressing slowly with their feeding, give lots of time for them to adjust to these new textures, flavors and sensory experiences. Offer lots of praise and encouragement and introduce new foods when baby is hungry but in a good mood. Every baby is an individual and may progress at a different rate. However if your baby is not progressing, and meal times are stressful and difficult for you and your baby – this may indicate signs of a feeding disorder and may require the services of a feeding specialist. Here at Speech Therapy For All we are happy to be a resource should you have any questions and concerns about your little one.

Good luck expanding your food repertoire with your little one!