When offering puree foods, it’s essential to select a consistency that is safe for baby’s development. Here are three puree textures to try with your baby to assess their swallow and the feeding skills you can teach with each respective texture.
A thin puree is a food (vegetable, fruit, protein, or starch) that has been ground, pressed, blended, or strained to be slightly denser than liquid. Use this puree to gradually expose baby to a new texture, helping them learn to transition from their safe swallow of thin liquids (breast milk or formula) to the new, slightly thicker consistency.
The ezpz Tiny Spoon is a perfect tool for offering a thin puree. You can hand baby a preloaded spoon of a thin puree, and they can independently put the spoon in their mouth and suckle a new taste!
Texture Example: Yogurt
One example of this texture is yogurt thinned out with breast milk or formula. Adding formula or breast milk to the puree gives baby a consistent and familiar taste while offering a change in texture and presentation (spoon vs. bottle). *Yogurt is a potentially allergenic food since it has dairy.
Open Cup Example
You can also offer your baby thin puree mixtures from an open cup. Open-cup drinking is a 6-month-old developmental milestone that is easy to implement. Just give baby an ounce of liquid (held by an adult) from the ezpz Tiny Cup to make their first sips safe and fun.
A thick puree is a dense, smooth, and uniform texture, and it should hold its shape in a bowl. Remember – it’s essential to offer baby new textures as you expose them to the different sensory aspects of foods.
The ezpz Tiny Spoon can help baby learn the developmental skill of baby-led dipping (a developmental milestone that matures around 9 months of age).
Texture Example: Black Beans
Blend a can of black beans (and its dark broth) into a thick paste. Offer baby the paste from a bowl with a spoon or spread it on soft crackers.
Open Cup Example
Baby should also try drinking a thick puree from an open cup. For example, you can put applesauce (slightly thicker than a traditional thin puree) into an open cup and have baby learn how to drink and swallow the weighted consistency. It also has a grainy texture that can help prepare their sensory system for the next transition (a lumpy puree).
Babies need to be exposed to lumpy purees to help them transition to food textures that fall apart in their mouths. You may see gagging at first but remain calm and confident as your baby learns more about this novel texture. Start with soft lumps, like fork-mashed sweet potato, then work up to firmer lumps, like cottage cheese.
Baby-led scooping matures around 11-18 months of age. Have your little one practice their spoon scooping skills with these thicker and more challenging textures!
Texture Example: Chickpea
Take cooked soft chickpeas, remove the skin and mash them into a moist chunky puree with a fork. Serve with a baby-led spoon, such as the Tiny Spoon, which is included in the First Foods Set.
Texture Example: Cottage Cheese
Cottage Cheese is a messy finger food but also a great way for baby to learn the sensory properties of a lumpy puree with both their hands and a spoon.
Offering multiple puree textures gives baby an opportunity to practice tongue movements needed for safe feeding, drinking, and speech. In addition, serving various consistencies makes it less likely for baby to reject new textures during the toddler years. Score!
What texture of puree does your baby enjoy most? Is your baby able to swallow these textures safely? Or are you having difficulties feeding your baby? I can help. You are not alone!