Start with a morning munch
Breakfast is the perfect time to introduce new textures. After a good night’s sleep, your happy little baby will be full of smiles and ready to fill their tummy with tasty foods! For something slightly different, try stirring pieces of chopped fruit, like, banana or strawberry, into their favourite cereal, or give them a slice of cheese on toast to munch on.
Finger foods keep the fun going
Once they’re used to eating breakfast, it’s time to introduce a mid-morning snack too! So why not keep their little fingers and jaws busy with some finger foods? It can be a bit messy at the start but it’s a great way to improve hand-eye coordination. And now your baby’s getting better at picking up small things, they’ll love the challenge of trying to find their mouth! Try not to overwhelm them with too many different tastes and textures at once. Just stick to a few things they know and love to begin with, and cut them into chunky pieces they can nibble away on.
Remember to serve up plenty of smiles with each new food to help your baby get excited about it. You could even have a nibble too, so they see how it’s done! Your baby loves to know when they’ve done something well, so give them lots of praise every time they chomp on something new!
Fabulous finger foods to try
Carrot sticks – thin slices of raw carrot are ideal for them to hold and munch on.
Apple slices – fresh, crunchy slices of raw apple are perfect for little fingers.
Dried fruit – make a trail of yummy raisins on their highchair tray for them to pick up.
Bread sticks – try lightly toasted bagels or strips of pitta bread.
Time for more texture
Introducing more texture at other mealtimes is easy when you know how. Try dicing the veggies in savoury dishes like pasta sauce, cottage or fish pie and casserole, instead of puréeing or mashing them. And add minced meats, diced chicken or turkey, flaked fish and cooked beans or lentils to your recipes. Small, whole pasta shapes or short lengths of spaghetti can add a new dimension to spaghetti bolognese and there’s no need to mash risotto any more. When it comes to sweet things, a handful of chopped fresh fruit in a bowl of yogurt adds a nice bit of bite. And exotic fruits like pineapple, melon and papaya make yummy finger foods too. So there’s a lot to look forward to on the menu!
The chance of choking
When your baby first tries lumpier textures or starts to chew for themselves, it’s normal for you to be concerned about choking. However, your baby has a natural gag reflex that helps protect them from this. To be on the safe side though, don’t leave your baby alone when they’re eating.
Visit our baby recipes for inspiration on what to cook at mealtimes and how to introduce different textures according to your baby's stage of weaning.