The Window of Opportunity
Did you know there is a window of opportunity for your baby to accept textured food?
It opens from 4 to 6 months and closes around 9 to 10 months.
This time period means it’s the best time to to try more challenging textures with purées (from mashed to chopped) otherwise it then becomes increasingly difficult for your baby to manipulate more challenging textures In their mouth.
Starting too late on solids (beyond 7 months) means they are missing out on the window of opportunity time which is so important for helping your baby to learn to chew. ⠀
Remaining on a purée diet for too long makes it much more difficult for your baby to learn the skills of chewing more challenging food. You can absolutely start on purées, like I did with Hugo, you just want to progress from the very smooth/thin purées to more mashed and lumpier purée about 3 weeks after starting on very smooth/thin purées.⠀
So what is the best thing to do for your baby so they maximise the window of opportunity?⠀
Offering finger foods by at least 8/9 months is imperative to introducing those lovely different textures for your baby to explore. Ensuring you have progressed from soupy/smooth purée to mashed foods with at least little lumps in there, if not chopped and minced textured foods by 9 months.⠀
Early and easy acceptance of flavour, taste, texture and smell of food means early and consistent introduction of a variety of different foods and textures by 9/10 months. ⠀
Remember, focusing on introducing a VARIETY of all foods when you start solids is the best way to ensure your baby will get there and enjoy eating more challenging foods with different textures.⠀