If you have a baby between the ages of 8-9 months and have already been offering them pureed baby foods it may be time to start some textures as well. Many parents are a bit “wary” of offering any food that hasn’t been totally pureed, but it is important that your baby starts to experiment with foods that have different consistencies.
Of course this does not mean you hand your baby anything that they could choke on like a grape, or piece of meat etc. But instead of totally pureeing carrots, why not cook them well, chop them up a bit and put them on the high chair tray. It is fun to watch how they touch and feel the carrots, before they “smoosh and moosh” them and get them to their mouths.
There are so many foods that are easily offered to a baby to get them used to feeling different textures. This is the very beginning of experimenting with finger foods, and this doesn’t just mean puffs or cheerios either. I like to encourage babies to feel cold, gooey, warm, sticky, all sorts of different textures which will ultimately help them become better and more adventuresome eaters as they get older.
Unfortunately, I see far too many little ones (and not so little ones too) continuing to eat totally pureed foods and then becoming adverse to textures as they did not get the experience at an early enough age.
It is also fun to watch your child as they begin to pick up foods that have been chopped and diced into small soft pieces. In the early stages they have to scoop and lick the food from their fingers and hands, but very quickly their pincer grasp takes over and suddenly they can pick up that well cooked green bean or pea!! Such a feat and worthy of a home video to send to the grandparents for sure.
So, put out some mushy food and let them play - I know it is messy but that is what being a kid is often about!