What is the proper consistency for Stage 3 eaters?
Processed baby food you see in the stores, especially in those pouches, is virtually the same liquidy consistency for the first year and beyond. Feeding your baby only 1 consistency is not necessary and may lead to texture aversion and picky eating. Most babies have the ability to move through different textures and consistencies during the first year faster than you may realize. This not only helps them learn to chew but helps avoid picky eating and texture aversion.
At Stage 3, which is when your baby is about 10-12 months, is the stage where your baby will really learn how to chew. He most likely has a couple of teeth he’s been chomping away with already. If he is ready, you can bump up the texture of his meals to chunk-a-licious. I consider this a thick and lumpy puree or meal. However, be sure the chunks are soft to avoid a potential choking hazard. Keep in mind that every baby is different, so play around with texture and thickness in a way your baby can handle.
At this stage, your baby may even be ready to have some of her meals finely chopped with a knife instead of being pureed. Additionally, she may also be able to tackle all grains in their whole form, barley, rice and oatmeal included. However, if you feel your baby is not ready for this yet, please mash or lightly puree her grains before serving. You can also introduce pasta shapes that are slightly larger, like ditallini, if your baby is ready. Again, if she is not quite ready yet, please stay with small shaped pasta, like pastina.