Smooth & Creamy
This is the beginning of your baby's culinary journey and he is learning to swallow food from a spoon. The texture should be very smooth and creamy, no lumps or anything that would be difficult for your baby to swallow. While you don't want there to be lumps, you also don't want the consistency to be too liquidy either and running down your baby's chin. If the puree is too much like a liquid, you are teaching her to drink from a spoon rather than take a true bite of solid food. If you do need to thin the puree, add a little cooking water, breast milk or formula. If you need to thicken it, add a little baby cereal.
|Smooth and Creamy Butternut Squash Puree|
At 4-6 months, the idea was to get your baby used to swallowing solid food. At this stage, the idea is for your baby to learn how to gum food, which is the step before chewing. If your baby is ready, you can start to thicken her purees into a mushy mash. A mushy mash is thicker and lumpier than a smooth and creamy puree. The lumps must be soft so she can gum them. As her teeth come in, continue to play with texture and thickness, but be sure to keep the lumps soft. If they are not soft, your baby could choke. Follow her cues and only thicken and lump up puree if your baby is ready.
As far as the texture of baby cereals and grains goes, if your baby is ready, you can now feed him millet without pulverizing it first. Millet is naturally very small in size and cooks up into a perfect mushy mash. The same goes for quinoa and amaranth, they are small in size and cook up nice and mushy. However, if your baby isn’t quite ready, please pulverize before cooking or mash before serving. Rice, oatmeal and barley are larger sized grains and still need to be either pulverized before cooking or mashed into smaller pieces before serving.
This is also a good time to introduce small shaped pasta like pastina or stellini, if you feel your baby is ready. These pasta shapes are naturally mushy and the perfect size for this stage.
|Mushy Mash Pastina with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Grated Parmesan Cheese|
This 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 to keep the chunks soft so as to avoid a potential choking hazard.
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.
|Chunk-A-Licious Beef with Barley, Carrots, Mushrooms and Parsley|
*This is a guideline, please remember that every baby is different, always make sure the consistency of your baby's food is one she can handle.+ Add to my Recipe Box