Has your baby mastered pureed baby foods and wants to move on to more solid table foods? Wonder how to make the transition away from purees?
Babies can typically start eating solid foods by around the 6th month and by around 7 or 8 months old they can start experimenting with table foods. Solid table foods should be cut or portioned for easy handling so they are not a choking hazard. Initially, focus on softer foods such as cooked vegetables, grains, fruits, fish, yogurt, and eggs.
Read on to learn more about the transition from purees to more solid table foods!
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When should you feed your baby table food?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies can start experimenting with solid foods at around 6 months of age and there is no strict requirement that they are introduced in a certain order.
With that said, all babies will react to solid foods a little different both in terms of interest and ability so it is important for parents to carefully observe their baby anytime they are eating new foods or experimenting with solids for the first time. Note that solid foods represent anything that isn’t just infant formula or breastmilk.
Beginner solid foods include:
- Grain cereals
- Rice cereals
- Pureed fruits and vegetables
- Pureed meats
As for when babies can start eating table food, that depends on what you mean by the term.
Babies can start experimenting with solid table foods like cooked vegetables, grains, yogurt, eggs, fish, and fruits at around 8 months old. At this point, they should have mastered basic cereals and purees and be ready to start experimenting with new foods. Always be sure new foods are portioned, cut, or mashed up to avoid choking. Observe your baby closely and always introduce potentially allergic food carefully whenever you feed your child.
- Tree nuts
- Cow’s milk products
Why can’t babies eat table food before this?
Babies shouldn’t eat table food before around 8 months because they will likely lack the ability to properly pick up the food, place it in their mouth, and chew it properly. Many foods are also potential choking hazards for babies, even if they are comfortable with the process.
Here are just some of the potential choking hazards for babies:
- Whole pieces of raw vegetables
- Whole pieces of fruit
- Cooked meats
- Dried fruits
- Hot dogs or other meat sticks
- Crackers, chips, or cookies
There is a LOT of variation in the ability of babies at such a young age and while some babies will seem to grasp the concept (and the food!) quickly, others might struggle and need to stick with purees for a while before you move on.
How do you transition your baby from purees to table food?
Babies learn from their parents and siblings first and foremost so once your baby has shown an interest in solid foods you should be sure to carefully demonstrate how to pick up foods and place them in your mouth. Talk throughout the process and make it fun for your baby to watch.
Here are some quick tips for transitioning a baby from purees to table food according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Start with some of the easy foods I mentioned above such as a cooked vegetable
- Portion or cut the food into small enough bites to avoid becoming a choking hazard
- Give the food to your baby on a plate
- Let your baby pick up the food and experiment
- Encourage your baby to take a bite
- If your baby becomes frustrated, you can help show them the way
Don’t be too stressed out about them getting things right at first. If your baby just plays with the food for the first few tries – that’s okay! Feed baby should be fun!
When should babies stop eating purees?
There is no hard and fast rule about when babies should stop eating purees.
Babies can enjoy pureed foods such as applesauce or mashed-up bananas without any issues or worry about transitioning away as long as they are also experimenting with and learning how to each solid foods at the same time. Rather than trying to force a transition away from purees, just focus on adding in more solid foods.
Are baby purees necessary?
Many parents love buying or preparing pureed baby food because they are an easy way for babies to start eating solid food and it is super easy to combine lots of different foods to ensure that baby is getting the right amount of nutrition from their diet.
Despite the advertisements and whatever the cute little Gerber baby says, however, baby purees are not totally necessary.
If you are thinking of skipping, read on!
Can babies skip purees and eat regular food?
Many parents find that baby purees are a necessary part of their baby’s transition to solid foods but they are by no means a requirement.
In fact, many parents choose to skip purees altogether in favor of a system called baby-led weaning. With baby-led weaning, you slowly start exposing your baby to solid foods prepared the same way you eat them during your meals but portioned and cut in such a way that baby can handle and eat them safely.
Skipping purees in favor of baby-led weaning might be an attractive option for parents that find themselves financially unable to purchase prepared baby food purees and just want to help their baby start solid food with what they are already eating.
How do you move on from purees to solid foods?
If you are a parent struggling to move on from purees, don’t fret!
All babies will react a little differently when it comes to transitioning away from purees but it is best to take their lead and simply go with the flow. Remember that there is no real need to transition from purees in the first place so don’t feel pressured.
Here are a few tips for moving on from pureed baby food:
- Purchase baby food pouches that require less work on your part and are convenient for babies
- Experiment with baby-led weaning
- Introduce more solid foods
- Limit baby to a certain number of pureed items each day and slowly reduce it
When should babies stop eating baby food?
Just like purees, there is no hard and fast rule for when babies should stop eating baby food.
By 12 months, most babies have begun drinking cow’s milk and have made the full transition to eating solid foods and table foods. However, babies can continue to enjoy pureed baby food for as long as they want it without any issue provided that they are also learning to eat solid foods and are being exposed to a diverse diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
When can a child eat adult foods on a plate?
Once a baby has started eating solid foods, there is really no such thing as ‘adult food’ anymore – everything is fair game!
With that said, parents should always introduce new foods to their baby one at a time and be sure to observe them anytime they are introducing potentially allergic foods.
Should my 10-month-old be eating table food?
10-month old babies can eat table food as long as they are comfortable eating solid foods and the food has been cut, mashed, or portioned so that it is not a choking hazard for them. Special care should be taken with potentially allergic foods.
How much table food should a 10-month-old eat?
A 10-month old baby can eat as often as they are hungry, about three main meals per day along with two healthy snacks. Portions should be small and the focus should be on experimenting with and exposing your baby to new and different foods in a responsible way.
At 10 months, babies will still be nursing or taking a bottle and should also have 3-4 bottle feedings or nursing sessions each day.
What should a 10-month-old be eating?
As I mentioned before, babies starting out with solid foods should focus on things that are easy to grab, chew, and digest.
A 10-month-old should be eating formula or breast milk along with simple solid foods such as soft fruits, cooked vegetables, cereals, cooked beans, dairy products, eggs, breads, and pasta.