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Baby food: Mashed, Minced or Lumpy

July 3, 2012 by Dean Simmons, Registered Dietitian

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Baby food: Mashed, Minced or Lumpy

One of the gifts we received after our son was born was a baby food blender.These mini-blenders are meant to help parents make their own baby food, which is great, but they tend to leave baby’s food in a smooth pureed texture.

While pureed food makes for an easy introduction to solid foods, babies quickly need more texture to help them develop their eating skills.
There’s a tremendous amount of learning and skill development around eating that happens between the ages of six and 12 months. During this short period, most babies will progress from eating just a few pureed or mashed soft foods to eating many of the same foods that the family eats.

Babies are ready to be introduced to solid foods at about six months of age. As your baby develops, try increasing the amount of texture in his or her food.

Babies may gag while learning to eat foods with more texture. Gagging is caused by your baby’s very sensitive gag reflex and actually helps to prevent choking. If your baby gags try to stay calm and reassuring—you’ll both get through it. Even though babies have a built-in anti choking reflex it’s important to be prepared and to keep a close eye on them while they’re eating so you can quickly help out if they start to choke on something.

Do you make your own baby food at home?  Let us know what your baby liked and how you introduced foods with more texture.

If Your Baby Can... Try: Food Examples
Sit up with help Soft foods that are pureed, mashed or ground
  • Single grain iron fortified infant cereal
  • Other soft iron-rich foods that are pureed, mashed or ground
Sit up independently Soft mashed or ground foods without any lumps
  • Well mashed sweet potato
  • Soft mashed or ground foods with small lumps
  • Foods with a soft texture
  • Crunchy foods that dissolve in the mouth, like crackers or baby biscuits
  • Avoid foods that may be choking hazards
  • Well minced ground meat
  • Egg yolk
  • Oat ring cereal
Walk with help
  • Foods with soft to moderate textures
  • Coarsely chopped foods
  • Foods with noticeable lumps
  • Finger foods
  • Cottage cheese
  • Minced salmon
  • Whole grain strips of toast














For custom advice on feeding your baby dial 8-1-1 to speak with one of the registered dietitians at HealthLinkBC

Related Posts:
Baby’s First Foods

Recommended Resources:
Finger Foods for Babies 6 - 12 months
Recipes for Your Baby (6-9 Months Old)
Feeding Your Baby Sample Meals for Babies 6 to 12 Months Old

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Comments (2)


Posted on Thursday August 29, 2013 a 4:49pm

I just recently came accross this article while exploring the new Prenatal, infant, toddler HealthyFamiliesBC page at work and was surprised to see the chart at the bottom that recommends offering certain types of foods when the child is able to acheive specific gross motor skills such as 'crawling' and 'walking with help'. I am not aware of any evidence that supports this. Also the examples in the chart are limiting. Instead we recommend offering finger foods as soon as baby is able to pick up foods (fingers or palm), to follow guidelines to prevent choking and adapt foods as needed, and progress to table (family)foods.

hurrell's picture

Healthy Families BC

Posted on Wednesday September 11, 2013 a 8:48am

Thank you for your comment ‘fatcat’. Gross motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking are an indication of a child’s developmental stage. These indicators have been used as general guidelines to help show a child’s readiness for particular textures of foods. The indicators described in this post are examples of physical skills that tend to accompany particular eating skills. As you have noted, being able to pick up foods is another example of a physical skill indicating particular eating skills. The food examples in the table above were provided to help parents by showing what types of healthy foods correspond to particular textures. They are not meant to be limiting. Once parents understand the concept of texture progression they can apply it to healthy foods of their choosing. The evidence for this blog post comes from the Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) service from Dietitians of Canada. This is a subscriber-based service that provides evidence summaries and guidelines on nutrition topics. Since you may not have access to PEN you may be interested in reading the following two sets of feeding guidelines, which refer to physical skills as indicators of readiness for particular textures. 1) Available freely online: HealthyFamilies BC (2013). Starting Solids. Available from: Alberta Government. (2012). Feeding Baby Solid Foods: From 6 to 12 months of age. Available from: 2) Ask your librarian: Butte, N., Cobb, K. Dwyer. J., and Graney, L. (2004). The Start Healthy Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Vol 104 (3). I hope that this helps to answer your questions. Please feel free to call one of our Registered Dietitians at 8-1-1 if you have any more questions or comments on infant feeding. Sincerely, Dean Simmons


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