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Introduce your baby to solid food packed with more textures & flavours with our baby feeding guide to advanced weaning
How to introduce your baby to solid foods with bits
Once your baby is happily eating simple purées it’s time to get to grips with bits. You can start adding more texture to purées and bringing in snacks – this is usually from around seven months. Before you know it, you’ll have a proper little gourmet on your hands!
Introducing your baby to meat & fish
Add a variety of new tastes and textures to your baby’s diet by trying:
Cooked meat, fish or a well-cooked egg
Add to vegetable purées for a more substantial meal with new textures. Make sure the meat is soft or shredded to avoid hard lumps. Check fish carefully for bones.
Lentils & other cooked pulses
These are great to combine with vegetable purées for a filling, healthy meal.
Full-fat dairy products
Babies love the taste and texture of yogurt and cheese sauce (which can be added to meat, fish, vegetables and pulses).
Casseroles & risottos
Using baby stock cubes with meat, vegetables and cooked rice, you can start making flavourful meals for baby and you to enjoy together.
Ready-made jars & pouches
From stews to Sunday lunch, there are some tasty choices out there. Look out for Stage 2 or 3 jars and pouches, which are suitable from seven months.
Feeding your baby lumpy food
If you don’t want a fusspot, feed them some lumps! "From seven to nine months your baby should have more complex textures," says Boots Parenting Club nutritionist Vicky Pennington. "It’s a critical window as research shows that babies introduced to lumps after 10 months eat a smaller range of foods and are more likely to have feeding difficulties." Make sure you roughly mash with a fork rather than blitz; combine more ingredients and introduce ‘bits’ like tiny pasta shapes or rice. You can also start fork mashing the meals you eat as a family, so you can all have the same thing (skip the salt). If you want a ready-made option, look for Stage 2 or 3 jars or pouches.
Giving your baby nuts
If there’s no history of allergies, eczema, asthma or hayfever in your immediate family, you can give your baby crushed nuts, finely ground nuts or even peanut butter (choose a healthy one) from six months onwards. If there is, check with your GP first. Nuts are rich in fatty acids, vitamin E and protein so they’re fab for energy, growth and development.
Introducing your baby to snacking
Babies, unlike adults, need regular snacks to keep up their energy levels. Lucky things! Snacks are also great for occupying your baby when you’re out or if they’re grizzly and need a distraction. Make sure any snacking happens when your baby is fully upright, and always watch them while they’re eating.
Great snack choices for your baby:
• Fruit pouches provide an instant fix and don’t require any prep. They’re also useful when you’re out and about as they weigh very little when you’re already carrying a lot
• Rice cakes are firm enough to hold but gentle on delicate gums – a winner with babies 12 months and older