For Baby

Getting those lumps just right: the next stage of introducing solids

Once your baby is happy taking solids from a spoon, they’re ready for the next stage of their adventure into the culinary world. Now you can start introducing lumps and more interesting mashed textures to their food. While ages do vary, it’s likely your baby will be ready for soft lumps from seven months onwards.

Getting those Lumps Just Right

Here are a few things you’ll need to know:

Soft lumps – try for small and soft lumps in a thick puree. Harder lumps, like whole peas in a sauce, will be too much for them. They’ll struggle to separate them while eating and run the risk of choking.


Mash it – try fork mashing a banana into small pieces. That’s about the texture you should be aiming for with their new menu. 


Jaw development - These soft lumps and mashes are important as they learn to chew, it encourages tongue flexibility and movement. 


Gumming it - most babies can still learn to chew soft lumps with just their gums. Don’t worry if their teeth haven’t come in yet.


Getting to know food - experience with new textures now might make them less likely to reject lumpy food later on.

A few fun lumpy foods to try:

  • Mashed banana
  • Mashed ripe avocado
  • Rice pudding
  • Very finely flaked fish in sauce - be careful you’ve removed any bones
  • Minced chicken and kumara
  • Small pasta pieces in cheese sauce
  • Cooked mashed egg – like you have in an egg sandwich
  • Lentil dhal or lentil casserole, but make sure there are no hard solid lumps like peas in there!

Comment 5

Have your say...

Antoinette's Comment

On the baby feeding charts it says they can start having yogurt. What is the best yogurt to start with, as I haven't seen any baby ones. (There use to be baby yogurts when I had my first, 7 years ago).

Reply from The ForBaby Team.

Hi Antoinette,

Thanks for your query. Babies can have dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese etc. from the age of 7 months. Children under the age of two should eat full fat dairy products, so avoid low fat, diet or ‘lite’ options at this stage. Natural unsweetened yoghurt has quite an adult flavour and some children may not be so keen on it, try adding some fresh or stewed fruit or berries to increase acceptability. There is no need for special ‘baby’ yoghurts, although these tend to be smooth and have quite a bland flavour. Some yoghurts are labelled as suitable for 1 year +, this is due to the requirements of the food standards code. There appears to be no reason why these products would not be suitable for infants from 7 months + who can eat other dairy products such as cheese etc. We hope this helps?

Thanks,
The ForBaby Team

Antoinette's Comment

Thank you! That does help :)

Catherine's Comment

I started my son on solids at 4 months. How do I know when he's ready to try some stage 2 foods?

Reply from The ForBaby team

Hi Catherine,

Thanks for getting in contact with our team. From around 6-7 months your son will be ready for stage 2 foods. At this stage he may be starting to chew & bite and may have teeth- although he doesn’t need teeth to eat soft lumpy food as their gums are hard and they can ‘munch’ soft lumps. Introducing thicker purees, small soft lumps and mashed foods are important to assist with normal chewing, swallowing and speech development. If you have further questions and would like to discuss with a health professional further you can call our Careline on 0800 933 922.

Thanks,
The ForBaby team.

Ray's Comment

Hi there,

My daughter was born 2 months early. She is now 8 months although her corrected age is 6 months. When it comes to feeding her solids and introducing new foods especially dairy products. Am I to go by her chronological age or her 'corrected' age? She has only been eating smooth purees mostly and really gags on anything with soft lumps. Not sure if she is ready for different textures?

Thanks,
Ray

Reply from The ForBaby team

Hi Ray,

Thanks for getting in touch with our team. So we can best give you some guidance, it would useful to understand how long your baby has been eating solids for? Transitioning to more lumpy food can take a bit for your baby to get used to at first, often trying a more mashed puree with small soft lumps helps with the transition. It would be great to chat with you so we can help you further, if you would like to call 0800 55 66 66 we can get one of our Dietitians to give you a call.

Look forward to speaking with you soon,
thanks The ForBaby team.

Courtney's Comment

Hi there, I seem to have a bit of a phobia of progressing with foods! My daughter is 7 months and has been eating purees for 2 months now as well as banana and watermelon out of a silicone sock feeder, I am so nervous to move on to stage 2! The thought of giving her things like pasta with cheese sauce, broccoli, yogurt, flaked fish, rice pudding etc really freaks me out! Do you have any tips on moving past this?

Reply from The for Baby Team

Hi Courtney

Thank you for your question. It sounds like your baby is happily taking purees from a spoon. At your baby’s age of around 7 months, you can start introducing mashed textures and small soft lumps. For now progress with soft mashed food, maybe something like well mashed cooked pumpkin. Then as she gets older and is eating mashed foods well, gradually increase the texture of the food to small soft lumps in a thick puree (such as mashed vegetables mixed with soft cooked rice) and then to food that is a bit chunkier but still soft. Every baby is different and will progress at their own pace, but the most important thing is to gradually keep introducing more texture in foods as baby gets older.
These mashes and small soft lumps will help baby learn to chew, which is also important for jaw muscle development. Most babies can learn to chew soft lumps with their gums, even if their teeth have not come through yet.

See the ‘Wattie’s Guide to Baby Feeding’ chart for more information on textures www.forbaby.co.nz/Stage-1/Printables
If you would like more information, please call the Forbaby Careline and have a chat to our nutritionists on 0800 55 66 66.

Thanks
The for Baby Team

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