What food textures to offer at 6 months?

This article talks about how to offer food for babies who are 6 months old.

To watch the full video, click on this link.

Mirna Sabbagh: What food textures to offer at 6 months

One of the methods is traditional and involves pureeing the food.

In this case we steam the food, we add to it water or oil or milk and either fork mash it or add it to the blender. We are used to this approach.

The other method is to offer steamed and soft foods by hand that is not pureed. This is called Baby led weaning. Of course this is a scary idea for parents. Most parents will think a baby will choke if offered food using this method. It is important to note that babies usually mash the foods with their gums and not their teeth. 

The key is that the food is so soft that it can be mashed super easily by our fingers.

Why would I provide food via baby led weaning? Please note if the stalk of the broccoli is not soft, you can cut it off.

Why should I apply baby led weaning and is it necessary?

Some research shows that offering food via baby led weaning can have benefits for the child. The benefits include a child being less picky, controlling their portions, and a lower chance of being overweight later on. 

Baby led weaning is NOT necessary at 6 months. However, there is a very important rule.

Between the age of 8 months and 9 months, parents should thicken the food from purees to fork mashed foods and into finger foods. Babies who are NOT exposed to thicker foods between 8-10 months will lose the ability to learn how to chew the foods. This can cause the child to have an issue for years to come with swallowing. I have seen this problem with many children in the clinic who are 2 or even 4 years old who only eat purees.

Mirna Sabbagh: What food textures to offer at 6 months?

You might find pureed foods in the supermarket mentioning “12 months”. Please don’t be tricked into believing it means purees are the appropriate texture for older babies. Baby food companies simply offer convenient food, its our job as parents to learn how to advance textures for babies.

You might wonder if the baby led weaning approach causes more choking, right?

A large study was done in New Zealand. Some babies were offered purees and others were offered baby led weaning foods.

The main rule was that the food must be so soft that it is mashed by hand. There was a parent with a child at all times while eating. Parents were encouraged to learn how to handle choking.

Which of course you can learn via youtube or get a certification online. 

The baby led weaning group did NOT have more choking than the puree group.  However, it is important that you are comfortable with the approach. 

You do NOT have to choose one approach over the other. You can combine the approaches with whatever makes you feel more comfortable. 

Just remember to not go past the 8-9 months mark without thickening foods and offering finger foods.

Mirna Sabbagh: What food textures to offer at 6 months

 

I hope this was helpful!

To watch the full video, click on this link.


Mirna Sabbagh, an adult and child dietitian, nutritionist, and lactation consultant. She also has several digital courses: Pregnancy Nutrition Coursebreastfeeding course,  starting solids 6-12 months course, and also the Feed with Confidence course that you can sign up for from the comfort of your home.

The courses are pre-recorded. As soon as you make the course purchase, you will receive a link to watch the course from your phone or laptop.

You can also e-mail Mirna for questions at info@mirnaelsabbagh.com

Mirna is no longer doing consultations. Her online courses cover 95% of parents' common concerns. 

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