Whether you take a traditional approach to weaning or go down the baby-led route at some point you will have to deal with that awkward middle ground that is food with lumps. This can be a tricky time for baby and parents alike as eating lumpy food can be a new and confusing experience.
If you’re weaning in the traditional way you likely started offering puree to baby at around 6 months. Following that 7 months is the perfect time to start introducing new textures by trying lumpy food. At this age babies are still quite receptive to new tastes and textures. If you leave it too long to try new things it can be a bit harder for baby to accept. HiPP have a whole range of stage two food available with little lumps to encourage babies to learn to chew. HiPP’s nutritionist Helen has put together a video with some great advice about how and when to introduce your baby to lumps.
As we took a more baby-led approach we didn’t have the progression from smooth purees to thicker lumpy textures. Luisa started weaning at around 7 months with finger foods and HiPP stage 1 & 2 products. Lu always did really well with the smooth jars and pouches from HiPP and the finger foods like toast or rice cakes. It’s only been since about 10 months that she’s started to really enjoy food with lumps. I think the texture confused her as it was neither smooth nor solid.
Initially I found introducing lumps a bit daunting even though Lu had already been eating finger foods. I think the things that unnerved me was that she would sometimes cough and gag on the lumpy foods. Of course I knew this was totally normal but it’s still not a nice experience. For more info on how to deal with a gagging or choking baby check out this article on the HiPP blog with advice from St Johns ambulance.
We kept persevering with offering her food with small lumps and eventually she learnt how to deal with the texture and started to really enjoy it. Her favourite foods with lumps at the minute are mushroom soup, fish risotto and all kinds of pasta.
Luisa enjoying some fish risotto from HiPP with some pasta stolen from my plate
I’m so glad we kept going but still kept a relaxed approach as I think it really helped Luisa to not put her under pressure at meal times. If she rejected a new taste or texture I always moved on to something different and tried again a few days later. 9/10 she actually ended up enjoying whatever it was that had been rejected initially.
One thing I didn’t know before joining the HiPP Organic Wean Team is just how wide their product range is. There are over 40 different stage two products available in different sized jars and pouches. The fact that there is so much variety makes it really easy to keep your baby’s diet varied and interesting. As I’ve said before I think a big part of the reason L loves her food now is that we’ve made a real effort to mix up her diet and offer a broad range of flavours and textures. HiPP have loads of advice about what foods are best at the different stages of weaning available in this pdf