The "Window of Opportunity" for Feeding Infants
I saw this Tasty Junior video about baby foods from 7-12 months of age, the other day (https://www.facebook.com/tastyjunior/videos/560529620967796/ ), and I have to say that I disagree with how they are promoting it. There are some great recipe ideas but all of them PUREED right up until 12 months. From 6 months until 12 months, foods should progress from puree/mashed, to lumpy, to small chopped pieces, to finger foods, or at the very least if doing Baby Led Weaning, use whole foods in varying degrees of soft finger foods to harder finger food portions (Note: I will leave the discussion on Baby Led Weaning for another time).
SO WHY ARE DIFFERENT TEXTURES AND THE TIMING OF THEM SO IMPORTANT?
From about 6-9 months, they call it the "window of opportunity" to expose babies to different food tastes and textures. This period is important for muscle development in the jaw, tongue and lips and for coordination for sucking, biting, chewing and licking. If these muscles and skills are not developed properly, it can cause speech problems and the potential for fussy eating later down the track.
Check out the article below from a speech therapist's point of view, on the important stages of development and why eating is truly a skill 🙂
If you are having difficulties moving your baby to the next stages of texture or introducing new foods, please message me and we can help give you some ideas 💡