Your probably wondering when and how to transition your baby to table food.
Is there a right or wrong way to go about it?
I’m hear to tell you there’s no particular schedule to follow, it all depends on your little munchkin when its time to transition.
You’ll know when:
- Your baby is doing the chewing motion and swallowing thicker (chunkier) baby food purees.
- Your baby has a couple teeth already or more
- Your baby is using their pinching fingers when grabbing
- Your baby can sit up alone
- Preferably has started to crawl
These are pretty good signs and indicators to look for that will help you know when your baby might be ready for table foods.
There is no specific age to start table food, it all depends on your baby and how they are progressing in my opinion. Use your mommy instinct when it comes to trying your little one on table food. Whether your baby exhibits some or all of these things its always good to talk to your baby’s pediatrician on what they recommend.
When transitioning its a good idea to start slowly when introducing table food. I suggest picking one mealtime that your baby eats the most at, and then gradually work up to adding table food with each meal.
Let me show some examples of what my little W thought about his first table foods!
W seemed eager to try table foods. I noticed him watching us eat more closely trying to imitate us at mealtimes, and seemed very interested in trying what we were eating.
He fit all the indicators listed above so around 7 months old, I started weaning him off purees and slowly introduced him to table foods. To be honest, it didn’t take long to wean him off. Once he had figured it out, he was off and running at every meal.
NO MORE PUREES
Here’s what I did first…
W pigs out at breakfast, so first thing I did was try and use up my leftover breast milk and decided to turn them into pancakes!
He absolutely loved being able to touch them, plus it helped that the taste was a familiar one.
Pancakes are such an easy way to begin your little one on the path of table foods. They are soft, and so simple to modify. I enjoyed adding new foods to the recipe and preparing them for W! When your ready, just replace the breast milk with sweet potatoes, peas, applesauce, or bananas and see your baby go to town!
Some more great breakfast table foods are:
- Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Eggs (scrambled with cheese) –I waited until 10 months
Aside from pancakes, you can buy cereal puffs for in-between snacks or make your own diy puffs from Kanga ‘n Rue. If you like those… try making your own yogurt melts too from Sarah Rae Vargas. These are also good for on-the-go and they melt quickly, plus it gives them more practice learning to chew with their mouths. Another favorite W loved are teething biscuits or wafers preferably the Little Yums , he always wanted more “yum yums”! Plum Organics Coupon
One of my favorite one shop stops for baby food is Big Lots. Spot the baby food end-cap, and stock up on jars, boxes, and pouches all around .50-$1 each!
Let Them Explore with Their Mouth
Once your little one grasps the concept of table food, be ready to to let them explore as much as possible!
Let your little one, mush the food with their fingers, laugh together when they smear it everywhere and whatever you do don’t worry about messes. Its going to get in their hair, the floor and maybe down their diaper. The fact is, their enjoying learning what food is, what it smells like, and what it feels like.
*You do still have to pay attention to choking hazards. Keep the food tiny-tiny at the beginning, so its almost mushy!
While your little one is still learning, they may gag a few times or cough which is normal. Best word of advice is to listen to you little… give it a couple times and have them adjust the issue themselves. You will know if its choking or not, but I advise taking a pediatric CPR class for safety measures. I’ve even jumped up several times when W started coughing but by the time I’m reaching in to grab it out of his mouth, he stops.
*Some foods to avoid right now as your transitioning is hotdogs, grapes, cherries and tough meats like steak. NO matter how tiny pieces may be, its still to risky for me. I waited until W was chewing well before I started slicing these food up for him.
Now that W is managing breakfast and snack foods, I started adding more variety.
I moved onto soft cooked veggies for him to try like carrots, green beans, peas, and sweet potatoes for lunches and dinners.
HELPFUL TEETHING TIPS:
- Anything FROZEN!
- sliced sweet peppers
- whole carrots
- bananas on a stick
- Mesh Feeders Must!
- Any & All kinds of frozen fruits
- Great for leftover homemade purees
- Yogurt/Fruit Pops (idea from Hello Wonderful)
There Will be Struggles
Meat was a little tricky to get W to eat, but he slowly came to loving it. I kept the meat shredded in small pieces or grounded.
One thing that I think helped was trying new foods together as I cooked. He liked watching me cook and always had to be next to me the whole step of the way. So, as I cut veggies or browned meat, I always included him by siting his high chair near me as I prepped meals.
This is a good TIP if your having a hard time keeping your toddler from crawling over your toes as you try to prepare meals or crying to be held like me, no matter the dilemma… try sitting your toddler in his high chair near you while you cook. Talk and interact! Give him a spoon, and have them taste foods!
It keep W calm while I cooked, and one way I got him to try meat. I think it helped open his mind to eating different meats because he enjoyed watching it being made.
You will want to take it slow and watch your baby and do what feels comfortable for your family, when it come to combining textures. Some babies are more sensitive than others and it is perfectly normal if you little one spits food out or starts to throw certain veggies across the table.
Just keep trying, maybe it was the texture or pickiness. Your little one may prefer their peas cold instead of warm… The point is don’t give up and assume the first time your baby behaves this way means he doesn’t like something right off the bat. Try mixing the foods, or cooking it differently next time.
For example, I found W for some reason one night at dinner purposely picking the black beans out and smashing each one of them. I wasn’t for sure if he was just playing or didn’t like them. So I let that night go, and another night I made quesadillas with black beans and he did the same thing!
I thought maybe I’ll pair a food I know he likes and mix it, will he eat black beans then?…He ate all his cottage cheese, so I mixed in some beans and sure enough he ate it. I know it wasn’t the best combo, but it worked with what I had at the time.
- DONT STRESS if you feel your baby isn’t eating enough
- Slowly wean off purees by bulking it up with oatmeal/yogurt to fill your baby up (do this last, after giving table food) pretty soon you will notice you baby will be eating less & less purees.
- Offer your baby more milk after dinner (depending on your baby’s age, should be drinking 4-6x a day)
- They will eat when they get hungry, some days more than others (growth spurts) just pay attention to how many wet diapers a day their having and if you feel there may be a problem, call ASK A Nurse.
Check out my free list of 40+ Baby Finger Food Ideas!
As moms, we learn to overcome life’s little challenges. Transitioning your baby to table foods is one challenge that sometimes can be frustrating.
Take your time, and remember this process is a slow one but a fun one for your little one!
I’d love to hear about your baby’s successful transition!