Starting infants on solids can be a bit tricky at times, with many sources recommending different ages and styles of feeding. Starting infants on solids early on from a speech pathologist perspective is beneficial for oral motor development which carries on to have positive effects on speech development. It can be difficult to know what foods to start feeding children once they are ready to begin eating solid foods around the 4-6 month mark, so here are a few suggestions on what to start on and how to progress your child to a full diet.
Stage one solids
These are the easiest solids to manage and this is where you want to start when introducing solid foods. Solids in this category are very soft, easy to chew with an even consistency like well-cooked vegetables; tinned fruits such as pear and mango; fresh banana, watermelon and peeled grapes; avocado; tuna or salmon; soft cheeses like fetta; dissolvable biscuits such as Baby Mum-Mum; and soft cooked chips.
Stage two solids
Solids in stage two are introduced next once the child begins to show some chewing skills. These foods are soft however require some chewing, such as rice; paste; fresh rockmelon or tined pineapple or peaches; slightly harder cheeses, such as tasty cheese, shredded chicken, grated apples, soft well cooked mince; soft biscuits, such as clix or arrowroot, soft breads, sandwiches and peeled tomatoes.
Stage three solids
The next stage of solids to be introduced requires a sufficient amount of chewing skills with smaller pieces to manoeuvre and clear from the sides of the mouth and more uneven consistencies. Some examples include soft meats such as meatballs, skinless sausage and chicken, soft and well-stewed red meats, chopped apples, corn kernels, peas, chips and chicken schnitzel or nuggets.
Stage four solids
The final stage of solids requires a lot of checking which require full rotational chewing skills to consume. These foods include red meat such as steak and lamb chops, fruit sticks, dried fruit such as sultanas and apricots, roll ups, jelly lollies such as snakes and jelly beans, muesli bares and space food sticks.”
For a guide to when your child is expected to manage these foods as well as fluids and the utensils that go along with them, have a read of our feeding milestone blog.
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This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have speech pathology related questions, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective advice targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.