• Oh my gosh Beth, no. Your question is so common, I think I need to write a post on it. It is a total misconception that they need teeth to eat. Sure if you were giving them a hunk of steak, but you are giving them soft, easy to eat foods. Plus, you would be surprised at how good their gums work. When teeth do come they are in the front, not the teeth they need to grind their food up. I know it is scary, follow the steps and check out part 2 in this series.

  1. Quick question, with the town house crackers should I break them into small pieces or let her take bites from the whole cracker? I’m so afraid that she’ll take too big of a bite and choke. My baby is 13 months and we’re working on more crunchy foods

  2. Yes Emily, break them up into pieces, as small as she can pick up at first. Then move to slightly bigger pieces as she is chewing well. Taking a bite is an important skill but it comes later on the continuum. Try that once she is eating fairly large pieces safely.

  3. I am so happy I found your blog! I’m working with my 9 month old now on making the transition. He seems interested, but the problem is he hasn’t really developed his pincer grasp yet. I’ve given him large pieces of graham cracker and cheese sticks that he enjoys chewing on and has been pretty successful with (I watch him closely), but puffs and diced steamed veggies remain a big challenge because he can’t pick them up. Should I wait it out or give him larger pieces of food that he can pick up and get into his mouth?

    • Hi Melissa, is your little guy picking up the puffs with his whole hand or does he not attempt to pick them up at all? If you can demonstrate or put your hand on top of his and show him how- the latter is a little more tricky with their tiny hands. If you feel like he is chewing the larger pieces well, then I would say it is okay, if you are watching closely. But, I would always be encouraging him to pick up the smaller pieces. You can also feed him some of the bites and let him to try and feed some himself to cut down on his frustration. It sounds like he is doing great with the table foods, I wouldn’t want you to back off from that. I hope that helps!

  4. My son just turn 1 year old and most of his food are thick purees(I would say is Stage 3 food). I tried cut the carrot into very small piece, 2mm size, and also steamed minced pork, he tried to chew and eat, but after a while, he vomit out the food. I was so scared and stop giving him these food, and back to thick puree again. After a week I try again and he still vomit a bit. Is my method wrong? Sometimes I find the carrot still a bit hard (I steamed for about 20 minutes), so I’m not sure is it because I choose the wrong table food (carrot)? Anyway, he can eat banana or papaya chunk perfectly.
    By the way, I’m a working mom and my mother-in-law(mil) is helping me to take care of my son when I’m at work. Therefore I always prepare the food in batch (blend and freeze). Since I need to transit his food to table food, I shouldn’t blend and freeze them right? Can I cut the raw vege in cube size and freeze it? And steam the frozen chunk food before each meal? I know some nutrition may lost but it’s better than I cut part of the vege and keep the rest in fridge for next few meals right?

    • I would try and stick to the steps I described in this post and part 2. Go for really soft foods or ones that melt easily at first, it sounds like he isn’t chewing the food enough. The carrot is fine, but keep it really soft. It is totally fine to freeze ahead, you don’t lose that many nutrients. By the way, if you are in the states you could look into free early intervention services that your state is required to provide. They will come to you or your mil’s house to help get him on table foods. Let me know if you need more help with this!

  5. I was googling how to transition and what foods to start with and I have found your site! It’s awesome! I just want to thank you for this, as a first time mom I NEED this info – Thanks so much!

  6. Oh, thank goodness I found this. I have my Master’s in Nutrition and I feel like we glossed over how to introduce solids to babies. It’s hard since each baby is different. This is really helpful. Thank you so, so much

  7. What do you consider as an ongoing gagging or coughing issue? My daughter is approaching one and is still on the looser stage 2 food, although she does eat the gerber puffs. She gags on the thicker stage 2 foods. What type of early intervention services were you referring to in response to a previous poster? Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • Also, I forgot to mention that she had reflux and took medicine for it. I still wonder if she still has issues with reflux lately. Do you know if reflux has any bearing or impact on a babies ability to handle solid foods? Thanks again!

    • Unfortunately, Robbie I would consider that to be an ongoing issue and have her evaluated. Gagging on stage 2 baby food is not typical, although as I therapist I see it often. As for refulx it could definitely have affected her ability to want to eat and have a sensitive gag reflex. However, solid foods stay down better than formula or milk so it shouldn’t be causing more reflux. Each state is required to provide free in home therapy services to children under 3. If you google your state and the word early intervention you should be able to find a number to call. You don’t even need a doctor, just call and let them know your concerns. If you need help please let me know!

  8. Hi there. thanks for the advice. Writing to u from south Africa. I look after my 13mnth old granddaughter. needed a refresher course as my youngest is now 24yrs old LOL

  9. Am really happy for all your advice Aisha but am really having difficult time here more than anyone else. My baby is 20 months. Some days back she had constipation i had to rush her to the children hospital. It wasn’t funny at all. Didn’t get home till 3:30am. Aisha my baby has been feeding on baby food since she was 15 months till now. Thou i have started giving her solids but can’t sometimes think of what to give her. When i give her noodles with veges she vomits the veg but i didn’t get tired. i kept on trying and she finished everything for the first time today. But confused at what other things to give her aside noddles, rice or potatoes, because i think they are all carb. i want a balanced diet for her though she is picky eater, eat slowly and sometimes won’t eat all till she is very hungry. HELP HELP HELP, what do i do.

    • Hello Alimat- I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time, truly! I have worked with many families in similar situation so I understand. There could be a variety of underlying issues going on that are making it difficult for your daughter to eat. I don’t know what part of the world you are in, but I would look into a feeding evaluation by a specialist if possible. I am also available for online consults. In the mean time, I would suggest starting to make your own baby food and gradually turn this into the foods you are eating in your house but a re pureeing in a blender or food processor. There are so many foods that you can put in a blender and they will come out with a smooth texture. I would try to increase the thickness overtime and give her other table foods that are natural purees like applesauce, mashed potatoes, etc. I would also give her small cubes sized pieces of fruits and veggies that are cooked really well. Keep your mouth open when you chew to show her what it looks like. Still follow the steps in this article and the next- it will just take more time. It sounds like she doesn’t know how to chew. I hope this helps a little- let me know if I can be of any more help.

  10. Hi Alisha, Firstly, thanks so much for all your hardwork in putting this info online for people.

    Secondly, I have a 12mth old son who has only been on solids regularly for a few months. Due to food protein induced allergic colitis, reacting to food proteins in my milk and when we tried foods in his diet. His primary nutrition is still breastmilk but now he is tolerating 3 types of food,buckwheat, swedes and chicken, trying pear again next.

    He is eating thick purees now and seems to do well, he did gag when I tried a fork mash swede, there were a few lumps. A lot of info I read says to offer well steamed vegies in sticks big enough to grasp with some sticking out of his hand to chew. I worry if I do that he would stuff the whole piece in his mouth!

    He can do pincer grasp and I give him bits of buckwheat to pick up off his tray and he seems to do fine. A buckwheat seed is so small I doubt he really chews it much. I can’t do puffs as he can’t tolerate the ingredients in most processed food.

    Your advice to offer small cubes, no lumpy purees, definitely seems logical to me. But as I said I have read, plus advice from my Mum, to go with stick size. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Plus I am very nervy of choking, what are the approx measurements of the cubes you do.

    Sorry for the length! Thanks from Australia

    • Hello Danika!

      Yes, please continue with the diced cube. Your instincts are correct about the stick shape, once he is handling cube shape then move to that with close supervision. Avoid the lumpy purees until he is eating a variety of textures and chewing well! Let me know how it goes!

  11. Thanks Alisha. He has been enjoying cubes of homemade buckwheat bread that crumbles very easily. I tried swede and he gagged a lot, scary, I guess he is not great at chewing yet!

    • I’m not familiar with swede, I know you limited, but try to stick to either meltable crunchy foods that require very little chewing and will dissolve with saliva or soft cubes like cooked veggies and fruits. Avocado and banana work well for this too:)

  12. Thanks Alisha. Swede or rutubaga looks like a turnip and is cooked like potato. Steamed, mashed, roasted etc. So yes it was soft. I wish he could have meltable puffs like non-allergic kids. We tried banana and avocado early on but he reacted to them.

    We will keep at it. I have ordered some 100% puffed buckwheat seeds so fingers crossed they will be suitable. The closest to meltable we can get, in addition to the crumbly abuckwheat bread I make

    • Don’t know if this will help you at all now, but maybe if someone else is following with same problem – amaranth puffs up nicely, is super small and relatively low incidents of allergic reactions (although if you have a grain allergy, you could be more prone to having a reaction). makes a nice cereal.

  13. Thank you Alisha for your post! Although my daughter eats puffs & melts, and seems to not have a problem with gripping or picking up food, I cant get her to bring it to her mouth. She’l automaticallyl put toys to her mouth, but not food. She’s two weeks from turning 1, (9 months gestational) Any other tricks I should try?

    • If you can dip her hand into a baby food or pureed food and have her get it to her mouth, even if you have to put your hand on top of hers and move it towards her mouth. This will help her get the idea between hand, mouth, and eating. Keep trying and really keep that gestational age in mind:)

  14. This is a great site. My son is tired of the pureed stuff. I’ve started finger foods (meat, cheese, toast, puffs, mashed potatoes, etc.–I really don’t care about the mess so long as my son gets enough to eat), but he seems to play around with it. I feel like most of it is in his lap or on the floor. When you say start out with puffs, do you mean at every meal? So you’d cut out all pureed food and then only give formula/breastmilk and puffs? I was concerned about all the food groups, so I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to give one meal with puffs, then the rest with pureed food and formula/breastmilk.

    • Oh no… just do puffs with the baby food, put a couple on their tray while you feed him. Feel free to feed him. If he is already eating other foods then don’t worry about the puffs. If he isn’t eating any baby food then yes give him a variety of food groups.

  15. This article is so great! I could not even get any good info from the pediatrician. My son is 9 months old and has been eating solids since he was 6 months old. He eats mashed sweet potatoes and squash with no problems. Are there other foods that I should give him that are thicker or should he be ready to try minced veggies? I have just started giving puffs. He gets them in his mouth on his own but he does gag some. I have been very intimidated to start the transition but I don’t want to wait too long. Thank you very much for the information.

    • Check out Part 2 and the Mega list that I linked to at the end of this post- you will find more specifics there. I would encourage you to be bold and let him try things in small pieces. All kinds of veggies that are cooked to soft would work, things like carrots, cooked apple, cooked pear, mango, potato, celery, etc. Good Luck!

  16. Hi,
    My daughter is 10 months old. She eats puffs like a champ- picks them up with a pincer grasp, puts them in her mouth by herself and eats them no issue at all. But any other soft solid I give her, whether I spoon feed her or put them on her tray, she gags, coughs, and sometimes spits them out. She’s tried eggs, avocado, shredded cheese, tiny pieces of pancake, boiled carrots and broccoli (both mashed). I wish I had seen your blog before this morning because now I am going to backtrack and go in the order you suggest. But should I be concerned that she does so well with puffs but not with anything else? She’s now at the point where she’s coughing and gagging on her purees (stage 2 & 3), so I’m wondering if this is just becoming a habit and she’s being a bit dramatic about eating… I just feel like I’m at a total loss!
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • I should also mention that my daughter has been on reflux medication since she was 2 months old, although her reflux is much much better now!

    • Yes, go back and read, go through the textures in the order I talked about. Really focus on crunchy foods that melt easily and stay away from stage 3 foods that have chunks in them, everything should be smooth. See the article index for a post: Early Intervention Services, in case you need more help. Let me know if she doesn’t make any progress with the crunch foods.

  17. My son is 10 months old. He will only eat baby food jars, yogurt, Cheerios, and Gerber finger foods. If I offer anything else to him (small pieces of meat, or fruits) he gags the second it touches his month and projectile vomits. He does the same with stage 3 jars. I worry about his protein intake.

    • ***He will only eat fruits and veggies in stage 2 Gerber. He does okay with the stage 2 meat/veggie mixes like Turkey Sweet Potato mix. But it 100 percent puree, no chunks. Anything with chucks, he throws up or gags. I try to offer homemade baby food, but that always has some skin or seeds, it just is not as smooth as the Gerber brand. Is this normal? I know you can’t compare, but other children at his daycare eat lunch meat and cheeses. It makes me feel as if I am doing something wrong. Maybe I am pushing solids too soon?

    • Hi Pamela! As I mentioned in the article, avoid any mixed textures until he is eating a variety of table foods. I would however make his baby food thicker- see this article and part 2 for specifics. Even if you are adding mashed banana and other smooth things to store bought food. He should be ready to move forward and gagging is a red flag BUT he is really young, so you both have some time to figure this out. Keep trying, following these guides closely. Also, try to let him mouth stick shaped foods like carrots and celery in very large pieces that he can’t get all the way into his mouth. It will help him decrease his gag reflex and he will practice chewing.

  18. Wow, this was really helpful and I wish I had read it sooner! My pediatrician asked me how finger foods were going at my son’s 9 month check-up, and I panicked because I had not attempted any! Just homemade thicker purees. After that, I think I felt we were very behind, so I may have then rushed him into it. I tried scrambled egg, tiny banana chunks, and cottage cheese, all of which made him gag like crazy and even vomit. I shouldn’t say I am glad to know other babies have this problem, but I at least feel that this is more normal after reading the other comments. Since he was born a little early and also had TEF (he had surgery on his throat right after birth), I decided to just slow it down. I started adding either ground beef or quinoa to his purees to get him used to the texture and giving him Gerber puffs to get him used to feeding himself, and he is progressing really well now! I also have your mega table foods list bookmarked– thank you!

    • Hi, I’m so glad you found your way here! Follow the steps closely and take your time. Keep in touch and let me know if you are having any other trouble.

  19. Hi. I followed your advice and my son is a champ at eating solids. He eats puffs, mum mums, cooked carrot, grated apples, pieces of chicken etc. No problems gagging or choking. He is going to be 11 months old. I normally give him his food in small chunks so he just pops it in his mouth. I wanted to be able to hive him sticks of food like toast or sticks of cooked carrot but I am concerned he will put too much in his mouth at once. I gave him 1/2 of a mum mum and he shoved the whole thing in (he did not have any problems eating it). Is there a process to transition him to larger pieces that he needs to bite smaller pieces off of? Also, I still give him some purees with his finger foods, is that okay?

    • Some kids need some help with the stick shapes. Tell him “bite” and intervene by pulling the rest out of his mouth. You may need to put your hand under his jaw and help his close his mouth. Also, demonstrate by taking your own bites dramatically in front of him. Remember, it is a transition so it is okay to give him cube sized pieces. Baby food is okay to, but remember within the next month or two it should be done unless you run into some problems. Glad it is going so well!

  20. Good morning Alisha, my daughter is almost 12 months old. She’s been on stage 2 Gerber foods for several months now and we just started trying the stage 3 foods. For about 6 weeks, we’ve been trying to get her to eat Puffs. As the Puff sits on her tongue, she gags on it. We offer a few every day to see if she will get over this, but so far, we’ve had no luck. Do you have any advice on what we should do? Her daycare keeps asking if she is eating Puffs or Cheerios yet so I feel like she is behind the curve on what she should be eating.

    I appreciate any advice. Thank you!

    • Hi Valerie, this is really tricky- there are a variety of reasons she could be having difficulty. First, make sure you break the puffs in half, forget cheerios, and place them on her back gums where she will show- demonstrate with your mouth open to show her. I would also consider getting a free feeding eval if you are in the states. See the article index and look under Help for Toddlers: Ealy Intervention. Let me know if you need more help. I’m also available for consults but there is no pressure at all, we could get into more specifics there.

  21. I have been trying to find information on how to transition to table/finger foods. This was the most helpful post I’ve found. Thank you for the info!

    I’m a nervous mom and have been breaking up the puffs for my 9 month old – she’s got the chewing action down now, and I’ve already been giving her thicker homemade foods…but it’s so nerve wracking!

    I don’t know how many places I found that said to give her stick shaped foods to practice chewing on – but you just know she’s going to try to cram the whole thing in her mouth and choke.

    One request if you find the time – please more pictures – like on your homemade baby food post – just being able to see what the transition food looks like, or even portion sizes or cube sizes, would help ease this new momma’s mind!

  22. My 14month old daughter doesnt chew her food. She swallow everything and then gags. How cN I teach my daughter to chew all food?

    • This is a tough question because she could be gagging for a variety of reasons. If you really think she isn’t chewing, show her repeatedly in the way I described above. Also focus on the meltable crunchy foods. It might be helpful to get her a feeding evaluation if that is an option- let me know if you need more info on that.

  23. Hi thank you so much for this website I just found you!
    My son is just 9 months old. I feel as though he’s ready for more finger/table foods.
    Currently he eats purée followed by his bottle at breakfast and lunch mid afternoon he just has a bottle and either gerber puffs or mum mum with piece of fruit. Supper is just purée usually followed by fruit in a net feeder. Bedtime bottle and that’s it. Oh after breakfast I always offer some sort of cereal(Cheerios or puffed kamut)
    How do I start offering more solid foods and less purée. I guess I’m asking is how do I balance the two? I always offer finger foods after the meal so he gets his fill and then has fun foods afterwards.
    Can you help me figure out how to balance the two?
    I just need a little plan on how to move forward. I’ve just recently offered him a spoon at meal time to hold he can have it until it becomes too much of a distraction then I take it away:).

    • I would start to offer the table with the purees so that you are letting him eat some table foods and then a bite or two of puree. If he is eating a lot of table foods don’t worry about trying to get all of the puree into him. If he is willing and eating then slowly back of the purees, maybe in a week or two give him the table food first and finish with the puree only if you think you need to. I’m glad you are noticing his interest this is an important window that you don’t want to miss. I know it is a little scary, but keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a little. As for the spoon, how you are handling it is fine, keep introducing, he will be better with it in no time!

  24. Hi Alisha,
    I’m so glad I found your site. My son is 10.5 months (with a soft palate cleft to be repaired at 13 mo). He does great with the puffs, graham crackers, mum-mums, etc. But refuses any soft texture foods (won’t pick up and eat anything soft/mushy….if it does make it into his mouth, he tongue-thrusts it out) Is this a sensory issue? He usually does OK with stage 2 purees, but it’s hit or miss these days with those as well. I’m getting more and more anxious about his lack of eating –my pediatrician thinks its a non-issue right now since he’s less than a year, but I feel like we’re on the wrong track given our upcoming surgery. Any advice?

    • Hi Andra, forgive my late response. I was on vacation and have been playing catch up. It is hard to say if it is sensory it could very well be. I don’t want you to be anxious but I think it is good to be aware. Palate issues are often accompanied by eating challenges as well. Try a wide variety of crunchy foods- see my mega list of table foods in the sidebar or article index in the menu bar. Also, keep giving him those foods, he just needs repeated exposure and a lot of positive reinforcement. Also in the menu bar you will find a post: Help for infants and toddlers. It may be helpful to have a feeding evaluation, which is free if you are in the states! Let me know if you need more help!

  25. Hi Alisha, my son just turned 1. He does great with soft pieces of food like banana, sweet potato, but how do I get him to eat hard food like fresh cucumber? I tried to offer cucumber as finger food and he spits them out as he couldn’t chew on it. Is it too early to offer?

    • Keep trying! It is definitely not too soon. Demonstrate for him and even try to have him place right on his gums in the back where he needs to chew. Lots of practice can make all the difference.

  26. My daughter seems to be transitioning too well! She no longer wants her baby food and she is 9 months old and every time I eat she wants what I am eating and different foods I know is a good idea for textures etc but for some reason I’m having a hard time letting go of the bottle and baby food because I know she is getting what she needs. I try to make meal time fun and give her a variety of little snacks with her baby food but lately she doesn’t want the baby food at all. Is this too young to give up baby food altogether? I just want to make sure she is getting the nutrition she needs.

    • I totally understand the bottle and baby food offer that security. If she is eating what you perceive to be a good portion of table foods than there is absolutely no reason to continue with baby food. If you are concerned about portion sizes see the side bar for a post titled; Toddler Portion Sizes.

  27. Hi there. So im hoping to get some advice. My lil guy just turned 9 months. At his check up the pediatrician asked if he is on table food. The answer is No. We’ve tried but he refuses. He eats puffs,gerber cheeto puffs mum mums like a champ and even sometimes a pancake. I have tried toast, grilled cheese, banana pieces, steamed carrots steamed apples and baby ravioli. Most of the time he will just pick it up and mush it in his hand and not even attempt to put it to his mouth. If he does or if I try to put it in his mouth he gags so hard he ends up puking alot. I am getting frustrated and not sure how to help him transition to table food. The pediatrician said if he was not eating table foods regularly by next month we need to call her. Couls there be something wrong? Am I doing something wrong?

    • He is still pretty young and I wouldn’t worry too much yet. Model and demonstrate for him and try to focus on those crunchy meltables I mentioned in this post. Softer foods are actually more difficult. If he is still having trouble in a month and you are in the states it would be an awesome idea to get the free in home evaluation. See my article index in the menu bar and click on Help for Infants and Toddlers for more information. You are NOT doing anything wrong and he may just need a little extra help. Let me know if you need more help.

  28. Hi Alisha, thank you so much for this blog. I’m struggling to get my almost 9-month old to eat finger foods. He’ll eat puffs, graham crackers, and crackers. I’ve offered ripe fruits, steamed veggies, pasta, all bite size and all things he’s eaten pureed. He shows no interest and won’t even touch it. My question; do I still continue to give him purees, yogurts, etc. He is so independent, doesn’t want the spoon, and meal times have become a battle. He’s been crawling since 6 months and is on the verge of walking. All he wants to do is move, move, move. I struggle to keep weight on him, so the fight with purees and spoon feeding is driving me nuts. I trust that when he feeds himself he’ll eat the amount he needs but how do I get there? I’ve been chewing my foods and showing him with every meal. Please help!! I’m living in Italy and feeling a little disconnected from information. Thank you

    • Well, you are on the right track, I’m glad that he is eating dry foods. I would definitely still give him pureed foods if he wants them- if he is really fighting them then pull back. I would offer though for a few more weeks. Will he let you put the soft foods into his mouth for him or take them from a spoon? He may just be going through a little phase, try to be patient (I know it is so hard). If the problem continues I would consider getting an evaluation done, just to make sure that there aren’t any underlying issues- see the article index in the menu bar and click on Help for Infants and Toddlers for more info if you end up needing it.

    • Alisha, thank you for you’re replying. I read the suggested article, we are a military family living overseas, we don’t have the same support system as the states. He’ll let he put food in his mouth if it what I’m eating, he rarely likes the spoon. I’ve been giving my son (9.5 months old) table foods with every meal. I’ve tried black beans, diced/steamed veggies and fruits, grated cheese, chicken — not all at once — and not a lot. He looks at it strangely, maybe will touch it but won’t even taste it. He’s eaten all the suggested started foods; puffs, crakers, graham crakers, and will eat toast and pears if I give him the entire thing to chew on. He’s not wanting purees off a spoon, will occasional take a pouch and yogurt if he’s really hungry. He still breastfeeds. Do I continue to offer him the table foods over and over or mix it up? I’ve read it takes up to 12 times for them to try. It feels like I put it on the try and then throw away. I know he’ll eat when he’s hungry, it just difficult as he was a great eater from 6-8 months. I guess I need to trust his instinct?!?! Your blog has been very helpful. Any other suggestions?? Thanks a million!!

  29. My biggest complication with my 14mo old, is that he wants to shove food by the fist fulls into his mouth. He refuses to use his fork (he knows how). Then he’ll chee it a couple times, and swallow. Its frustrating because my boyfriend and I have tried everything to get him to stop without success. Even as a baby he was always a heavy eater and an impatient one. Amy advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

    • This can be very common, but keep an eye out for it if it continues until 18 months old. Sometimes over stuffing can be a red flag for sensory processing difficulties (the key word is sometimes:)) In the meantime just try to give him a few pieces at a time even if he protests. Distract him and hide the plate with all the food on it so that he doesn’t get too agitated.

  30. Hi Alisha

    I’m so glad I found ur post. My twins have been eating jarred foods since 7 months. Now they just became one year and I’m trying to transition to mashed foods and variety as jarred foods here are only fruits and sometimes veggies. My son is eating boiled fish rice curd. But my daughter refuses to eat anything but jarred foods. I’m still feeding them myself as they r not able to hold spoon well yet. Sometimes I pure end give she still refuses to eat. Maybe she has got to used to jarred fruits n veggies in inured form. Is gerber puff a good idea to start with. I need ur help as I feel she will not gain weight and eating only jarred food now won’t be good I think. Please help..


    • I would follow the steps in both of these posts. Also, consider adding some coconut or olive oil to food to boost calories in the mean time. Take you time and keep it positive.

  31. This is sooooooooooo incredibly helpful!!! I have a 1 year old that I am just now starting to transition, she has a sensitive gag reflex, so with the doctor’s agreeing, we’ve delayed moving to solids until now. But I think she’s ready, she can do the yogurt melts, and small pieces of bread and townhouse crackers. Thank you for giving me the much needed advice and instruction!!!

  32. Thanks for the blog! Your posts on here have been very helpful to me to make sure I am feeding my baby appropriately. This list was especially helpful to figure out “What else can I try to feed her?”

    I am curious, however: Why TownHouse crackers and not Ritz?

  33. My sons 7 month old and has been on purred since 4 months due to reflux and not wanting milk.hes great on the puréed but when started to go thicker he would gag and throw up everywhere. My health visitor said try finger foods but he has no interest he throws it on the floor and crys. So I still give him the purée how can I get him to move to the next step without being sick or even eating finger foods help.

    • It is good that you are being proactive! I would keep offering and demonstrating how to chew. Keep it positive with no pressure. 7 months is still really young- go thicker very gradually. Make sure there are no lumps at all. Also give him teethers, whole carrots, and other large foods he can mouth on but not bite off. Let me know if you still need help or haven’t seen any progress in a month.

  34. Thanks for your reply. I guess I’m worried because I’m going back to work in 4 weeks. I’ll continue with the purée and let him play with finger foods for another month. Does that sound ok to you? X

  35. My son eats puffs and cheerios but we can’t seem to move past that. He has MSPI so he can’t eat dairy or soy yet. We will introduce those ingredients at a year (he is almost 11 months). Any suggestions for the next steps in foods that don’t contain those ingredients? Cheese, mum mums (soy and possibly dairy) and crackers (soy) are out. There is soy in everything!!!

    • I know! It does make it really difficult. There is also a product called Snap Pea Crisps that works well, too. Trader Joe’s has a version, as well as a black bean one. Pirates’s Booty has a few different flavors and may have a version that is soy free. Look for products that are similar in terms of the ones I listed, specifically that it has a crunch but is meltable.

  36. My son eats puffs and cheerios but we can’t seem to move past that. He has MSPI so he can’t eat dairy or soy yet. We will introduce those ingredients at a year (he is almost 11 months). Any suggestions for the next steps in foods that don’t contain those ingredients? Cheese, mum mums (soy and possibly dairy) and crackers (soy) are out. There is soy in everything!!!

  37. Hi Alisha I wrote to you when my son was 7 months about him not moving on from puree. Well he’s now 11 months and still on puree he has started having puffs, Yorkshire puddings and custard creams without vomiting everywhere but will still not have textured like weetabix etc. the problem I have is he is pushing puree away now I think he’s getting bored of it please help starting to hate meal times x

    • Is he able to chew the puffs well? Do you see him actually chewing up and down? Also, does he eat anything similar to that? I would really want you to focus on those crunchy meltables like I talk about in the article… Cheese curls, graham crackers, veggies sticks, etc. (not sure if you have those things in the UK?)

      • I would fully explore and definitively rule out the possibility of a tongue tie. That could absolutely be what is going on, and until it is fixed few other strategies will help. Let me know what happens.

  38. Hi Alisha its me again I wrote to you when my son was 7 month old that I couldn’t move him to next stage from puree well he’s 11 month now and still on puree. He is getting better with finger foods he will have puffs Yorkshire puddings and custard creams but textured food like weetabix and other lumps in finger foods still make him projectile vomit I just don’t no what to do anymore because now he’s refusing purred aswell please help x

  39. So we are doing somewhere between puréed foods and baby led weaning. My question is do I continue to cut up noodles, bananas, or whatever I am giving her into small pea sized bites? If so, do I let her try to grab each individual pea sized bite on her own or do I spoon feed her the solid foods. I can imagine a pea sized noodle dinner taking 3 hours for her to eat by grabbing each piece. Also, with the puffs, unless I only he give her one at a time, she will put 3 or 4 in her mouth at a time.

    • Use a combination of both. Allow her to have some on her tray and feed herself, but get feed her in between those bites.

  40. Thank you for all the important information you provide us with. I have a ten month old girl and I started her new food with jars of fruits veggies and meats which aren’t that appetizing and she was doing so well having a 4oz jar with 2 spoons of cereal or oatmeal and a little bit of meat. Recently I tried to introduce her to table foods but she doesn’t seem interested. She will touch the rice and maybe put s couple in her mouth and the meat she’ll feel the texture in her mouth and not be interested in more. I tried giving her diced fruit but she won’t try it. I’m not sure how to get her to table food 🙁 please give me some advice.

    • Hi Adriana, make sure you read part two of this post – it completely outlines everything you need to do. Right now I want you just to focus on crunchy meltable foods. Think about all the things they sell in the baby food aisle, puffs, wagon wheels, cheese curls. Also, snap pea crisps and meltable crackers like Town House (not Ritz). She needs to practice with things that have a little crunch, but melt easily. Once she is doing that, you can also try the soft foods. let me know how it goes!

  41. good morning, i am a first time mom. my baby boy is 10 month old and breastfeed only. he never liked formula. like 2 month ago i try jar food, his been eating them, but i want to start table food but don’t know how. i am stressing my self because i am trying but no luck. please give me some advise i am afraid that he loose weight. pleasee help. i am desperate.

    thank you

    • Right now he is still nursing, don’t cut back on that unless he is taking the lead on that. Have you followed all the steps in both part 1 and 2 of this post? It is really important to start out with crunchy foods that melt. The gerber and plum organics lines have lots of great choices. Soft foods are harder for them initially.

  42. Hi Alisha,

    My baby just turned 9 months yesterday and refuses to eat the Gerber puffs or any solid table food. She does very well with the pureed food, even the thicker ones (although she gags on the pureed food with chunks in it). When I offer her the puffs she shakes her head no and if I am able to sneak one in her mouth she spits it out or may gag on it, occasionally throwing up a tiny bit. She will pick up the puffs, play with them and throw them, but will never put them in her mouth. She is still happily eating her pureed food and breastfeeding and her weight is perfect, so nothing to worry about there. My doctor is worried that she is not taking to table food yet and wants me to schedule an appointment with an OT. Is there anything else I can do or try? Also, she is not a baby who puts everything in her mouth. She will put toys in her mouth sometimes and she’s not teething yet. I appreciate any advise you may have for me!

    • Hi Audrey, I’m impressed that your doctor is encouraging an eval, I would do that. It sounds like she isn’t learning to chew, probably because she isn’t practicing on her toys – encourage that from her too. You can dip her toys into her purees. I would start to put some bites of the puree on the sides of her mouth so she has to retrieve it with her tongue the way she does with food. You can also crush puffs into a powder and place on her molar area from a spoon so that she can begin to get the idea. Stay away from all lumps. Also begin to use a toothbrush two times a day if you haven’t already, this will help her start to learn how to move her tongue around. Lastly, if you get a small piece into her mouth make sure it is off to the side. Oh, one other thing give her large uncooked carrots and celery to mouth on at meals, this will decrease the gag reflex. Teeth have nothing to do with chewing for babies so no worries there. Let me know if you need more help!

  43. Hi I am trying to get my 11 month old to transfer over to table food and she only has 2 teeth but her docotor says she can have bananas but she doesn’t know how to chew how do i teach her that…. and can she have the puffs that u were talking about in ur post…….
    and also Icant seem to find a sippy cup that she will accept i don’t know what to do I need suggestions

    Thanks Hannah W

    • Hi Hannah,

      I’m glad you’re being proactive, at 11 months the window to instinctive chewing begins to close. Obviously, kids can learn after this, but it is more challenging. I would follow the steps in this post and yes use the puffs first. Make sure you read part 2 as well. Try these steps a couple of times and then let me know if you have any other questions. As for the teeth, that doesn’t matter at all. Teeth have nothing to do with a baby eating/chewing. So don’t worry about that. I would start using a straw, see the article index in the menu bar and you will find how to drink from a straw under developmental milestones. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in any way.

  44. Hi Alisha,
    My daughter is 9 months old and has been eating homemade purees since 6 months. Last week she slowly started eating less and less food, and by the end of the week she would not open her mouth for the spoon and she even pushes our hands away. I read that this could mean she wants to eat on her own. So now we have to jump right in to finger foods. She’s willing to try to eat sliced bananas, avocado, sweet potatoes, and other soft foods, but only if she does it herself. She tries to grab the food with her whole hand and put it in her mouth, but she’s unsuccessful 95% of the time. (She knows how to chew). And she won’t let me put the pieces in her mouth. Then we both get frustrated and have to quit. Is it normal for babies to get sick of puree? Do you have any advice for jumping right into finger foods? I know this post is about transitioning, but it seems we’ve missed that. Thank you.

    • Hi Kayla, it is normal actually. I’m going to send you over to How to transition you child to table foods, another post I wrote. I’m actually updating the end of this post with that link. I also would recommend giving her typical purees like applesauce and yogurt. Let her dip her fingers in and give her a spoon, keep offering her bites too. Let her get as messy as she wants. Take a look at the other post and let me know if you have any questions!

  45. Hi,please could you advise me, I have a 1 year old little girl who is sick quite often. She took herself of purity and cereals a couple of months ago and was eating solids nicely. Al of a sudden she has decided she only wants her bottle. She will take food and hold it but not at it. I have tried al stuff she used to love and nothing. Any ideas.

    • My guess is that she has developed a certain sensitivity or defense against foods as a results from her frequent illnesses. This can get pretty tricky to break down. I’d first start with not pressuring her but setting up a routine. If you click on articles in the menu bar and click through to “best picky eating strategy” I think that would be a great start. I’d also consider getting a feeding eval if that is an option.

  46. my son colton eats puffs and the baby Cheetos and chips and even my taco bell food however when I try to get him to eat like spaghetti o’s he spits them out, when I try banana chunks he spits them out when I try carrots he spits them out. he loves his fruit end veggies in baby food and will eat the majority of what I eat but he wont eat them as a meal.
    and its getting to the point where he wont even eat my food. I don’t know what to do.
    I’m only 18 and my son is a year old. I just don’t know what to do.
    he also wont drink from a sippy cup or even anything besides his formula. im just completely lost and feel like im failing as a mother and failing my son.

    • Oh Meghan, you are doing great because you are researching and trying to find answers!!! This stuff can be really hard and nobody tells you what to do. Seriously the best thing I can recommend is heading to the start here button in the menu bar and clicking through to eating basics. Start following these steps and give it a week or two. I can almost guarantee you will see a turn around. Now, toddlers can be very difficult to feed, so keep that in mind! Also, I’d highly recommend signing up for the newsletter, so you can keep getting help. I give tips there and have a new post coming about toddler feeding! You can find the sign up at the end of the post or in the side bar.

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