Yes it is normal for babies to either gag or balk the first time they try food other than breast milk or purees. It is therefore important to offer your baby a variety of foods that will assist them in developing their palate and texture response mechanism.
Generally if your baby is rejecting textured food after 12 months of age, or isn’t feeding themself finger foods by 13 to 16 months, check in with your doctor or primary health care professional, as this could indicate that your baby has a developmental problem.
Gagging is babies is quite natural and don’t be alarmed when it first happens. Learn more about Gagging and how best to help your baby. The transition from pureed meals to more textured meals provides the biggest challenge for moms. Sticking to pureed foods isn’t the answer – and will only prolong your baby’s ability to chew and move to whole foods.
To assist your baby with the transition start adding foods that is uniform in texture, such as lightly blended and overcooked rice or couscous. The Tuna & Vegetable Couscous and Beef and Vegetable Bake meals by Orchard Foods have been specifically designed to promote chewing in babies from 9 months of age.
To transition to finger foods, start with baby crackers that dissolve in your baby’s mouth. As soon as they have mastered the art of chewing, you can start to introduce small bite size finger snacks under your supervision. Choking is always a hazard therefore exercise caution when introducing finger foods.
Babies that are sensitive to textured foods or finger foods should be exposed to a variety of textures during playtime. Giving your baby feathers, cooked spaghetti, spiky balls, empty paper towel tube and a variety of other textured toys will get them used to different textures and open them up to exploring food textures.
The Orchard Baby Foods range of natural meals has been carefully designed to take your baby through each phase of eating. To purchase a meal visit the online store or find a retail store closest to you.