By this time, your baby has enjoyed eating simple and tasty food combinations that you patiently served him in the past months. From vegetable purees to thicker and more textured food combos, this food journey may have been a real struggle. Seeing the good results on your baby’s development and overall health makes it all worth it.
Moving up to another stage in feeding your baby means he is developing new skills which are important while growing up. Getting ready for stage 3 baby food is also getting close to your babies feeding themselves. So, what is stage 3 baby food and when do you feed stage 3 baby food?
What is stage 3 baby food?
At this stage in your baby’s food journey, including lumpy and chunky foods in his meals is encouraged. Stage 3 baby food includes finger foods which can be sliced into bite-sized pieces or mashed food with lumpy consistency. You can try mashed cooked vegetables or cereals combined with diced fruits to start feeding at this stage.
Don’t be afraid to explore new recipes with new taste combinations and food textures when you give stage 3 baby food. Remember that besides introducing new food to your little one, you are also teaching him new eating techniques (chewing skills) and preparing him to embrace healthy eating habits in the future.
When should your baby eat stage 3 baby food?
If your baby survives the first two food stages and eating thicker foods has become a breeze, then you are ready to introduce stage 3 baby food. Transitioning to finger foods and mashed table food will be easier for those who successfully went through eating purees to savoring thicker and more textured food combinations.
Moving up to stage 3 baby food is also another sensory challenge for your baby since he may be allowed to handle food on his own. When a baby reaches 8 to 9 months and starts reaching for food and is able to hold small pieces of food using his thumbs and forefingers, these are cues that he is ready to munch on stage 3 baby food.
You may delay introducing stage 3 baby food for a while when you notice your baby having a hard time eating larger food pieces and spitting them out. This means he is not yet ready and you should give him more time.
Forcing him to eat when he’s not ready can cause more feeding struggles for you and your baby. Continue to give him the food texture he is used to and try introducing new ones after a week. Avoid giving your baby fattening, empty calorie foods such as candies, cookies, fatty meats, and artificial fruit-flavored drinks.
Stage 3 Baby Food: Final Leap Before “Real” Food
It won’t be long until you’ll begin wonder when to switch from stage 3 baby food to regular food. Your baby will be turning one in a few months and by that time, he should be able to enjoy the same food you are eating. Eating will be a lot more fun and a social activity that your child would look forward to every day.
Enjoy the final leap by feeding your baby a variety of fun and delicious recipes. If your baby doesn’t adjust to the food easily, don’t fret! Your job is to continue to make the introduction and to allow your baby to explore the different foods. Soon, things will be a lot smoother, and you and your baby can enjoy meal time together.
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