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Moving Past Purees

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Hmong) (Somali)

  • Offer soft foods in a mesh or silicone feeder. Fresh and frozen foods work well.
  • Use teething toys or the Nuk® brush (if given by therapist) for feeding smooth foods to introduce texture in the mouth.
  • Blend table foods to provide more flavor and natural texture. Foods that work well include noodle/rice dishes/casseroles, frozen meals, canned pasta, canned or overly ripe fruits and vegetables, etc. You may need to overcook the foods and/or add some liquid (such as creamed soups, heavy cream, fruit juice, milk, butter, or gravy) to help them blend better. 
  • Add texture to smooth food by using very small, fine crumbs. Start with dust like crumbs and gradually increase the size of the crumbs as tolerated.  Foods to crumble include graham crackers, cereal, cookies, crackers, croutons, etc.
  • When offering foods with increased texture, alternate bites of the more textured food with bites of smooth food.
  • Offer foods that break down easily/melt in the mouth, sometimes called “dissolvable solids.” You can try puffed corn, Cheetos puffs, cheese puffs, crackers or cookies with high butter content (e.g., Pepperidge Farm®, Keebler®, Town House®/Ritz crackers®, graham crackers, butter cookies, etc.)
  • Dip dissolvables in a puree as a way to introduce mixed textures.
  • Offer soft foods that have been mashed with a fork, mashing less as tolerated.
  • Offer pieces of overcooked table foods that are soft and easy to chew.
  • Place small pieces of soft solid foods on the sides of your child’s mouth directly on their biting surfaces to promote better tongue movement for chewing. Show them with your own mouth the chewing motion and encourage them to imitate.
  • Offer foods that are cut into strips or longer pieces so your child can pick them up and hold them to self-feed. Foods that work well include toast, waffles, pancakes, cereal bars, etc.

Reviewed 1/2020

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