Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Starting solids: getting the texture right

Starting solids: getting the texture right

Starting your baby on solids can be both a scary and exciting time for parents and their babies. All babies develop at different stages although Government guidelines suggest that all infants should commence solids or complementary feeding from around 6 months. (Not before 4 months and not after 7 months). To determine if your baby is ready for solids, read the article on Signs your baby is ready for solids. One of the areas of confusion for many parents is what foods and what textures you should begin with and how you modify these textures as your baby develops. This article talks through some possible strategies on texture progression.

1: What textures should be offered and when?

Food offered should be an appropriate texture and consistency for the infant’s developmental stage. Texture progression is where you change the texture of your baby’s food from soft puree to mashed/minced/ to finger food. There is no exact science on how to do this considering that your baby will be different to your friends’ baby or the babies at your mothers’ group. Observing when YOUR baby is ready is the most important cue! Texture progression is very important to help your baby develop their self-feeding skills, chewing and swallowing skills as well as teaching them to accept new flavours and textures as they grow.

From around 6 months of age first foods can be mashed, smooth or on soft pieces in conjunction with your baby’s usual milk intake. This could include:

  • Mashed vegetables
  • Infant rice cereal
  • Smooth fruit or fruit puree
  • Soft vegetable pieces such as small broccoli florets and carrot (cut in long strips)

Between 6-9 months, the texture can include mash and smaller pieces of food to encourage chewing, self-feeding and accepting of new foods in conjunction with your baby’s usual milk intake. This could include:

  • Minced meat
  • Stewed soft meat and chicken
  • Bread
  • Cooked vegetable pieces such as green beans, carrot strips, broccoli florets
  • Well cooked pasta –smaller pasta stars that can dissolve quickly with the tongue are great to start with
  • Rice – well cooked and offered in soups or sauce
  • Fruit pieces – large enough to prevent choking. Avoid whole grapes, cherries and sultanas
  • Yoghurt or custards with soft fruit pieces
  • Scrambled eggs

Between 9-12 months, the texture of food should start to see more finger foods and food pieces rather than puree, mash and stews. This is important for self-feeding and food acceptance as your baby approaches the toddler phase. Ensure all meals are served with the family where possible. This could include:

  • Stewed soft meat, chicken pieces, meat balls, patties or meat on bone such as lamb chops
  • Bread
  • Cooked vegetable pieces such as green beans, carrot strips, broccoli florets
  • Well cooked pasta – penne and spaghetti style may be considered
  • Rice – well cooked as risotto or fried rice style
  • Fruit pieces – large enough to prevent choking. Avoid whole grapes, cherries and sultanas
  • Yoghurt or custards with soft fruit pieces
  • Scrambled eggs or hard boiled (cooked well)

By 12 months, infants are now transitioning into toddlerhood and can have nutritious choices from the foods eaten by the rest of the family. They should be consuming a wide variety of foods. It is important to avoid foods which may be small and hard and pose as a choking risk such as grapes and nuts.

2: Why is texture progression important?

What children eat is important in helping them to grow healthy and strong. How and when we feed children is important in helping them learn about food and eating and develop healthy habits for life. If you offer your baby a range of different textures, this will ensure that their food acceptance increases as their taste buds develop. If you limit your baby to soft and puree textures for too long, this may impact on their acceptance of foods later on. In addition, this will not allow them to develop the important chewing and swallowing skills needed once they commence more textured foods such as small pieces of fruit and vegetables. Self-feeding is also an important skill to learn in the first 12 months that cannot be achieved if you are feeding your baby with the spoon.

Many parents worry about their babies not getting in enough nutrition when they start solids. It is important to remember that all foods contain essential nutrients and should not be thought of in isolation:

Important Nutrients from 6 months

Nutrient

Function

Foods

Preparation ideas

Iron

Support brain development, immunity and energy needsIron enriched cereals

Egg, Red Meat, Pork, Lentils, Tofu, Spinach

Minced meat, scrambled eggs, lentil puree

Add a squeeze of lemon or orange (Vitamin C) to enhance absorption

Zinc

Support growth and immunityRed meat, lentils, chickpeas, eggs, dairyMinced meat, scrambled eggs, lentil puree or bolognaise, babies’ usual milk

Calcium and Vitamin D

Support growing bones and teethMilk, yoghurt, custardBabies’ usual milk, custard or yoghurt with fruit pieces

B vitamins

Support energy metabolismBrown rice, eggs, lentils, chickpeas, dark leafy greensBeef and vegetable stew, lentil patties or puree, Scrambled eggs
Omega 3 DHASupport brain and eye developmentOily fish (salmon, sardines, trout, tuna)Poach salmon pieces or salmon patties with sweet potato

Choline

Support brain developmentEgg, chicken, salmon, porkScrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, chicken patties or soft pieces

Prebiotics

Support healthy digestive function and immunityBanana, sweet potato, lentils, chickpeas, barley, oats, appleSweet potato, apple and banana puree, lentil bolognaise, soft porridge with milk and banana mash

3: What if my baby refuses solids?

There are a number of reasons why your baby may refuse food. It is completely normal for a baby to refuse food at first but if they refuse, you can try again at another time. It is also okay if your baby does not eat much when they first start solids. You may only achieve 1-2 mouthfuls. They are still getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or infant formula particularly from 6-8 months. Most babies need to be offered a food many times before they learn to eat it. Let your baby touch, feel, smell and taste the food and don’t be afraid to repeat that food as many times as required. Whilst this can be a very messy experience, it is teaching your baby about food and how to eat it. Eating at the same time as your baby will also help them learn from you by modelling this behaviour.

When babies are not interested in eating, they will often:

  • Turn their head away from the food
  • Push the spoon away from their mouth
  • Lean back in their chair
  • Cry

This is okay, and it’s your baby’s way of saying no. For that meal time anyway! This is often due to:

  • Your baby is not familiar with the food
  • Your baby is full
  • Your baby does not like the taste/colour/smell of the food

Whilst it may be hard to determine if your baby is full, you may change the timing in which you offer a milk feed and solid feed by separating these times throughout the day.

4: What is baby led weaning?

Baby led weaning (BLW) is also referred to as baby led feeding. Traditionally, BLW skips the pureed and mashed texture phases of starting solids. Rather than offering your baby a mouthful of mashed pumpkin and apple, you will instead offer soft cooked pieces of pumpkin and long, peeled pieces of apple for them to suck, chew and mash between their fingers, through their hair and on the floor. Sounds fun?! In order to remain unbiased, presented below is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of BLW which you make consider in your approach to starting solids with your little one.

The advantages of baby-led weaning

  • Removes additional preparation – no more puree and mashed foods
  • Exposure to different textures from around 6 months rather than later
  • It may result in less fussiness as they get older because they learn to appreciate the texture from the onset
  • Allows them to develop their self-feeding skills from a younger age

The disadvantages of baby-led weaning

  • More mess!
  • Not all nutrients may be met simply because not all foods get swallowed
  • It is difficult to measure how much your baby is eating
  • Not all foods are appropriate for BLW as they still pose as a choking risk e.g. uncooked carrot, grapes, cherry tomato

Summary

Whilst starting solids can be a scary time for new parents, allow your baby to explore as many foods, textures and tastes in the first year of life. You can commence solids from around 6 months of age but ensure your baby is ready which may be before or after this time. Ensure first foods are iron rich and appropriate texture. Remember that when a baby starts solids, they are merely learning the art of eating. Milk will provide the primary source of nutrition to around 10 months. This is where you should see that food intake start to increase as they progress to toddler age.

General Tips:

  1. Ensure your baby is ready to start solids, particularly monitoring good head and neck control
  2. From around 6 months is the recommended age to commence solids However if your baby is showing signs of readiness, try not to start solids before 4 months of age and no later than 7 months of age
  3. Let your baby explore tastes and textures – it’s meant to be messy!
  4. Baby led weaning may have its place when your baby is ready to start solids and combining some purees into the mix will ensure your baby is meeting some important nutritional requirements such as Iron
  5. Most importantly, have fun with your baby as they learn the exciting art of eating

About the author

Marisa Nastasi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian for Bellamy’s Organic. She specialises in children's nutrition and has recently completed further studies in paediatric dietetics. She has worked in the industry for 8 years and has developed a strong working knowledge on how good quality diets can benefit the health of children so that they can develop to their full potential.

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.