Eating in babies first year is not so much about nutrition but about learning and development and this is a prime example. This is yet another reason I encourage parents and caregivers to avoid pureed foods and to use fork mashed foods. This is an excellent way to introduce solids to their babies. It may seem backwards but a thicker consistency can actually help trigger a person to swallow therefore making it easier for them to eat and help prevent choking and gagging on the food.
Yams are another food that is very easy to change the consistency of. We started with a fork mashed texture, dumping a pile onto his tray which he could play around with or grab some with his fingers and bring it up to his mouth. The thicker consistency of the yams versus the avocados was helpful for him to learn about moving food around your mouth, forming a bolus of the food and swallowing it. Another bonus of yams is due to their content of Vitamin C they can help with the absorption of iron for your baby.
Are you looking for help with starting solid food with your baby? Contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch a baby self feeding yams: