Introducing different food textures – 8–12 months

At this age, add more texture to mashed foods to support the development of chewing skills.

Your baby is ready for more textures and lumpy foods if they:

  • are learning to crawl and may pull themselves up to stand
  • are interested in a wider range of food and varied texture
  • still needs some help to eat
  • can bite well and can chew soft lumps.

Spoon foods

Examples of appropriate spoon foods are:

  • mashed food with:
    • minced or finely chopped meat, chicken, kaimoana (seafood) or egg
    • slightly mashed legumes
    • chopped noodles or pasta
    • rice
  • breakfast cereals (ensuring they do not contain nuts, large seeds, dried fruits or other small hard foods)
  • yoghurt or custard with chopped soft fruit.

Finger foods

Introduce slightly firmer finger foods, such as:

  • ripe fruit such as kiwifruit, orange, avocado, peach, apricot, pear or cooked apple
  • cooked pumpkin, kamokamo, cassava, taro and kūmara
  • finely grated raw apple and carrot
  • toast fingers
  • puffed crispbread
  • grated or thin slices of cheese.

Find out more from the Ministry

The Ministry works to ensure that nutrition recommendations for New Zealand health practitioners and consumers have a sound evidence base.

Visit the Nutrition section in Our work to find out more, or read the Healthy Eating Guidelines for New Zealand Babies and Toddlers (0–2 years old).

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