Real Meals with Sophia: Chapter 11

Real Meals with Sophia

Your baby is holding their head up independently and sitting up upright with some support, propping up on their elbows while lying on their tummy, no longer sticking out their tongue when something is put in their mouth, and is at least 4 months old. It’s time. It’s time to start introducing real mealsReal Meals with Sophia follows the milestones of our very own Feeding Therapist, OT, and Lactation Counselor, Bianca Lane’s daughter, Sophia as she travels down the road of real meals.

When starting the real meal process, it is important to remember a few things:

  • All babies develop at different rates
  • The decision to introduce foods should be a mutual one between caregivers and your pediatrician
  • Concerns regarding your child’s development should be brought to the attention of your pediatrician
  • Goal of initial food introduction is for exploration, not calorie intake
  • Pace should be determined by child and not forced
  • Common cues to watch for before presenting spoon: open eyes, leaning forward, opening mouth, reach for food
  • Keep flavors simple
  • Don’t presume your child has a specific taste preference, offer a wide variety of tastes
  • Frequent reintroduction’s of flavors are important to establish variety in repertoire


It is important to allow exploration of foods with hands from the very beginning, even if the infant is not yet coordinating the trip from tray to mouth. Between 9 and 12 months is roughly when coordinated finger feeding of small pieces develops. Initially, larger pieces to grasp with a fist are best, followed by smaller pieces.

To help the child grasp slippery foods, like avocado or banana cubes, roll the cube in baby cereal to add friction!