Considerations for Solids

The following strategies may assist when first introducing the child to food:

  • ensure that the foods that are tried are appropriate for the child’s oral sensorimotor developmental level 
  • identify opportunities to increase food exposure and match sensory preference of child, e.g. food play, set table
  • always ensure that a child is supervised when attempting new textures
  • teach new skills as necessary to improve physiology and function, e.g. tongue lateralization may need to be explicitly taught for children who gag on lumps and solids (Speech Pathology Australia, 2012)
  • introduce a variety of food textures to assist a child to accept different textures later in childhood
  • repeated exposure is often an effective strategy to increase acceptability of foods
  • delaying a child’s introduction to lumpier foods longer than clinically required may result in reliance on a compensatory strategy of modified food texture and inadvertently contribute to selective eating habits that may continue throughout their lives