How to Introduce Soup to Your Baby
Parents want to offer their baby a wide variety of textures and family recipes, which includes warm and cozy soups! When selecting a soup for baby, it is important to consider the consistency of the soup and the tools that will help baby’s feeding development. Here are my go-to tips on how to introduce soups to your baby.
Tools: When you give baby the opportunity to try something new to eat, you want to give them multiple ways to be successful. Offering soups from a spoon on one occasion, then from an open cup at another meal, gives baby the opportunity to challenge their sensory system. This makes it less likely for baby to reject new foods during the toddler years. Score!
- Spoon Use: For babies six to nine months you can offer a preloaded spoon. For babies nine to twelve months you can let baby start to dip and/or scoop thick soup by themselves! The ezpz Tiny Spoon is a perfect size for infants developing mouths and hands, making baby-led spoon feeding ezpz!
- Cup Drinking: For babies six to nine months you can give them warm soup via an open cup (held by an adult) to slurp. For babies nine to twelve months (and for some much earlier) they will start to hold the cup independently with one or two hands! Soup drinking practice (and breastmilk + formula too) gives your baby the repetition they need to achieve the 12-month-old feeding milestone of drinking from an open cup independently with minimal spillage. Use the ezpz Tiny Cup to help your baby achieve this critical milestone.
Texture: Soups are a great way to introduce animal protein, especially if your baby in finicky about taste or texture. I boil veggies with lamb, chicken, beef, fish or liver and mix it all in a blender to avoid baby choking on a piece of meat (which can be hidden in the broth). Here are some additional tips for introducing this blended texture:
- Toppings: Adding toppings to soup looks beautiful and is a great way to add texture to soup for older kids. However, frequently used toppings like nuts, seeds, breadcrumbs and shredded vegetables can be choking hazards for babies. If you feel the urge to make the soup look more appealing for your baby, try adding:
- A dollop of plain yogurt (use a toothpick to make a beautiful swirl)
- A dusting of cinnamon (or other appropriate spice)
- A sprinkle of ricotta cheese (let it dissolve a bit before serving)
Temperature: Before you offer soup to your baby, make sure to stir up the mixture and try a sip. If the temperature is too hot, add a little breast milk or formula to cool it off.
- Temperature Spoons: Personally, I’m not a fan of the spoons that change color when the temperature of food is too hot. In my clinical experience, these spoons are inconsistent, they break down fast and the feeder is in control instead of letting mealtime be baby-led. Also, I want parents to taste the foods their baby is eating (or not eating). This is critical as we are determining a baby’s flavor palate, and it encourages us to offer a different food with a similar taste profile. This is a great technique to avoid picky eating later down the road!
I hope these tips help your baby make slurping soup… ezpz! What soup flavors does your baby enjoy most? If you are serving soups with our Tiny Bowl, Tiny Cup or Tiny Spoon, be sure to tag us with your mealtime pics! #ezpzfun #NationalSoupMonth
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).