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When do young children learn to eat a wide variety of textures?

How do young children aged 6 to 18 months learn to eat food with a variety of textures? Which textures do they accept as a function of their age?

For the first time in France, INRA researchers, in collaboration with Blédina and Danone Nutricia Research, have studied these questions.

Children accept most textures (at least in small amounts) at an earlier age than when their parents usually offer them at home.

They showed that children accept most textures (at least in small amounts) at an earlier age than when their parents usually offer them at home: granular purees with or without pieces were very well accepted from 6 months and children consumed them by sucking. Between 6 and 10 months, children gradually learned to chew, which allowed them to better accept soft, sticky foods and bread. However at 10 months, less than 50% of children were able to eat a piece of crust of bread or a baby biscuit in one minute, and it was only at 15 months that all children accepted these foods. By 18 months, children chewed all the foods and the sucking behavior was almost gone.

The research will give input for recommendations on complementary feeding.

Learn more about the study in the publication library here.

Reference: Demonteil L, Tournier C, Marduel A, Dusoulier M, Weenen H, Nicklaus S (2019) Longitudinal study on acceptance of food textures between 6 and 18 months, Food Qual Pref 71, 54-65