Teaching Tool – Dissolvable Foods

Dissolvables are foods move in and out of a baby’s diet quickly.  They are “teaching” foods that really don’t add a lot of nutritional value but provide an opportunity for the tongue, lips, jaw and cheek  to learn how to work together.  Moving and manipulating pieces of food safely is a tricky job! These foods melt/dissolve when mixed with saliva and break down with little to no pressure from the jaw.

These include foods such as  (in approximate order of how quickly they dissolve when mixed with saliva):

Gerber Graduate Puffs, Baby Mum Mums, Rice Puffs, Cheetos (the puffy ones, not the crunchy ones), Farley’s biscuits  (these become more pasty than anything else and can have a few lumps when they “dissolve”), Damp Cheerios/Nutrios, Freeze dried fruits (available in the baby section of Community Natural Foods.  MEC also sells adult versions but they need to be broken into smaller pieces), Gerber Graduates Yogurt Melts, Veggie Sticks, Graham crackers , Envirokidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (ball shaped), Gerber Graduates Wagon Wheels

You can use these foods:

  • as a thickener for purees.  They are particularly helpful to gradually transition to a lumpy puree.  The beauty of grating or finger crushing one of the foods above into a powder and adding it to a familiar puree is that it will slowly dissolve in your baby’s mouth.  If they are uncomfortable with the texture, it will slowly become something that they are more familiar with.
  • to transition from thickened purees/lumpy purees to small pieces of soft solids.  Rather than offering a whole rice puff or baby mum mum, break it into a very small piece and offer it to your baby.  Next time, try a slightly bigger piece and see how it goes!
  • to develop bite and chew skills when your baby is successfully managing cubes of soft solids.  Biting off a piece from a bigger chunk of food with your front teeth and moving it to the molar area for chewing is a difficult skill.   It is reassuring to a parent to try it with a stick of something that you know will dissolve into mush with little pressure.  Veggie sticks are a perfect tool for this.

Have fun!

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