Advancement in Texture in Early Complementary Feeding and the Relevance to Developmental Outcomes
Guidelines state that food textures should be gradually upgraded based on an infant’s abilities. One of the factors for introducing new textures is an infant’s readiness for a given food, which is affected by the development status of his oromotor system and the physical properties of the food. Chewing is an important part of oromotor development that determines feeding competence, but is not the focus of most research because it is more difficult to measure compared to sucking. Nevertheless, there are ways of determining a child’s readiness for texture upgrades, as well as the type of texture properties appropriate at each phase of chewing development. Using a skill-based model of feeding development in oromotor readiness, Dr Green elaborated on studies on the development of jaw muscle coordination for chewing, development of texture accommodation for puree versus solid foods, and development of texture accommodation between two different types of solid foods.