Another common question of parents of young eaters: how creamy does their food need to be? While most six-month-olds are still content to eat food that has been 100 percent puréed, some (especially early teethers) will be ready for more textured food. Around six or seven months, try offering foods that haven't been puréed into submission; pulse the food processor enough to grind up the meal, but leave it slightly coarser. Experiment with what your baby will tolerate. If your baby closes her mouth or appears to gag on every bite, go back to the smoother foods for a few days.
Gradually start introducing more discrete bites of food. Biter biscuits, teething crackers, and other melt away — style foods will help your baby gain confidence and also help her get used to swallowing food with texture. She'll eventually get used to the “Stage 3”-style meals that you prepare for her, which will include purées mixed with some lumpier textures.
Some babies even jump straight to the real thing! If your child expresses no interest in lumpier textures, try offering small bites of the genuine article. Sweet potatoes can be fork-mashed and picked up by little fingers, and some babies will prefer self-feeding at a very early age. Look to your child for cues as to how to prepare her meals.