This week we are focusing on weaning baby from 8 months +
Your baby will now have explored the new flavours and textures when introducing solid foods from 6 months old. It has probably been a messy but enjoyable experience watching as they develop and pick up new skills.
Now baby has tried mashed and pureed foods, you can move onto trying baby with finger foods and soft cooked foods, such as chicken, mashed fish (remember to check very carefully for any bones), pasta, noodles, rice and mashed hard-boiled eggs. Baby is now ready for full-fat dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and custard. Remember baby shouldn’t drink whole cows’ milk until 12 months.
How often should you feed baby? You should be aiming for a pattern of three meals a day with some small snacks. Babies have small stomachs and need to have small but frequent meals and snacks to ensure their energy and nutrient needs are met.
What type of foods should your baby’s diet consist of? Fruit, vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, meat, fish, toast, rice cakes, bread sticks, beans, eggs, milk and dairy products. You can also start to give baby a cup of water throughout the day and at meal times.
Fruit and Vegetables contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Therefore you can introduce fresh, frozen, canned or dried foods to baby. For example prunes, raisins, apples, pears, peaches, bananas, plums, avocado and melon. You can try soft-cooked carrot sticks, parsnip or cauliflower too.
How much to serve? Aim to serve around 40g portions of vegetables and fruits for 12 months+ Young children need protein and iron to grow and develop. Try to give your toddler one or two portions from this group each day.
What are the food groups?
- Starchy Foods – breads, rice, pasta, cereals
- Fruit & Vegetables (as listed above)
- Dairy Foods – Cheese, yogurt, milk
- Protein Foods - Meats, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, chickpeas
Tips for you:
- Avoid Salt! Remember baby’s kidneys are not mature enough to cope with added salt or foods with high amounts of salt.
- It’s important to let your baby explore the food on their plate and feed themselves whenever possible, babies may wish to use their fingers to eat, whilst learning to use a spoon or fork. They will start to build the confidence to use a spoon or fork with time.
- Never force, if baby doesn’t want to try it, leave that specific food and try baby with something else.
- Keep a feeding diary for baby so you can track which foods baby does and does not like, this will allow you to try baby with the foods they didn’t take like a good few days or week later. You can also monitor how much baby eats, as this may fluctuate.
- Repeatedly offering a food, so it becomes familiar is known to increase a child’s willingness to try it.
Take a look at the following link to the Baby Centre’s weekly meal planners for you and your baby Weekly Meal Planner Guide
Check back with us next week where we will be highlighting which finger foods to feed baby, portion control and how to make meal times fun!
- Baby Centre
- First Steps Nutrition
- NHS Health Scotland
- British Nutrition Foundation