Your baby isn’t 9-12 months yet? See our Starting Baby on Solids for your 6 month olds and Feeding Baby Solids for your 6-9 month olds.
Regular old baby food can start to get boring for baby around 9 months so take advantage and practice/encourage self feeding. Brace yourselves…this is about to get messy!! A few tips we’ve learned along the way:
1. Start small and squishy. Your baby probably won’t get their first molars until after their birthday, so the foods you feed baby should be mashable between gums. Also, kids aren’t born with the concept of “small bites” so make sure whatever you put on their plate is small.
2. Provide a variety of tastes and textures at each meal. I’ve read that kids don’t become picky eaters until the toddler years, but I don’t believe it. Make sure that you consistently provide different tastes and textures too keep baby’s taste buds on their toes.
3. Let baby have a spoon at each meal, even if he/she isn’t eating anything spoon worthy. This will allow them to push things around and get used to holding a utensil. Yogurt is a great first food to try with a spoon because it won’t slide right off an upside down spoon and it is easy to clean up. You may want to just take baby’s clothes off for those feedings.
Some great starter finger foods (aka- no more baby food!) are:
– Toast (can even put a little soy nut butter on it)
– Green beans
– Pasta or Rice
– Mashed potatoes
– Grilled cheese or cheese quesadilla
– Shreds of cooked meat (chicken, turkey, beef)
Although some will disagree, it is recommended to stay away from some fish and shell fish, egg whites, peanut butter (or anything made with nuts), wheat and some soy products because of allergies. It is a great idea to check with your pediatrician around 9 months to chat about what foods baby has been eating and if/when you should introduce others.
It is also a good idea to hold off introducing whole milk until baby turns 1 or your doctor gives you the OK. We’ll be posing more about this later in our series.
Can you believe your baby is eating finger foods?! Soon enough he’ll be eating steak dinners!