You might find your baby losing interest in milk or formula at about six months old as they start to grow a little more focused on the solid foods they see around them. They might even show you this by trying to bring objects to their mouth.
When your baby does this and is at the stage that they can sit upright with their head comfortably in place (rather than swaying), they are ready to try some ‘real’ foods.
So, what should we give them? There are a variety of options that could suit your preferences.
6 Months Old – The First Month Of Food
Your baby is starting to chew, so it’s time to get them in tune with different textures and flavors. You don’t need to switch them entirely from milk or formula, but helping them explore their options can be fun for you both.
It’s best to start with some purees and food that can easily mush. They won’t be fully chewing food at this stage, so be careful about your choices. At the six-month mark, your baby is growing at lightning speeds.
They need help to grow, so try to integrate some iron and protein-rich foods like beans and lentils or tiny pieces of meat and poultry into the mix – just make sure it’s well broken up and well cooked.
Other options include:
- Sweet potato
- Strained and pureed fruits and vegetables
- Beef or chicken that is falling apart
- Mashed beans
7 Months Old – Time To Explore
As you balance more ordinary foods with your breast milk or formula, they will grow more interested in solid foods. It’s time to reach a good balance between the two and explore a little more.
At this time, you can introduce new tastes and textures to see what they like. You can even introduce them to baby plates and bowls to get them used to use them when feeding.
At this time, your baby is likely in the height of their teething stage, so chewing on things can help to soothe the pains. Cold items tend to help the most as it eases the gums.
Food options include:
- Peas (pureed)
- Squash (pureed)
- Sweet potato (pureed)
- Apples with carrots (pureed)
- Apples with pear (pureed)
- Apples with beets (pureed)
8 Months Old – Let’s Eat!
As your baby gets more active, using their hands and feet to explore, they will need some more foods to help with their growth.
While they still need some milk, as it’s the most nutritious thing for them, you should be leaning a little more towards solid foods this month.
If you detect an allergic reaction within a tiny food group, you have a better chance of figuring out what is causing the reaction and eliminating it from their diet.
It’s a good time to consult with your doctor about potential allergens they could have. However, exploring this early on is safer than waiting until they grow.
What could they start eating at eight months? Let’s look:
- Tuna or salmon (well cooked)
- Nut butter like peanut butter – but only used with other foods that thin them out. Otherwise, it could be a choking hazard.
- Pasta that is very well done (falling apart)
- Mashed potatoes with mashed meat.
You can also add a couple of vegetables that are also mashed into the mix. When they are growing more alert and active, try to make mealtime fun. Keep it colourful and intriguing so they are always happy to sit in their chair for their next feed.
By serving them the same thing repeatedly, you could be inhibiting their palates development and they will lose interest in their food options.
9 Months Old – Growing strong!
At this stage, your baby is likely interested in what the rest of the family eats and has grown a little more independent with feeding themselves. While this is messy practice, it’s essential to learn to explore and enjoy new smells, tastes, and textures.
What’s important for a baby from 9 months and up?
They need to be getting a variety of foods, with many fruit and vegetables. There should be a good variety of foods to continue to be interested in mealtime. The nutritional value of these foods is essential – they are still growing every day, so the fuel we give them to help with that growth is very important.
There are so many variations you can consider!
Here are a couple more foods to explore at this age that you may not have tried yet:
- Waffles or pancakes
- Oatmeal (unsweetened)
You can mix and match your meals as much as you need. Just try to understand how much nutritional value certain foods have and others don’t have.
Please remember to avoid any foods that could be a choking hazard for your baby. That means no sticky foods that could get stuck in their throat, no hard foods that they cannot easily break down in their mouths, and nothing extremely hard when it’s raw (like carrots or apples).
Things like popcorn or other candies can also be dangerous, and they are best to avoid until your child is a little older.