By the time Your Child is 8 months old, soft vegetables and fruits, baby cereal, or rice start to become constant complimentary staples for the little one in the journey towards eating.
Changing Your Child’s eating habit
When you want to introduce a new food, do a trial run for a few days to a week and look for any signs of food allergy.
Here are the tips for introducing solid foods to Your Child’s diet:
- Don’t force your baby to eat: Infants tend to be inconsistent with eating. They may eat one food today and reject it the next day.
- Introduce new foods slowly: It is preferable to introduce one new food type every few days so that you know if your child develops allergic reactions to certain food. Symptoms include rash, vomiting, gassiness, and spitting-up.
- Offer foods with different textures: By this time, Your Child should be able to chew and will enjoy tasting new textures such as mashed potatoes, pudding, scrambled eggs, jello, and yogurt.
- Feed your baby in small quantities but frequently: This is because infants have little bellies.
- Allow your baby to try finger feeding: At this age, babies can use their thumbs and forefingers to pick pieces of food, so you can offer a variety of finger foods for your baby to try out.
- Encourage Your Child to learn to hold things: Some babies may be able to hold a cup or a spoon at this age. If this is the case, let your child practice drinking from a cup and try imitating you by putting food on a spoon and bringing it to the mouth.
Making feeding safe for Your Child
Always keep a watchful eye when your baby is eating. Certain kinds of food, such as hard fruits, white bread, and raw vegetables, can cause choking as the little one is still mastering how to chew and swallow different textures and sizes.
If you see that Your Child is not ready for a harder chunk yet, try offering foods that are soft or melt in the mouth, or you can try mashing them. Choose foods that can be mashed easily, do not have starchy fibers, and avoid processed food with added sugar and salt.
Remember that honey should not be fed to babies under 12 months because it has spores and can cause botulism. Also, cow’s milk can not substitute for breast milk or formula milk, as it does not contain the nutrition that babies need.
How to make meals work
Try eating with your child by including Your Child on the dinner table. This lets Your Child observe how adults eat, try new food, and enjoy conversations. Make eating an enjoyable experience.
If Your Child rejects a new food, try serving it with the little one’s favorite food to give more comfort in trying new things.
How much should Your Child eat?
While breast milk and infant formula remain the best sources of nutrition for growing infants, Your Child may start to have preferences toward other foods as the little one approaches the first birthday. This will affect the amount of milk intake.
Try to follow the baby’s cues to see if more food or less food should be offered after each feeding. If the baby is full, they may refuse to eat, turn away, or spit the food out.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (8 July 2021)