The Next Foods: Go for diversity

Approaching 8-9 months, your baby will move on to having 3 meals a day. It’s time to start increasing food portions. Now that at this age, babies have better coordination, encourage them to self-serve finger foods if you haven’t yet tried baby led weaning. Provide a variety of nutrition-dense foods as well as seasonal fruit and vegetables. Your baby needs lots of energy, fat and nutrients to grow right now [5].

Babies around this time could start rejecting certain foods, but don’t get discouraged. They can quickly change their minds depending on mood, environment, and interactions with you. Keep offering the food he/she rejected in a different form or with different combinations [3].

What to do

  • Diversify Ingredients: Offer a variety of foods especially seasonal vegetables and fruit. Let the baby explore the different smells, textures, and colors or the foods. [1,3,5]
  • We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Chunk: If you had served purées, it’s time to process the food a bit less. Babies at this age need to try diverse textures and practice real eating. Give them lumpy food chunks such as soft finger foods and let them explore. [1,2,5]
  • Praise, Praise, Praise: Compliment the good behavior of your baby at the table! [2]
  • Spice It Up: It’s not too early to introduce more and more complex flavors and food combinations. Spice could also make meals more nutritious. Try adding a bit of spices that you already enjoy [1], but leave out hot spices with any capsaicin.

What not to do

  • Do not push your child to eat more than they want to.
  • Try to make a smooth transition from breast milk / formula - it’s still makes up a large part of your baby’s diet [1].
  • Do not fully replace breast milk/ formula with cow’s milk...yet.
  • Make sure your baby still gets enough iron-rich foods [4,5]
  • Make sure the food is not too hot as babies are more sensitive to temperature than adults