Until Baby is about six months old, he will only need to consume food from one food group: breast milk and/or formula. But once Baby starts showing signs that he is ready for more solid foods, it’s time to think about what Baby going to eat in order to get a nutritious, balanced diet of foods that he likes – or at least, that he is interested in eating.
In general, you’ll be feeding Baby the same five food categories that you eat: grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and proteins (like meat, nuts, and beans). But the types of foods may change a little by month, as Baby gets older and his digestion improves.
Six to eight months
While Baby is this age, stick with baby-led weaning, meaning that you let Baby choose how much and when to eat solid foods. Once you’ve given Baby a food and he hasn&;t had any reactions, you can start mixing certain foods together. Here are some of the foods you can try feeding Baby between these months, specifically.
- Grains: Rice, barley, or oats
- Fruits: Avocado, apricots, apples, bananas, mangos, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prune, pumpkin
- Veggies: Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, green beans, peas, zucchini, parsnips. After Baby is 8 months, you can try serving soft cooked vegetables diced, or in tiny chunks for finger foods
- Protein: Meats like chicken, turkey, or tofu finger cubes
- Dairy: Plain whole milk yogurt, mild cheeses
Eight to ten months
Now Baby can start dipping his toes into spices (figuratively, that is). Baby might seem very hungry at times, and then not hungry at all at others; this is normal! Also keep in mind that since Baby doesn’t have molars right now, foods need to be served very soft.
- Grains: Barley, buckwheat, flax, millet, pasta, quinoa, rice, wheat germ, muffins, breads. Make sure pasta is always soft cooked or mashed
- Fruits: Raw ripe fruits, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapes, kiwi, persimmons, prunes
- Veggies: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, fennel, leeks, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, sweet potatoes
- Protein: Beans, legumes, beef, egg yolks or whole eggs, fish, natural ham, pork
- Dairy: Cottage cheese, colby, jack, cheddars – no soft cheeses
Ten to twelve months
Baby may start to prefer certain foods, especially ones that are chunkier. Continue to offer him new flavors, and keep all foods soft until molars come in between months 11-18.
- Grains: Any type, but pasta should be soft cooked and mashed
- Fruits: Baby can have citrus now.
- Veggies: Baby can also have acidic veggies like corn, cucumbers, spinach
- Protein: Whole eggs and fish are okay at this age
- Dairy: Baby can have whole milk at 12 months and soft cheeses after 12 months
Getting Baby a variety of nutritious foods is important – but he has to be physically and mentally ready to eat different foods, too. It’s great if you can get familiar with the kinds of foods that Baby will be able to eat at different ages, so that you’re prepared to help him move one step closer towards eating adult foods!