It is a pleasure watching your baby reach their milestones. Smiling, holding their heads and necks steady, turning over, tracking objects, sitting without help and responding to their names are some of the developmental milestones your baby will accomplish in their first nine months. You will also progress from feeding them milk to slowly introducing them to solids and eventually making solids an essential part of their diet. As parents, it is important to know some feeding basics for babies in the age group of seven to nine months, to develop their eating skills. Let us look at some of these.
Feeding Basics For 7- To 9-Month-Old Babies
By the time your baby completes seven months, he will be ready to taste a lot of foods with different textures. Seven to nine months period is a time to introduce your baby to an array of foods. Babies become more playful during this phase, so introduce new foods into your baby’s diet in a playful manner so that your baby enjoys her food.
How Do 7-To 9-Month-Old Babies Like To Eat?
- Enjoys finger foods: It may come as a surprise to you, but your seven-month-old has developed some eating preferences as a part of their developmental process. At this age, babies start trying to pick up objects with their thumb and forefinger. This is called the pincer grasp. Hence, finger foods work well with babies in this age bracket
- Messy eating: You might as well forget a little about table manners for babies. During this phase, your baby tries to reach for food on their plate as well as others’ plates. All your baby is trying to do, is copy the way you eat. Do not worry if your if baby grabs food off your plate. In fact, there is no harm in encouraging the baby to eat out of your plate, provided they try to eat on their own. Never mind the messy high chair tray and dining table
- Mimic feeding: The baby may even want to grab your spoon while they eat. Yes, you will find it rather difficult to feed them at such times. Offer them a spoon of their own, and feed them with another one. Some babies may even want to mimic feeding food to others. It is a sight to behold as your baby tries to feed you off their spoon!
- Encourage chewing: It is also possible that your baby mimics your chewing patterns and moves their jaw from side to side. While the baby doesn’t have teeth to chew, try to encourage chewing food to help them get used to it in the months of come
- More solid foods: You can feed your baby solid foods about twice or thrice a day. Milk time can be interspersed between solid food times
- Playing with food: At this age, your baby can also move objects from one hand to the other. Be prepared for messy hands, and food in hair, clothes and all over the table. Playing with food isn’t necessarily bad if your baby learns good eating skills and develops good habits related to food
Which Foods Should You Offer Your Baby?
- Increase the intake of solid feeds: Until the age of six months, milk comprises the primary diet of your baby and solid food is a supplementary part of this diet. However, starting seven months, solids will start taking precedence over milk. You can start by supplementing breast milk with solid foods, and gradually progress to reducing the amount of milk in every meal of your baby
- More pureed food: Between seven and nine months you can feed your baby pureed or strained fruits, pureed vegetables, pureed meat, pureed tofu or cottage cheese, pureed legumes and iron-fortified cereals. You may also feed your baby some unsweetened yogurt
- Variety of foods: You may also offer mashed foods liked mashed potatoes, bananas, apples, squash and sweet potatoes. Also, small, soft and well-cooked sticks of carrot can make for some nutritious finger foods. Other finger foods that you offer your baby are breadsticks and cheese. Some people may also feed their babies rice cakes and mashed rice with lentil paste. In fact, during this age, you may also try small bits of poultry and boneless fish
- Foods of different tastes and textures: Your baby may also be ready to taste some strong flavors. You could try feeding them green leafy vegetables such as spinach and fenugreek, eggs in various forms such as hard-boiled eggs, half-boiled egg and small pieces of scrambled eggs, small pieces of ripe avocado, different cooked legumes. Different cooked pasta shapes would be a fun food to offer your baby that is looking to grab anything interesting-looking at this age. However, it is best to first try feeding these strong-flavored foods to your baby in small quantities before offering them a bowl-full of such goodness. Also read: 10 Simple And Interesting Egg Recipes For Babies
- Avoid Sweetened foods: At this age, it is best to avoid feeding your baby sweets. Sweetened foods or sweets do not really have a nutritional value for the baby at this age. Also, oral hygiene could be compromised right from such a tender age due to sweet foods
- 3-day wait rule: As a rule, it is best to introduce different foods one at a time. It is also good to wait two to three days before introducing a new food. It is also advisable to make a note of the foods that you offer daily as a precautionary measure in case of an allergic reaction
Children can be messy eaters. Allowing them some degree of freedom can help them explore different foods and develop their own comfort around eating times, eating equipment and different tastes.
What foods do you feed your baby between 7 to 9 months? Do you have a feeding schedule for your baby? Do share it in the comments section below.