9 to 12 months

Full meals and trying different textures

As your baby becomes a little older, it will be possible to introduce a wider variety of foods. At this stage your baby should be exposed to as many different foods and textures as possible to ensure they’re getting all the required nutrients plus to get them familiar with different tastes so they might not become a tricky eater. Although it’s not always possible to ward off that one!  iStock_000005486696XSmall

  • Combining foods such as meat or pulses and vegetables together in a mash is a great way of helping your baby to receive his/her recommended nutrient intake.
  • Finger foods are especially useful as this allows the baby to touch and hold the food and to begin feeding him/herself.
  • Harder finger foods such as pieces of carrot or apple can be given as the child begins to develop teeth.
  • Tooth-friendly snacks such as cubes of cheese and yogurt with fruit are a good idea to protect the developing teeth.
  • Offer a variety of tastes during a meal, perhaps in the form of main and pudding courses. Keeping it interesting will stop your baby from getting bored and fidgety.
  • The amount of solid food offered can be increased to more substantial servings and milk given on a more demand/supply basis. Your baby may still want up to 400/500ml a day.
  • Drinks for this age: tap water/cooled boiled water and very diluted fresh juice with meals.

The amount of food given will depend on each individual baby. It is best to respond to the baby’s appetite, offering more if they appear hungry or less if not. Babies tend to be the best regulator of their own intake and will let you know if they are not getting enough!

Foods still to be avoided at this stage

  • Shellfish
  • Honey
  • Goats and sheep milk
  • Cow’s milk as a drink
  • Shark, swordfish or marlin (due to high mercury levels)
  • Mould ripened soft cheeses
  • Salt
  • Whole nuts

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