As your infant grows and develops, you will want to learn how to provide the right amounts of food at each landmark age, including feeding an 8 month old baby. Thankfully, with a few simple guidelines, your baby's nutritional needs can easily be met.
While infants from birth to six months of age need nothing but breast milk or infant formula and should not receive foods other than milk, eight month old babies are getting ready to really start eating like toddlers. At six months of age, pureed fruits and vegetables can be offered, and as your baby reaches the eight month range, pureed foods can transition into mashed foods with some chunks, as well as a few finger foods.
When giving new foods, remember to give single foods so that any food allergies can be easily identified. It is advisable to leave four days in between introducing each new food. As you give new foods, watch for possible allergies, which can manifest themselves in hives, rashes, or difficulty breathing.
Foods for 8 Month Old Babies
The best place to start with feeding infants is with fruits and vegetables. While some parents opt for fruits first, others claim that introducing vegetables before fruits can encourage a broader spectrum of taste appreciation in babies. Fruits and veggies for eight month old babies can be cooked and mashed instead of fully pureed, as babies can start to handle small, soft chunks of food around eight to ten months of age. The following list is a sample of foods that are nutritious and delicious:
- Fruits (excluding berries, especially strawberries, and all citrus fruits)
- Vegetables (excluding broccoli and other gas-causing veggies)
- Baby cereals, such as rice cereal , and bread
- Pureed mixtures: for example, potatoes with chicken and vegetables or rice with pork and vegetables
- Yoghurt and cheese (Steer clear of yoghurts with sugar or artificial sweeteners in them, and avoid soft cheeses, such as brie and camembert)
Parents need only offer small amounts of all of these foods, as babies will continue to eat what may appear to be very small meals. Follow your baby's lead; trust that he or she will tell you when it's time to eat, as well as when it's time to stop.
Tips for Feeding 8 Month Old Baby
Lists of foods to give and avoid are handy, but what about the actual logistics of feeding infants? First, remember that eating should be something that your baby does voluntarily. If your baby purses his lips and turns his head away, put the food away and move on to the next activity of the day.
The best way to ensure a healthy eating experience is to make sure that your child is sitting in a comfortable position (which is also important to reduce the risk of choking), and that he or she is slightly hungry, but not starving. Learning to eat is hard work, and babies who just want their next feeding of milk are not going to cooperate at trying out foods you've prepared. One strategy is to give your baby a partial serving of milk before sitting down to eat, although this is generally more for six month old babies than 8 month old babies. Simply staggering the milk and meals throughout the day should ensure that your baby is neither full nor starving when it's time to try out a new 'adult' food.
Lastly, vary your child's diet, but only with well-established foods. Introduce new foods four days apart, and while you're waiting to be able to introduce the next one, stick with all the foods your child has already tried. When foods are still new, give one item at a time; once certain items are established individually, they can be incorporated into mixed dinners with several items mashed together.
Remember that healthy eating for infants, as well as children and adults, means moderation and variety. No matter how healthy a single food item is, it is healthier to offer a wide range of healthy foods than to offer the same few healthy items day after day. Variety also develops your child's sense of flavor, which can lead to healthy eating through childhood and into adulthood. While feeding an 8 month old baby may seem like a chore at first, it's easy with a little preparation . In addition, the look on your baby's face, whether good or bad, each time he/she tries a new food will make all the food preparation more than worth it!