Healthy Foods For Growing Children: From Seven To Nine Months
By Marian Law, M.A., RD
on March 15, 2007
Give Your Baby More New Foods
When your baby is used to cereal, she needs more new foods. Try one new food at a time. Wait three to five days before you try another one, and watch for signs of food allergy.
If your baby does not like a new food at first, try it again later. She may need to try a new food many times before she likes it.
Start to feed your baby at regular times. Babies like routine. Have her join the family for meal times. You can continue to give your baby a feeding of milk before her solid foods.
Do not give your baby honey or foods that contain honey before one year. Honey can contain botulism spores, which will make your baby very sick.
Now your baby is ready to learn to chew:
- At seven months, give your baby mashed or pureed food
- Gradually make her food lumpier.
- By nine months, your baby can eat finely chopped food. Your baby can chew soft food even if she has no teeth.
New Foods For Your Baby
When your baby is about seven months old, give her mashed or pured cooked vegetables. Try one vegetable at a time. Wait for three to five days, and watch for signs of food allergy. Good vegetables to try include carrots, squash, peas, sweet potatoes, and green or yellow beans.
When your baby is eating three or four vegetables, give her strained, cooked fruits. Start with applesauce or mashed banana. Other good fruits to try are pears, peaches, plums and apricots. Try one fruit at a time. Wait three to five days to make sure your baby does not show signs of food allergy.
Use fresh fruit, baby food in a jar, or canned fruit in its own juice (not in syrup). Mash or pure fruit before feeding it to your baby. Wait until nine months to give your baby fruits with seeds, such as blueberries or kiwi. Store-bought 'fruit desserts' are high in sugar. Your baby does not need them.
What About Fruit Juice?
Your baby gets enough to drink from milk feedings. She does not need juice. Give your baby water if you think she is thirsty. If you do want to give juice, wait until your baby is eating fruit. Then, give your baby pure fruit juices without added sugar. You do not need to buy special baby juice. Limit fruit juice to 125 ml (1/2 cup) per day.
Give water or juice to your baby in a plastic cup with a lid. Do not give your baby juice in a bottle. It can cause tooth decay. Do not give your baby fruit drinks, crystals or pop because they are mostly sugar.
Herbal teas are not recommended for babies.
Meat and Alternatives (Protein-Rich Foods)
Start protein-rich foods when your baby is eight to nine months old and is eating a variety of cereals, vegetables, and fruits. Add one new protein-rich food at a time. Wait five days before you add a new one to make sure your baby does not have signs of food allergy.
Give your baby pured beef, chicken, fish, beans, or tofu. You can also give your baby hard cooked egg yolks, but do not give her egg whites until she is one year old. Do not give your baby deli meats such as ham, wieners, bologna, or sausages.
Cook protein-rich foods first, then pure, grind or mash them. You can make your own, or use store-bought.
Protein-rich food includes meats, fish, and chicken, legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and tofu, and egg yolks.
How To Manage Meal Times
Make meal times a relaxed time for you and your family to enjoy being together. No toys or television to distract your baby is best. Bring your baby to the family table at meal time. Encourage her to feed herself with her hands when she is able.
Let your baby decide how much to eat. Limit her meal time to 20 to 30 minutes, even if she has not eaten all her food. She will not eat the same amount each day. She knows how much food she needs.
Never force food into your baby's mouth. Never use food as a reward or as a punishment.
Content provided by The Canadian Baby & Child Care Encyclopedia
By Marian Law, M.A., RD|
March 15, 2007