Somewhere in the 9 to 12 month range your babe will likely progress from a puree dabbler to an avid consumer eating up to two tablespoons of food per feeding. However, their eating habits may still look a bit erratic from day to day. Your baby may insist on eating five or six times in a day while on others they may refuse everything but the breast or bottle. While these are the more extreme ends of the spectrum, don’t feel discouraged. You and your baby are still learning to navigate this new territory together.
Don’t let frustration get the best of you both
As you continue to explore new blends and flavors of food, you may encounter some hesitancy with the new and unfamiliar. If this is the case, it is often reassuring for baby to see you try and enjoy this new food as well. Afterward you can put a bit of the food on their finger for them to try if they still seem skeptical. If it still doesn’t go over well the first time, feel free to try again later. It can take up to 15 times for a baby to accept a new food. You can also mix in foods you already know they love to introduce newer flavors and gradually reduce the amount of the familiar food to allow the newer taste to shine through.
Make eating fun
With new skills developing, this can also be a fun time to let your baby attempt some self feeding with the aid of a reusable Squooshi pouch. These pouches are like the ones some brands of prepackaged baby food come in, only they have a zip-lock style seal on the bottom of the pouch allowing you to wash and refill it many times. Depending on the size, you can slip 2 – 4 ice cubes of baby food into the pouch, allow it to thaw in the fridge or in a hot water bath and you are all set.
The Squooshi pouches are also great for days on the go since you don’t even need a spoon. You may have to help your baby prevent accidental spills, though. While overall these pouches are great at keeping messes at bay, one intense squeeze of delight and there may be more in your baby’s lap than in his or her mouth.
Let them eat with their hands
Once your little one’s first birthday is near, they may be ready to try feeding themselves bits of finger foods. If you notice them using their forefinger and thumb to pick things up while playing, this comes in handy during meal times, too, so they can get little morsels to their mouths from the high chair tray. Small chunks of ripe peeled fruits, well cooked vegetables or pea sized chunks of chicken, ground beef, egg or other soft meats are all good choices at this age.
If you don’t feel your child is ready for finger foods, there is certainly no need to rush things. You know what is best for your baby and when they are ready. There is no rigid timeline you have to follow, so go with your intuition as you encourage your little one’s growing tastes and abilities.
Help Myself (9-12 months) Menus
As your baby grows and begins to notice the seasons changing all around you can allow them to experience the different tastes that come with these changes too!Join today for access to these yummy menus!
More questions or ready to move on to the next stage?
To see what we’ve covered in the series already and what’s ahead check the links below!