Here are some great eating tips for feeding babies 8 to 12 months old excerpted from Dr. Wood’s book, How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It!
- Cup, cup, cup
Make a habit of offering a cup. The lidded “sippy” cup will save you clean-up time after the spills. As your baby’s coordination improves, offer the cup without a lid for practice. Bottle weaning should occur by 12 to 15 months. Use water, but also try using formula or breast milk in the cup to help with bottle weaning.
- Variety, variety, variety
Offer a variety of tastes and flavors. Let your baby try lots of new foods. Don’t get into a rut. Experiment with new fruits and vegetables yourself. Focus on fruits and vegetables as the main part of the meals. At six months, start with the single-ingredient fruits and vegetables, and then move into the combination foods. Watch for the pincer grasp as a sign to start soft finger foods. Initially, offer some of these finger foods to allow your baby to practice. He or she will gradually improve these skills and will eventually prefer finger foods over pureed foods. Then it is time to move into the variety of finger foods.
- Avoid desserts
Use fruit as dessert. Jarred desserts and puddings have added sugar and, but little nutritional value.