Nutritional Requirements For 8 Months To 1-year-old Babies

By Subodini Menon

Your baby is growing at a tremendous rate. He/she is developing mentally and physically faster than any period of time in his/her lifetime.

Your baby's brain works hard to absorb and learn about the world around him/her. His/her body is working equally hard in growing and developing new skills to interact with his/her surroundings.

what to feed eight month old baby

All this hard work asks for good nutrition to fuel it. This is the cause of concern for many parents. The parents are constantly worried if they are feeding the right kinds of foods and if they are feeding their baby often enough or not.

This worry is further deepened by the friends and relatives who comment on the feeding habits and the weight of the baby.

On one hand, there may be well-meaning grandparents who think that the baby is hungry every time he/she cries and, on the other hand, there may be close friends who say that the baby seems a little overweight. What is a parent to do under this kind of a circumstance?

The best way is to follow the cues that the baby offers. If the baby is active and happy, the chances are that what you are doing is working for your baby. If your baby's weight has tripled in the first year of birth, the baby is pretty healthy.

Today, we shall take a look at what kind of foods you can and cannot feed an eight month to one year old baby.

We shall also talk about the frequency of the feeding that is required in a day. We will also give out some tips that will help feed your baby more efficiently. So, read on to know more.

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Can The Baby Eat Solid Foods At 8 Months Of Age?

It is seen that parents feed their babies mushy foods like ground food and baby food long after the baby is 8 months old. While mushy foods are great for babies of 6 months of age, an eight-month-old baby may not be happy with it.

Your eight-month old will crave for some texture and flavour in his/her food. Offer him/her soft foods and cooked foods that he/she can pick up with his/her hands and eat

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How To Determine If Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Foods?

Babies develop at different rates. Just because the norm dictates that babies need to be fed solids at eight months, it may not ensure that your baby is ready for solid foods yet. There are a few behavioural and physical signs that can help you determine if your baby is ready for solids or not.

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The Loss Of The Thrust Reflex

As a young baby, your baby has an inborn reflex known as the thrust reflex. When a foreign substance enters your baby's mouth, he/she will thrust his/her tongue and spit it out. This reflex ensures that your baby will not choke accidently. This reflex, ideally disappears at around four months; but in some cases, it may last longer.

You cannot feed your baby solids until it disappears completely. Until then, you will have to depend on breast milk, formula milk and mushy foods.

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The Baby Can Tell You When He/She Is Full

Your baby will stop drinking when he/she is full. He/she will turn his/her head or will spit it out when he/she is full. When he/she starts doing this, you know that he/she is ready for solids. This action will help you avoid overfeeding your baby.

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The Doubling Of The Birth Weight

If your baby's weight has doubled, you may need to start feeding solids to your baby. You should also follow other signs to start feeding solid foods.

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Your Baby Can Now Sit Upright

Sitting upright ensures that your baby won't accidently choke on his/her food. If your baby sits upright, he/she is probably ready for more than mushy foods.

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Your Baby Wakes Up In The Night For The Feedings

Breast milk, formula milk and mushy foods tend to digest quickly. If your baby wakes up in the night for a feeding, it is probably because he/she is ready for solids to eat.

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Your Baby Reaches Out And Grabs For Food From Your Plate

If your baby is older than six months and reaches out for solids, it is probably because he/she is ready to eat them. You can try by giving him/her soft and cooked food to eat to see if he/she is ready for them.

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Can It Be Too Late To Start Your Baby On Solids?

It is commonly believed that if you wait too long to feed your baby solids, the baby may never learn to chew and swallow solids effectively. This is a myth and needs to be ignored.

But if you wait too long, there are other problems that can arise, which are as follows:

  • Allergies

Research says that the sooner you introduce your baby to solids, lesser are the chances of developing food allergies later on in life. Asthma, eczema and hay fever are also seen at a lower rate in children that are introduced to solids early.

  • Anaemia

When a baby is born, he/she has enough iron in his/her body to last from 4 to 6 months of age. After this, he/she will depend on external sources for iron. Breast milk or formula milk may not provide enough iron to the baby. He/she may become anaemic if he/she is not offered iron-rich foods when he/she is ready for solids.

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Foods For Your Baby

8 To 10 Months Of Age

Developments

Your baby is learning new things at a faster pace. He/she now deftly picks up things using his/her forefinger and thumb and has developed pincer grasp. He/she has also learnt to put things in his/her mouth and chew well.

Food

The food at eight to ten months of age must contain:

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Formula milk or breast milk

Though the needs of the baby might not be as high as before, the baby must still be fed breast milk and formula milk.

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Fruits

The fruits that you can feed your baby with are - bananas, avocado, peaches, pears, apples, apricots, cherries, blueberries, dates, cherries, grapes, cantaloupe, figs, kiwi, papaya, plums, prunes and pumpkin, nectarines.

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Vegetables

Potatoes, squash, sweet potato, carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, mushroom, eggplant, zucchini and peppers.

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Cereals

Rice, wheat, flax seeds, oats, millets, barley, amaranth, buckwheat, wheat germ, sesame, etc.

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Protein

Eggs, chicken, beef, pork, turkey, tofu, fish, beans and other legumes.

Feeding schedule

The baby needs to be fed at least three meals per day. The meals may contain ¼ cup of dairy products, protein-rich food, cereal and fruits and vegetables. These can be given individually or together. The baby may also like to snack on finger foods twice in a day.

Tips To Feed

  • You may start adding small amounts of spices to the food.
  • Meat and other foods that are rich in protein need to be pureed or can be chopped up into very small pieces.
  • The food must provide a balanced diet.
  • Tofu and paneer can be fed directly and needs no cooking. It can be pureed or chopped up before feeding it to the baby.
  • The hunger pangs of the baby must be seen as a cue for feeding.
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10 To 12 Months Of Age

Developments

The baby can now chew and swallow better. He/she now has more teeth. He/she now has fine motor skills. He/she may be eager to try eating with tools like the spoon and fork.

Food

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Breast milk and formula milk

If you are still breastfeeding, you may continue to do so. If your baby is formula milk fed, you must still continue to feed it to him/her.

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Fruits

You may add other berries and citrus fruits to your baby's diet.

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Vegetables

Add corn, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers to the list of vegetables you already feed your baby with.

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Grains and cereals

You may feed any cereal and grains that you choose.

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Protein

You may feed any kind of fish or other proteins to your baby now.

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Dairy

You can start feeding your baby whole milk, yogurt and cheeses.

Feeding schedule

Your baby will now have a bigger appetite and will start to eat more. Introduce your baby to whole milk. This will help in easing the change when you decide to wean.

Tips To Feed

  • Keep adding new flavours to keep your baby interested and intrigued.
  • You can feed fruits, pasta and vegetables by cooking and slightly mashing them.
  • Meat and other proteins must still be cooked, pureed or chopped.
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What Kind Of Food To Avoid In The 8 Month To One Year Of Age?

You need to be aware of the choking hazards and avoid feeding such food. Foods with high sugar or salt content must be avoided too.

Do not feed your baby with the following foods:

  • String beans, carrot, celery, peas (raw), hard raw fruits
  • Uncut grapes berries, melons and cherry tomatoes
  • Dry fruits and nuts
  • Processed meats like sausages and hot dogs
  • Large pieces of meat, cheese and vegetables
  • Nut butters like peanut butter
  • Hard sweets like candy and jelly beans
  • Chips, popcorn and pretzels
  • Cakes, cookies and pudding
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Marshmallows
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    Read more about: baby food parenting
    Story first published: Saturday, January 13, 2018, 12:30 [IST]
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