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Babies 0-12 Months | Weaning

From solids to finger foods: 7 – 9 months

Your baby’s food choices are increasing every month and soon there will be no end to him experimenting with new flavours and textures! It’s exciting to have your baby join you at the dinner table and be able to taste a bit of everything on your plate – it just makes life a lot less complicated. It also provides a lot of entertainment watching him cringe and flinch with every new taste.

baby-eating

You are probably wondering what your baby should be eating at this stage. During month 7 – 9 he should be eating a combination of homemade baby food, family meals and finger food.

7 Months feeding routine

Early morning
Bottle

Breakfast
Cereal, yoghurt (optional)

Mid-morning
Fruit puree, toast, rooibos tea or water in a cup

Lunch
* Veggie base and protein

Mid-afternoon
Bottle

Supper
Left-over veggies and Cereal

Bedtime
Bottle

7-Month feeding add-on’s:

  • Introduce low-fat yoghurt after breakfast or Purity Fruit & Yoghurt. Never offer your baby fat free yoghurt. Once baby is used to the new flavours, try interesting combinations such as yoghurt with fresh fruit like paw-paw, melon, banana or apple and pear puree. This combination of fruit and yoghurt can also be given as a mid-morning snack instead of just fruit.
  • Offer bite-size toast pieces with butter/margarine and Bovril/Marmite.
  • Lunch should consist of a *veggie base and protein such as lamb, beef, chicken, lentils or chicken livers. Make a big batch of this and keep the portions frozen until needed.
  • Start giving baby a small helping of veggies prior to his evening cereal. Use 2 – 3 tablespoons of the family’s leftover veggies from the night before and moisten it with a bit of mushroom, Napolitana or cheese sauce. Veggies can be anything from gem squash, butternut, peas, beans, broccoli, patty pans or cauliflower blended together.
  • Tip: Freeze fresh gravy/sauce in ice cube trays and defrost when needed.

8 Months feeding routine

Early morning
Bottle

Breakfast
Cereal, yoghurt

Mid-morning
Sarmie and tea (cup)

Lunch
*Veggie base with 2 – 3 tablespoons of last night’s leftover food e.g. mince, cottage pie, spaghetti, fish etc.; lumpy pureed fruit

Mid-afternoon
Bottle

Supper
*Veggies, protein and rice/pasta (make in advance and freeze).

Bedtime
Bottle

8-Month feeding add-on’s:

  • Over time leave the food lumpier to help baby get used to the texture.
  • Remember to work fruit and yoghurt into baby’s diet daily.
  • Start introducing sandwiches for a mid-morning snack. Use brown bread without crusts and start with small bite-size pieces then move onto toast fingers or triangles. Suggestions for fillers: ham, tuna, Marmite/Bovril, cheese spread, fish paste.
  • Introduce eggs at 8 months as a protein source: Start with 1 teaspoon egg yolk for 2 weeks and add egg white after that. A hardboiled egg works very well as it’s easy to separate the white and yolk. Mash the egg white/yolk and add to one of the meals twice a week. If baby has any reaction to the egg, phone your clinic sister or paediatrician.

Egg allergy symptoms:

Hives: raised, often itchy, red welts on the surface of the skin
Flushing: Hot facial sensation
Itching/rash around the mouth, sometimes spreading to the rest of the body
Facial swelling
Tummy pain
Diarrhoea
Nausea
Vomiting
Runny nose
Wheezing
Difficulty breathing
Rapid heartbeat

9 Months feeding routine

Breakfast
Starch and protein:
Change to 9 month cereal and porridges like Tasty Wheat, oats and mealie meal. You can also alternate between cereal/porridge and something a bit more adventurous like toast and egg/french toast. Protein options: Sausages, bacon, cheese, yoghurt, egg.

Mid-morning
Toast/sarmie, fruit and tea or water in a cup

Lunch
Finger foods (see suggestions below) + yoghurt

Mid-afternoon
Bottle

Supper
Family food – whatever the family is eating mixed with some of the *veggie base. Keep small portions of the *veggie base frozen.

Fruit juice
Start offering pure fruit juice, diluted with two thirds of water. It’s important that babies stay in love with the taste of plain water though, so don’t overdo it on the fruit juices.

* Veggie base
A basic veggie base consists of mainly butternut and sweet potato, with added veggies of your choice: carrots, baby marrows, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans etc. It’s a good idea to have a few portions of this in your deep-freeze at all times.

Finger food suggestions

When introducing finger foods, start by placing a small piece of food in your baby’s mouth. After doing this a few times, get baby to eat a bit on his own. Don’t ever leave your baby alone while he’s eating – make it a social event and interact with him.

  • Fruits
    Soft baked peaches; banana; ripe mango; citrus fruits, melon; avo; blueberries; sugar-free fruit sticks and steamed dried fruit. Slowly start introducing harder fruits such as apples, peaches and pears. Coat slippery pieces of food in a bit of cereal or wheat germ “dust” for increased grip.
  • Veggies
    Soft baked sweet potato/butternut; potato or sweet potato fries/pieces; soft cooked carrots/peas/broccoli/green beans or a combination of these. You can also roast some veggies and spice it up a bit.
  • Salad
    Tomatoes; red/yellow pepper; cucumber (peeled); feta. Be nice and slowly introduce foods such as olives and gherkins.
  • Other
    Soft cooked pasta; small pieces of soft cheese; cheese wedges; small shreds of soft cooked chicken; fish; beef; fish fingers; fish cakes; crumbed chicken; cold meats; cheerio’s; teething biltong sticks; boudoir biscuits; bread; cracker bread; provita’s; french toast; baked beans; spaghetti in tomato sauce; sweet corn; eggs.

The transition from bottle to solids can be challenging and above all, messy, but it’s important that you give him the freedom to explore to his heart’s content – leave the cleaning up for later!

Reference:
Wholesome Babyfood
The Baby Clinic, Durban, Tel: 031 207 2102

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