Baby Food Ideas for 8 month olds
By the age of around eight months, your baby will likely be ready to start exploring a wider range of foods. They will be ready to start experiencing different tastes and textures, and may have even started to feed themselves. Remember that at this age, babies still need adult supervision when eating, and they should always be sitting upright whether they are feeding themselves or being fed by someone else.
By 8 months old, most babies will be chewing food with their gums, as well as any teeth that have started to come through. This is a great opportunity to introduce your baby to foods with more texture so that they can practice this new skill. Offering a variety of textured foods, as well as warm and cold foods, will also provide your baby with additional sensory experience. Always check the temperature of warm foods before giving to bubs so you can ensure they are not too hot.
Some ideas for introducing more texture and variety in your older baby’s diet include:
- Lumpy vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, broccoli and sweet potato all work well as they can be steamed soft but don’t need to be pureed. Simply cut them into small pieces before cooking, and your baby can practice chewing. They may even start feeding themselves with their hands.
- Start combining lumpy vegetables and fruits together so that you baby can enjoy different flavour and texture combinations. Pumpkin, zucchini and carrot all go well together with apples and pears. Take the time to experiment and you’ll soon learn what combos your baby loves.
- Cook proteins such as fish, chicken and red meat so that they are tender and easy to chew. Cut meat into bite size pieces so that your baby can start learning how to feed themselves with their hands. Always take care to ensure there are no bones present in their food before feeding to baby.
Once your bub gets the hang of chewing, you can start being a bit more adventurous. Here are some easy to create meal ideas:
- Create a simple bolognaise sauce by cooking minced beef, canned tomatoes and grated carrot and zucchini. Serve this with some wholegrain pasta spirals and a sprinkle of cheese.
- Cut vegetables and cooked chicken breast into bite sized pieces and combine them with some brown rice and/or quinoa. Stir through fresh or canned tomatoes for a stronger flavour.
- Use cannellini (butter) beans and create your own ‘baked beans’ by cooking them with fresh or canned tomatoes and a sprinkle of mixed herbs. Beans and other legumes are high in protein and fibre and are a good size and texture for bub’s who are learning to chew. Serve with some bite-size pieces of wholegrain toast.
- Bake or steam fresh salmon (or other firm fish fillet) and mash it in with potatoes or sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Add a sprinkle of cheese and you have a delicious and nutritious fish pie!
- At breakfast time, try mashing a banana or other steamed fruit such as apple or pear into some instant porridge. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon for yet another flavour experience. Your bub will love it!
- In need of a nutritious snack? Try stirring through soft berries or steamed apples, peaches or pears through some plain full fat yoghurt.
Always remember that when introducing new textures and flavours into your bub’s diet, they may not love what you offer straight away. Sometimes they may really enjoy a flavour and then decide that they dislike it the following week. Never fear – your baby will go through phases and stages of what they enjoy and what they don’t. Try not to be discouraged if they refuse a certain food – try it again in a few days. The most important thing at this age? Embrace the mess – it’s all part of the learning experience!