Foods used for babies at the age of 8 months are very different from the ages below. At this age, the kid already has learned how to eat properly and enjoy food in a more refined way. Here we’ve made a list of foods you can give your child on a regular basis without worrying about what’s good for them and what isn’t.
Food For Baby 8 Months Old
Your eight-month-old baby is at a stage where he is curious about everything. With a tooth or two, your baby must be grinning its way to becoming a toddler. By eight months of age, babies master the art of gulping down mashed food and slowly they even start chewing on the solid foods. Your baby is in growing stage right now, hence you will have to make sure that the foods you give him help develop his chewing skills as well as meet his dietary requirements. Read this article to find out what foods you should include in your eight-month-old baby’s diet.
A wholesome diet that comprises of foods rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals is essential for a growing eight-month-old baby. There are many natural food substances that offer a right mix of these nutrients. Typically, food for an 8-month-old baby should include one or more of the following.
Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other micro nutrients. Apart from the regular fruits like apples, bananas, papayas, chikoo, etc., you can also include some fruits like kiwi, strawberries, pomegranates, etc. Fruits that are cut in the shape of long cubes make for excellent finger foods for babies. So, cut the fruits in different shapes and give them to your child.
At eight months of age, your baby can start making a switch from mashed vegetable puree to small cubes of steamed vegetables. You can incorporate a variety of vegetables into your baby’s diet. Add the veggies to khichdi or make a steamed vegetable bowl. You can slowly introduce vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green peas, and pumpkin can be slowly introduced into his diet.
Fish is a very nutritious food that can be given to babies as young as eight months. Fish like tuna, salmon, rohu, etc., that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are very good for the growth and brain development of babies. Fish can be given to babies in the form of puree or as soup.
Tofu or paneer is made out of soy milk and cow’s milk respectively. They are rich in protein and very good for developing babies. Tofu can be given to babies who are lactose-intolerant or are allergic to paneer.
Chicken is believed to be one of the healthiest foods for babies. It can be typically started at the age of seven months and is usually given in the pureed form or as soup. The broth or the juice in which the chicken is cooked is also nutritious for babies.
Cheese made out of pasteurised milk is a great source of calcium for growing babies. The processed cheese available in the market makes for a great snack for babies to munch on. You can give cheese to your baby but, give it in limited quantities as too much of anything could result in an upset stomach.
Eggs are a wholesome food as they contain good fats and healthy proteins. You can give a boiled egg to your baby in bite-sized pieces. Some babies are allergic to eggs, so you must watch out for any warning signs of allergy in babies.
Thick yoghurt made from cow’s milk can be given to babies, especially in summers. There are many fruit flavored yoghurt available in the market that make for excellent snack options for babies. They not only provide good bacteria for the gut but also serve as a great source of essential vitamins and minerals.
Meal Plan For an 8-Month-Old Baby
By eight months, babies have usually tried a few different foods and probably found their favorites. By this age, they are probably easily swallowing mashed foods and even beginning to chew some more solid foods. However, at least half the calories they need still come from breast milk or formula.
A wholesome and healthy diet that contains the correct quantity of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins is crucial for the growth of your baby. A correct mix of all these nutrients is found in a wide variety of food items.
A menu for an 8-month-old baby should include the following foods:
- Fruits — Fresh fruits form a vital source of a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, and other types of micronutrients. Fruits cut into cubes and cooked until soft make excellent finger foods for babies of this age. Please remember to use fruits that grow in your region or at least are very widespread. That will help lower the risk of an allergic reaction.
- Vegetables — At this age, your baby may shift from eating mashed vegetables to chewing small pieces of steamed vegetables. Soft cooked vegetables also make excellent finger foods for babies. As with fruits, to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction, don’t try anything exotic.
- Fish — You can also introduce fish to an eight-month-old baby. Fish such as salmon and tuna is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and is excellent for the development of the brain and growth of babies. You can offer fish as a soup or as a puree to your baby.
- Dairy — Yogurt and cheese made from pasteurized milk are excellent sources of calcium for eight-month-old babies. You can include cottage cheese, cheddar, jack, and colby cheese. Soft cheeses including blue cheese and brie can pose a health risk, so hold off on these for now.
- Protein — You can include various foods that are rich in protein for an eight-month-old’s diet. Some protein-rich foods include legumes, beans, beef, egg yolks, chicken, fish, tofu, turkey, and pork. You can cook these foods and puree them or chop them into small pieces.
- Cereals and grains — You can mix together some of the cereals that your eight-month-old baby is already eating without producing a reaction. You can also introduce muffins and bread into the meal plan for your eight-month-old after your baby is able to enjoy foods with more texture. Pasta mixed with cheese is a popular favorite for babies of this age. The seeds and grains that you can include in your eight-month-old’s menu are amaranth, quinoa, rice, oats, wheat, sesame, spelt, barley, buckwheat, and millet.
8-month-olds feeding schedule
Making a feeding schedule for your eight-month-old baby is very personal. You will get familiar with your child’s cues gradually and can start to develop a schedule of sleeping, playing, and eating that meets the needs of your whole family. While creating an 8-month-old’s feeding schedule, remember that most babies this age need the following:
- Solid foods at least twice or three times a day along with 25 to 32 ounces of formula or breast milk every 24 hours. You can start increasing the quantity and variety of the foods in your 8-month-old baby’s diet. You can also try introducing a sippy cup and finger foods.
- About 13 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps and overnight). Babies at this age often take two naps during the day — one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
- Social interaction with their primary caregivers lets children play and work on developing new skills.
Best food for 8 month old baby (and 9 to 10 month olds)
What should eight-month-old babies eat?
Chances are if you’re a parent, you’ve spent a good bit of time with the Google search bar.
‘How much tummy time should I give my baby?’
‘Is she getting enough breast milk?’
And, of course, the desperate 2 a.m. search ‘when will my baby sleep through the night?’
Each transition brings new questions, new challenges, and new opportunities for your baby to grow and thrive. (And spoiler alert: Google has no idea when your baby will sleep through the night.)
By about 6 months of age, most babies are ready for another big transition: starting solid foods. But this milestone leaves most parents feeling hesitant and nervous.
‘Do I start with finger foods? Purees? When do I introduce allergenic foods?’
‘What are healthy foods for babies?’
‘How often should I introduce a new food to my baby?’
As is true with every choice in parenting, there isn’t just one right way. Recommendations have shifted away from reliance on rice-based infant cereals in favor of a diet that includes a variety of foods. But it can be tough to figure out exactly where to start and how to proceed as your child gets older and has greater nutritional needs. My goal as a Registered Dietitian is to simplify the process and give you some helpful tools and suggestions to guide you and your new eater along the journey.
Your 8-month-old to 10-month-old’s development
Babies at 6, 7, and 8 months old will have more success with large pieces off food, around the size of 1-2 adult fingers. Your baby can grasp a soft, large piece of food and bring it to their mouth themselves.
Here is a steamed white potato wedge, with olive oil and a bit of pesto.
If you’re new to feeding baby, get Simply Solids: A quick guide to starting solids – it’s now FREE!
After a couple months of very messy practice, your 8-month-old baby will be gaining and refining their self-feeding, chewing, and swallowing skills.
Best foods for 8 month old baby
Until now, you’ve probably been offering mostly soft foods and purees. You might be comfortable serving foods like mashed sweet potatoes and avocado, or even slightly more textured foods like cottage cheese and oatmeal. You might be exclusively serving pureed foods. Or you might have taken a baby-led weaning approach..
Either way, you’re past the stage of first foods and are moving on to a wider variety of options. Your 8 to 10-month-old will generally be able to tolerate foods in slightly different shapes and textures than your 6-month-old could.
The 8 month mark may begin the transition to baby being able to more easily pick up smaller pieces. The pincer grasp generally develops around the 9-month mark and will get more refined as your baby practices with food, toys, and other objects. It may happen a little before 9 months, or a bit after. Every baby is different!
Once the pincer grasp develops, babies in this stage generally do well with foods cut into small-bite sized pieces and shredded foods. It’s still extremely important to be aware of common choking hazards like whole grapes, whole hot dogs, whole nuts, and anything else hard, very crunchy, or sticky.
Even without teeth, your baby has strong gums and can mash soft foods well. It really is okay for them to move past purees!
They cannot grind harder foods, like nuts, without their molars. But they have the ability to mash any food that you can easily mash with your thumb and index finger, or your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Frequency and Quantity
At 9 months, your baby should be eating 3 meals a day. Babies at this age are still getting a substantial amount of their nutrients through formula and/or breastmilk, but they may begin to drop feeds as they become more adept eaters. Additionally, baby’s intake at any given meal may vary, so don’t worry if your baby seems to eat more at one time and less at another. They are remarkably good at getting the nutrients they need when they are offered a variety of safe, healthy foods in addition to the recommended amount of formula/breastmilk.
Start with small portions and allow them to have more if they are still acting hungry. 1 tablespoon of each food is a good place to start.
Should I feed them before their bottle or after?
Make note of baby’s hunger cues and interest in food. Aim to feed them anywhere from 30-90 minutes after a formula/breastmilk feed so that they are not too frustrated and hungry to self-feed when offered solids.
A Note on Allergens
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to introduce the common allergens (milk, soy, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish) into your baby’s diet. The repetitive introduction of allergens early and often can be preventative against the development of food allergies.
If your baby has a history of severe eczema or an already documented food allergy, be sure to discuss allergen introduction with your pediatrician or allergist, as they may have specific guidelines for you. And while allergic reactions are rare, it is good to be on the lookout for any sort of changes in your baby after the introduction of an allergen. Mild allergic reaction symptoms may include a few hives around the mouth or diarrhea, and more severe reactions may include widespread hives, vomiting, difficulty breathing, lip/face/tongue swelling, or change in skin color or demeanor. If you observe any of the mild reactions in your baby, stop serving the suspected allergen and contact your pediatrician. If you observe any of the severe signs in your baby, please call 911 or go to the Emergency Department immediately.
To learn more about how to introduce allergenic foods to your baby, read Introducing Allergenic Foods to Your Baby. Another helpful tool if you feel overwhelmed by trying to serve all of those common allergens is to use Spoonful One, daily mix-ins developed by a pediatric allergist.
Quick Tips for Feeding Your 8 month old, 9 month old, or 10 month old
Have your baby eat when you eat
Modeling eating for them is a very helpful practice in babies learning how to self-feed a variety of foods. If you are spoon-feeding your baby, now is a great time to offer them pre-loaded spoons to grab and self feed. Safely prepared finger foods will also give them practice self-feeding. Or, feed them intermittently as you take bites of your own food. Babies take cues from our behavior, so this modeling approach helps them solidify their eating skills.
Prioritize foods with fat and iron
Fats should be unrestricted in the first 2 years of life. Include nutritious fat sources in your baby’s diet such as olive oil, avocado, and nut butter. Iron is also important for your 8-10-month-old-baby, as their reliance on iron stores from their time in utero have run out. Some iron-rich options for your baby’s diet include meat, egg yolk, salmon, beans, and lentils.
Limit baby’s intake of sodium for the first year
Feel free to season your baby’s food with herbs and spices, but hold the salt until after their first birthday and opt for items that are low in sodium when possible. Some foods will have sodium, like store bought bread. You do not need to avoid this completely. Aim to keep sodium to less than 300 to 400 mg per day for baby. When cooking, remove baby’s portion before adding salt for the rest of the family.
Avoid honey and added sugar
Honey can be contaminated with spores of a harmful bacteria that can multiply and cause infant botulism, so avoid all honey in foods- even if it is cooked. It is also recommended to limit added sugar for the first two years of life so that your child maximizes their consumption of nutrient-dense foods. The introduction of sugary snacks and foods can displace nutrient-dense foods in the diet and create a preference for those foods with less nutritional value. For more info on reducing added sugar and recipes that are for baby/toddler, check out No Sugar, Still Sweet.
Use pouches, puffs, and teethers strategically
These foods are fine to introduce and offer, but be strategic about your use of them. Pouches are great for on-the-go, or for when you need another caregiver to feed your child. But relying too heavily on pouches can hinder their oral motor skill development and perpetuate picky eating. I like to use them for convenience and limit them to 1 per day. Items like puffs, melties, and teething biscuits typically don’t contribute much nutritionally, but can still be useful dietary aids. Teething biscuits might be used as a base for a spread, and puffs could be offered to keep your child occupied and working on that pincer grasp while you wait for your food at a restaurant. If you want nutrient-dense pouches and puffs, definitely check out Serenity Kids (use code MAMAKNOWS to get 15% off through that link).
Quit the rice cereal, if you haven’t already
Rice may contain levels of arsenic that are potentially unsafe for baby. Rice cereal is not a necessary food for baby so it’s best to ditch it, and products made from rice flour, for baby. Rice is okay, but limit to no more than 2 to 3 times per week, prioritizing rice grown in California for lower levels of arsenic.
It’s okay, but not necessary, to offer water
Baby gets enough fluid without extra water. They meet their hydration needs from formula or breastmilk, so there is no need for a baby of this age to drink a prescribed amount of water. However, offering water from an open cup or a straw cup can help refine oral motor skills that are useful for language development. And, sometimes it’s just nice to have a sip of water while eating! Offer 2 to 3 ounces in a cup. The ezpz tiny cup is amazing for practice learning to drink from an open cup. This cup is a good first straw cup to practice with. Here is a quick video tutorial to teach baby how to drink from a cup!
Best food for 8 month old baby
Use these ideas to load a spoon and put it in baby’s hand. Practice hand-over-hand first if they are having trouble bringing the spoon to their mouth. I love these spoons and these spoons for babies. Use 2 or even 3 spoons per feeding. Sometimes baby holds onto one in one hand while using the other to eat. And you can load up an extra spoon while baby is working on the other.
- Sweet potato- all kinds
- White, orange, purple! Mash and mix with breastmilk or nut milk to thin.
- Yogurt + mashed fruit
- Plain whole milk or full-fat coconut yogurt with no added sugar and mashed fruit; blackberries, kiwi, and banana work well.
- Avocado mash
- Mix with quinoa or whole wheat couscous, or combine with full-fat ricotta cheese for a more nutrient-dense option.
- Hummus or white bean dip
- If homemade, use olive oil, fresh spinach, garlic, and lemon and blend until smooth for a tasty spread with an added veggie boost,
- Nut butters
- Peanut, almond, cashew; thin with breastmilk, mix into yogurt, or stir into baby oatmeal
- Cottage cheese
- Offer full-fat cottage cheese alongside avocado or tomato cut in wedges.
If you want healthy, nutritious, pre-made blends on hand, I absolutely love Little Spoon!
Pro-tip: when you visit Little Spoon, you can sort their blends flavors by Benefits. Select “brain” – those are my top choices for baby!
- Acorn Squash
- Roast acorn squash in wedges with olive oil and seasonings
- Steamed broccoli
- Steam whole broccoli florets until soft, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice
- The yolk is the most nutritious part, but serving the whole egg is great too! Serve as scrambled eggs or as an omelette cut into strips or bite sized pieces
- Beans and lentils
- Cook lentils until soft and offer beans flattened by hand or refried
- Offer half a banana with nut butter spread thinly across it, sprinkle with ground flaxseed, chia seed, or hemp seeds for a nutritional boost
Finger food prep
Finger food preparation is important both for your baby’s safety and for their ability to successfully pick up and eat what’s offered. A good rule of thumb is to serve finger foods in wedges or spears about the width of one or two of your fingers.
If you are serving foods that can’t be made into those shapes, or baby has a good pincer grasp, make sure they are soft foods in bite size pieces. And if you want to serve hard fruits and vegetables like apples or broccoli, steam, saute, or roast them until they are soft enough to break apart between your fingers.
Laying a foundation
Your 8-10-month old is seemingly growing by the day and on the brink of even more major developmental milestones. They are becoming more and more independent, and eating is a new avenue through which they can explore and develop confidence in new skills. The skills they are learning now will serve them for the rest of their lives- not only how to pick up food, chew, and swallow, but also how to make decisions about what they eat, how to listen to their hunger and fullness cues, and how to ultimately be in tune with their own bodies.
So as you’re scrubbing the sweet potato off your curtains and wiping down the high chair for what feels like the millionth time this week, remember that you are laying the foundation for your baby’s healthy future by helping them develop some extremely important skills and tools that they’ll use long after they graduate from their high chairs.