Mommy Komal Khushlani wants to know what else can she feed her 9 month old baby other than khichdi and dalia.
Making appropriate food choices for your baby during the first year of life are very important. More growth occurs during the first year than at any other time in your child’s life. It is important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods at the proper time. Starting good eating habits at this early stage will help set healthy eating patterns for life.
If your baby has conquered jarred food but doesn’t have the teeth for solid foods we’re talking about “tweens,” who are 9 to 12 months old — what are your options? Don’t worry. The following ideas will get you started:
1. Babies need the same variety of nutrients adults do, for instance, they should get five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
2. A good phrase to remember is “Eat the rainbow”, i.e over the course of a day, serve lots of different colors.
3. Breads and grains the base of the food pyramid are no-brainers. Babies readily eat cereal, cooked noodles, soft breads, and rice. It’s just as easy to give them enough dairy, since babies this age are still drinking 16 to 24 ounces of breast milk or formula a day.
4. Don’t forget to serve extra protein in the form of chicken, fish, beans, or eggs.
5. Tiny babies still have tiny tummies. Small, frequent feedings are still the best. Also, give your baby small helpings. Most babies seldom take more than 1 or 2 tablespoons of a food at any one meal.
6. Don’t force-feed food, as this could create long-term unhealthy attitudes about eating. The parent’s roles are to select nutritious foods, prepare them well, and serve them creatively, matched to baby’s individual capabilities and preferences.
7. Expect erratic feeding habits.
8. Understand that food fears are normal.
9. Gradually increase variety and texture
Let’s have a look at some meal suggestions foe your “tween”
1. Oatmeal – Start with any unsweetened oats. Make it with breast milk, formula, water, or even juice.
2. Pancakes or waffles – Try to use a whole-grain mix. Add just a bit of wheat germ for a health boost. For some variety, top with pureed fruit — avoid sugary syrup.
3. Eggs – Add a tablespoon of cottage cheese and scramble. For some variety, turn eggs into a lunch by mixing in mashed tofu or a softened vegetable.
4. Yogurt – Stick to unsweetened yogurt — babies don’t know any better. For flavor, add jarred or home-steamed fresh fruit. For some variety, try stirring in wheat germ and combining several fruits for new tastes.
5. Soup – Broil broth with soft veggies and noodles. Serve lukewarm — not hot — and only a little at a time. For some variety, add mashed beans, well-shredded meats, or shredded cheese.
6. Macaroni and cheese – Try making it from scratch: toss soft, whole-wheat noodles cooked in broth with butter and shredded cheese. For some variety, stir in pureed green vegetables, such as peas, spinach, or broccoli, or mix with mashed beans or shredded meat.
7. Baked potato – Remove the potato from its skin and mash in butter, cheese, and soft veggies. Or put it through a mini food processor with veggies, cheese, butter, and broth. For some variety, try a mix of sweet and white potatoes, or mash in tofu, meats, and beans.
8. Pasta/rice/couscous – Run it through a mini food processor with a sauce. If you’re using a package, use the seasoning sparingly. For some variety, add cooked veggies, such as zucchini and squash or well-shredded meats.
9. If your baby does not eat iron rich foods like meat, fish or poultry, give your baby legumes (beans, peas, lentils), tofu, iron fortified infant cereal or other iron rich foods.
10. Soft fruit like chopped banana, avocado, peach, seedless watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, plum or kiwi
11. Grated apple or chopped strawberries are also be nutritious.
12. Ragi Mix is another healthly option mothers can opt for.
This is a messy age and stage. Your baby will be keen to try and feed themselves and it will be difficult to keep them clean when they eat. It is important that you let your baby explore their food and learn for themselves what is involved in transferring food to their mouth. Meal times are not about parents controlling the process and the earlier your baby learns how to feed themselves, the better.
With Special Thanks to all our expert moms
Nidhi Karan Garg, Punitha Ranithkumar, Sim Gaikwad, Radhika Sreevikram, Sonali Keer, Yasmeen Shaikh, Samta Gulati, Smriti Sharma, Inderpreet Kaur, Misha Bhattal, Uma Kerwal, Diksha Bisht, Christina Harijan, Krupa Konde, Nishi Collis, Nirali Selarka, Manuradha Punj, Vanila Kohli, Manuradha Punj, Sudeshna Patnaik