Mixing up the menu
If your baby is accepting gentle tastes and smooth textures quite easily, now’s the time to start moving on to the next stage, beginning to introduce more adventurous tastes and mashed textures.
No single food can give your baby all the nutrients they need so variety is the name of the game to make sure they get the right balance of vitamins and minerals, as well as the energy they need for all that growing and exploring. It’s especially important to make sure their food and milk contains a healthy amount of iron, as the natural stores they were born with begin to run low after about 6 months.
Start their day with a breakfast cereal, with no added sugar and salt, and fortified with key vitamins and minerals. Use lots of different vegetables in their main meal, and fruit for dessert. At this stage they are willing to try new flavours so it’s a great time to introduce foods such as aubergine, mushrooms and pineapple.
Milk is still an important part of your baby’s diet and they’ll need around 500 – 600ml (about a pint) a day, including the milk you use to make their food.
Before your baby can eat mini pieces of food, they’ll need to start learning how to chew. It’s more about mashed textures, rather than chunks, at the moment for their first lessons in chewing.
Your baby’s coordination may also be improving, so now’s the time to begin introducing finger foods. Small pieces of cooked, mixed vegetables and little cubes of fruit are ideal to start with.
It’s important to excite their curious taste buds at this stage and help them learn to love even more foods. That’s because by the age of 2 your baby’s tastes can become relatively fixed until they’re around 8 years old.