Does food need to be cooked for 8 month old?

My baby is 8 months old. When we prepare our own food, does everything need to be cooked? What can be given raw besides bananas?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Dear Kay,

The need for you to cook foods before serving them to your 8 month old is to alter their texture to a form that he can gum or chew. Anything that in its raw state is soft enough for him to mush in his mouth, such as a banana, is fine to serve raw. Ripe papayas and avocados are a couple of other examples. You will want to do a little taste test yourself before serving raw fruits and vegetables to see how easily it can be gummed down. Even a banana may not be soft enough if it is not ripe enough.

At eight months, most babies still need to have their fruits and vegetables soft cooked. (From a food safety standpoint, any food that you would not eat raw, you would not feed your baby raw.)

As your baby gets more teeth and can chew better, you can begin to introduce more textured raw foods such as a ripe peach or pear. Foods that tend to stay crisp in their raw state, such a carrots, apples, and broccoli, should not be fed until his chewing and swallowing ability is quite mature, somewhere around a year old.

Thanks for writing.

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