Guidelines for Babies

9 to 12 months Table transition: Baby now has a very precise pincer grasp. He can hold and manipulate his bottle, he imitates those around him, he prefers chewing to sucking. He is ready to feed himself! Formula and breastmilk will take a real backseat now as he moves more and more to solids and table foods. He eats more protein rich foods such as tender, moist cooked lean meats, and chopped egg yolk. Dairy products can be a part of his diet, if there is no family history of food allergy. By the end of the first year, he should be able to eat most adult foods, assuming they are served at a texture and consistency he can swallow. Just watch for foods that may be a choking hazard, like peanuts, popcorn, whole grapes, hot dogs and raw carrots. Slice the latter two lengthwise to reduce the risk. Watch for foods that are too thick or sticky to swallow, like gobs of peanut butter on bread or overly thick cooked cereal. Avoid greasy or highly spiced foods. A good guideline to follow is "plain and simple".

A food closest to its natural state is best. It is apt to have more of its original nutrients and less added refined and unnecessary ingredients. For example, tender cooked ground beef is better than a hotdog, soft cooked potato wedges are better than chips.

Foods to add at 10 to 12 months: finger foods (small pieces of ripe peeled fruit and soft cooked fruits and vegetables), Dry cereal, Pasta and noodles, Breads and muffins, Protein foods (egg yolk, lean meat, fish or poultry, dried cooked legumes, peanut butter cow's milk, soft cheese) Some babies insist on feeding themselves, in which case you'll need to be clever in picking appropriate finger foods that offers the right variety of nutrients. Remember to choose from all the food groups. Here are some suggestions from each:

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