Easy Mom Guide On What, When and How To Feed Your Baby Until Toddlerhood 👶🏻 Breakfast, Lunch Snack 🍎 & Dinner
Feeding a baby who is new to solids is challenging. What? How and How often should we feed our child? Should I start with dinner or breakfast? Should I introduce more meals? More vegetables? ... So here’s my guide, from a mom on the go to another mom, on how and what I did with both my kids from the moment I introduced solid food till today. As usually, I’m into easy, fast and convenient ideas and recipes making sure my kids are getting all the nutrients they need.
First things first: take it easy mammas! It’s not that hard, it’s actually really easy, read the below, you might disagree at some point. I read a lot, asked professional advices, got lost with the contradictions and did what I had to do, whenever I felt my baby was ready. While some advise you to introduce food at 4 months other recommend to start at 6, some will advise you to introduce meat and poultry at 9 months, others will tell you do it from the start. I’m not a professional, I’m just a mom of two 👫 sharing all the things, tips and tricks she learned about feeding babies and toddlers.
But please, Ask your doctor first.
As you may know, (or not) I have two kids, Toufic (4y) and Lynn (11 months). They both can eat almost everything today, but I will share what Lynn used to eat when she started food at 6 months (ok that’s a lie, I was eager to start to did it at 5 months and 2 weeks)
Let’s start with the signs of readiness for solid food
The following are some guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your child is likely ready to try solids when he:
Can hold head up and sit upright in highchair
Shows significant weight gain (doubled birth weight) and weighs at least 6 kg
Can close mouth around a spoon
Can move food from front to back of mouth
Bare in mind that your baby depends 100% on breast or formula at that stage (6 months) not on food, we are just introducing the idea of solid food to them and teaching them and their body how to accept, feel, taste and start digesting puréed food instead of liquid which is milk. If baby refuses to eat the first time, don’t panic, wait two to three days and start again until he’s ready and starts accepting.
Before you start reading I urge you to
Remember this number 140 like your kids names, it’s the Lebanese cross number. You are not allowed to forget it.
I hope you will never ever need the above! But it’s better to have them just in case.
6 to 7 months
I introduced one meal per day which is dinner and when I say meal I mean one tablespoon for the first day that’s it, and then increasing it one tablespoon at a time one day after the other. Some babies will show LOVE for food so you can increase it from the first day but make sure it doesn’t exceed two or three tablespoon at least the first time.
Mainly my babies dinners for the first weeks were one type of baby cereal which are mainly Oats, brown rice or barley (grind into powder for the first months and cooked with boiling water). It’s really good to know that homemade cereals are much better than store bought ones, they are a very good source of iron and are super easy to make.
1 type of puréed cooked vegetable per day. I introduced one type of vegetable at first for two days in a row to make sure baby doesn’t develop any allergy on any of the vegetables. So every two days, one type of veggie. When all vegetables pass the allergy test, I start mixing vegetables together for an extra boost. Keep it simple! just two or three types of veggies that go together. Then I start introducing fruits like bananas, avocados, or cooked apples and pears (hard fruits should be boiled or steamed in water first) also one at a time ...
Once baby is ready to have proper dinners (and that would take around a month) and everything is going well, we can start getting creative but keeping it simple so I mix baby cereals with vegetables or fruits (1 or more types). Add some spices like cinnamon, especially the the fruit is a banana, you can also add milk, and by milk I mean either Breastmilk or formula not cows milk, to their meals. (Babies can’t have dairy before the age of 1) Its ok to add almond milk BUT I don’t like to introduce nuts for the first time at night, in case baby has an allergy, i’d rather be during the day.
7 to 8 months
I stick to light and easy dinners for the first month, and when baby approaches the 7th month, I start introducing a tiny amount of lunch. Lunch is whatever we cooked for the whole family including chicken and meat since most of our lunches are healthy home cooked meals BUT I make sure I add salt after I removed my baby’s portion. Whenever lunch is not baby friendly (too much spices, honey was used etc…) I prepare pureed vegetables for her. Note that I do 2 meals per week that include either chicken or meat. The rest are mainly vegetarians. I don’t introduce fish at that point.
Check out my article about some superfoods in your kitchen you need to notice more. (Honey can’t be used for your kids at this point though and spices should be used in tiny amounts)
You might disagree with me at some point, while some pediatricians don’t recommend introducing meat and chicken at this point, others do. So you will always have many opinions from moms, doctors, nutritionists… I honestly did what was easy and convenient for me and of course healthy and not harmful for my kids. So bare in mind, this is my very personal opinion as a mother of two, I am not a specialized nutritionist.
At this point, dinners are still the same as mentioned above: cereals, light fruits (not exotic ones) and vegetables but with some added spices, (not salt) a squeeze of lemon and some ground (a tiny bit) on their avocados…
8 to 9 months
At around 8 months, I start introducing light breakfasts. Which are mainly baby cereals and fruits/vegetables along some additives like Chia seeds (they could be introduced at this age) PS: If baby had fruits at breakfast I don’t offer for dinner anymore. If baby is having banana and oatmeal, add cinnamon it goes well with it, some chia seeds and some almond milk for example.
So mainly our breakfasts, especially the first weeks are: Homemade cereal base: Oats, barley or brown rice + any kind of fruit(S) you have OR vegetables or mixed (if they go together) + some chia seeds or flax seeds to boost its nutritional value and nut butter if it goes well with it. AND Eggs! Start with the egg yolk, half of it, then a full one, then the white part! Do this over weeks not days! Toufic and Lynn have at least 2 times per week. eggs for their breakfasts.
PEANUT BUTTER IS LIFE! If you don’t have any history of allergy in the family, you can introduce it at 8 months or even before. A tiny bit with her breakfast especially if it includes fruits! Peanut butter goes with everything but its even better with all types of fruits… (We’re talking about the pure creamy peanut butter without any additives, just roasted peanuts, check my recipe whether its for your baby, toddler or yourself)
PS: Towards the end of the 8th months, you need to take a deep breath and start pureeing less (I don’t know if this is even a word, but you got it right) your babies meals. I know its so scary! But if you don’t start I introducing bigger chunks, he might never accept them and give a hard time while eating! So trust me, DO IT! Read and watch the videos links I have shared with you in the start, you’ll feel more confident. PS: You need to know the difference between gagging and choking (I chose this article related to baby led weaning (Not my way of doing things though) to show you the exact difference) Baby led weaning is when you don’t start by pureeing food, you offer your 6 months old baby food as it is from day one.
9 to 12 months
At around 9 months, I start introducing goat yogurt and goat Labneh (strained yogurt) in small amounts (Goat Labneh is better and more nutritious). And at this point, baby has some cute little teeth, so it is really important to start thickening the texture of the food he’s having, so no more puree but mashed. Plus you can start introducing finger food here, soft ones like the daily digest rice cakes (our favorite) with mashed avocado or goat labneh (strained yogurt), very well cooked potato cubes, carrots (also cooked), avocado cubes, (tiny cubes), soft fruits like raspberries (cut in half)… Cereals too are served as whole, not grind anymore. But still, at that point I don’t offer hard raw vegetables like carrots and cucumbers (if you’re strong enough do it, Id rather wait honestly until they have more teeth 😶)
At that point, and because the baby milk intake will decrease, I introduce snacks which are mainly fruits. You can add honey (if baby is above 1 y), some peanut butter, some chia seeds.…
Before I proceed please read this article again about gagging reflex, choking, what’s the difference?
From 9 months onwards, you will notice that baby will show interest in holding his spoon, give it to them, they will try to eat from their plate, its so cute to watch so hold your spoon and give them another one and get MESSYYYYYYYYY 🤭🤭🤭🤭.
At that point, I start introducing good quality fish in their meals, and start introducing thicker textures, like breads, home made man2ouches etc… until my baby turns one and start eating like a toddler: ANYTHING.
I hope I covered everything. I know that at that point you need some recipes, so i’ll share with you my favorite baby recipes and tips accounts to follow on instagram: @Mrsclueless @Allaboutmamina @Ranacooks
Please write in the comment any question you would like me to answer (As a mom) and anything you want me to add to the article.