Best food for 8 month baby
Sample Menu for a Baby 8 to 12 Months Old
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Ages & Stages
Ages & Stages
Now that your baby is eating solid foods, planning meals can be more challenging. At this age, your baby needs between 750 and 900 calories each day, of which about 400 to 500 should come from
breast milk or formula (if you are not breastfeeding)—roughly 24 ounces (720 mL) a day. Breast milk and formula contain vitamins, minerals, and other important components for brain growth.
At about eight months, you may want to introduce foods that are slightly coarser than strained pureed foods. They require more chewing than baby foods. You can expand your baby's diet to include soft foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, mashed banana, mashed potatoes, or even thicker or lumpy pureed vegetables. Eggs (including scrambled) are an excellent source of protein, as are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and avocado.
Sample menu ideas for an 8- to 12-month-old baby:
1 cup = 8 ounces = 240 ml
¾ cup = 6 ounces = 180 ml
½ cup = 4 ounces = 120 ml
¼ cup = 2 ounces = 60 ml
2 to 4 ounces cereal, or 1 mashed or scrambled egg
2 to 4 ounces mashed or diced fruit
Breastmilk or 4 to 6 ounces formula
2 to 4 ounces yogurt or cottage cheese, or pureed or diced beans or meat
2 to 4 ounces cooked pureed or diced yellow or orange vegetables
Breastmilk or 4 to 6 ounces formula
2 to 4 ounces diced diced poultry, meat, or tofu
2 to 4 ounces cooked green vegetables
2 to 4 ounces cooked soft-whole grain pasta or potato
2 to 4 ounces diced or mashed fruit
Breastmilk or 4 to 6 ounces formula
Breastmilk or 6 to 8 ounces formula, or water. (If breastmilk or formula, follow with water or brush teeth afterward).
- Sample Menu for a One-Year-Old
- Starting Solid Foods
- Breastfeeding Mealtime Milestones
- Ask the Pediatrician: Is it OK to make my own baby food?
- Last Updated
- Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 7th Edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Top Foods for 8 Month Old Baby
Here's everything you need to know to feed your 8 to 9 month old baby, including how much milk and solid food to offer as well as best foods.
There are three methods of starting solids. You may have exclusively served purees, chosen to do finger foods baby led weaning style, or taken the combination approach.
Regardless of which feeding method you chose, by 8 months, 9 months at the latest, your baby's meals should look like what I'm about to share.
So let's dive in!Jump to:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Feeding Schedule
- How to build a well-balanced plate
- Real Life Examples
- Tips for Graduating from Purees
- Best Baby Foods for 8-9 Months
- Tips for Helping your Baby Eat
- What Foods to Avoid
- Favorite Feeding Tools
- Additional Resource
Frequently Asked Questions
How many meals should an 8 month old baby eat?
By eight months, your baby should be eating at least two meals a day. Some suggest three meals at this age, but again, every baby is different! There’s no need to force your baby to eat 3 meals a day when they’re simply not interested or hungry for it.
Two meals are plenty! You will also save yourself a lot of frustration by following your baby’s cues.
Some even suggest serving three meals and a snack. I want to reassure you that your baby does NOT need a snack until closer to 1 year of age. And even then, your baby may not be interested. Did I just hear a sigh of relief?
What’s more important than making sure your baby gets x amount of food is you creating a positive and relaxing mealtime experience for your baby.
If you are frantically trying to get food on the table and not able to enjoy sharing a meal alongside your baby, they will absolutely sense that, which can negatively affect their ability to eat.
Both of my babies weren’t ready for 3 meals until around 9 months, my son even later because he was born prematurely. But they did great with those 2 meals. And I enjoyed not having to prepare yet another meal for a little while longer ;).
I encourage you to always have your baby join you at the table so you will know when they’re ready for that last meal. If they start smacking and reaching for your food, they’re most likely ready.
I know that was a long answer, but to state simply, your baby should be eating at least 2 meals a day, working towards 3 meals by 9-10 months.
How much milk does a 8 to 9 month old need?
Milk, whether it's breast milk or formula, is and will continue to be the most important part of your child's diet up until they turn one.
At this age, daily milk intake should be around 25-32 ounces and if you are nursing, about 4-6 times a day. But keep in mind, every baby is unique. The best thing you can do is use these recommendations as a guide, but follow your baby's lead first and foremost.
It becomes a bit more challenging to do so when giving milk in a bottle because you can see exactly how much your baby drinks. It's so easy to get caught up with the numbers. If your baby is turning away, don't force them to finish the bottle.
Trust their innate ability to self-regulate. Just like how you eat different amounts of food each day, it's NORMAL for your baby to drink different amounts at each feeding.
Your baby may start to drink less as they begin eating more solid food, and that's to be expected. Weaning is a gradual process. Continue to offer milk before meals and stay in tune with your baby's cues.
How much solid food should an 8 to 9 month old eat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby consume between 750 and 900 calories each day, of which about 400-500 should come from breastmilk or formula.
Now I don’t know about you, but as someone who struggled with an eating disorder for a long time, I don’t want to count calories, not even for my baby. Also, it totally goes against the baby led approach, which is to TRUST and follow your baby’s innate ability to self regulate.
Just because you offer x amount of food, doesn’t mean your baby is going to eat it all. And neither should you force them to clean their plate. At this stage, it's still about discovery and learning about what food feels, smells, and tastes like.
Helping them develop a healthy relationship with food starts now! And our feeding practices matter. A LOT. What's even more important than the food you serve and how much gets eaten is a positive mealtime experience. Help your child stay positive and curious.
So the main takeaway is to prioritize milk feedings and consistently offer well-balanced meals that will help meet their nutritional needs. More on this below!
If your baby is growing, following their unique growth curve, and happy, they are eating the amount of food that’s RIGHT for them, even if it’s less or more than the recommendations or what you think they need to be eating.
Does an 8 month old baby need water?
While water may be introduced to 6 month olds and older, it is not necessary. Breastmilk or formula will be enough to meet their hydration needs. As long as your baby is having regular wet diapers, there's no need to worry.
However, you may want to offer sips of water (no more than 2-3 ounces/day so it doesn't displace milk) to help them practice cup drinking and to get used to the flavor of water.
Drinking from a cup is a lifelong skill, and by introducing early, it will give them plenty of time to explore and practice. Yes, it’s going to be messy but will be well worth it when it comes time to transition your baby from the breast or bottle.
By then your baby will have the skills to drink independently and will easily be able to make the shift.
Keep in mind the goal at this stage is not to get them to drink a large amount of water. It is practice practice!
I want to start off by saying that having a schedule doesn't mean you have to be super rigid with it. There's always room for flexibility.
Babies thrive on predictability and routine, and it can also help you to plan your day accordingly.
In terms of when you should offer your baby their meals, it's really up to you! For us, mornings are hectic, not to mention baby drank a lot of milk upon waking, so we started with lunch, then dinner, and added breakfast last.
Even though we are mainly talking about food, let's not forget that sleep is a very important piece to all of this. A well-rested baby means a happier baby who will be more interested in exploring the world of food.
I'm sharing our schedule to give you an idea of how to fit in two meals along with milk and nap times. You will notice this pattern - eat, play, sleep.
- 7 am - wake up and milk
- 9-10:15 am - Nap 1
- 10:20 am - Milk
- 11 am - Meal #1
- 12:30-1:30pm - Nap 2
- 1:35 pm - Milk
- 3:30-4:30 pm - Nap 3
- 4:35 pm - Milk
- 6 pm - Meal #2
- 6:30 pm - Milk
- 7 pm - bedtime
How to Cook the Softest Scrambled Eggs for Baby
What does a well-balanced plate look like in practice? With so many food choices, serving meals that will help meet your child’s nutrient needs can feel overwhelming. Please allow me to simplify and make this goal achievable and fun.
- Offer one high-iron food at each meal
- Offer one high-energy food at each meal
I want to elaborate a little bit on high-energy foods. Think carbohydrates and fats. Some examples include nuts and seeds, avocado, full fat yogurt, grains, bread, etc.
Fat is an essential nutrient at this age for optimal brain development and growth. And these calorically dense foods are a great way to make every bite count.
You’ll notice that some of the foods overlap. For instance, avocado is a fruit but it’s also a high-energy food or beans are a good source of iron but also a vegetable. Simply decide which category you want the food to count as and fill in the rest.
In terms of the amount, start with small portions to make it less overwhelming for your baby. This will also reduce food waste. You can always offer more if they seem interested.
Real Life Examples
Here are some meals I served to my baby.
- Tofu Veggie Scramble Oatmeal Balls
- Iron food - tofu, beans
- High-energy food - oatmeal
- Vegetables - bell peppers, zucchini, onion
- Quinoa (iron) with avocado (high-energy), purple cauliflower (vegetable)
- Beef Stroganoff
- Iron food - beef
- High-energy food - pasta
- Vegetables - carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, peas
- Turkey beet meatballs (iron), Avocado rolled in flax seeds (high-energy), Broccoli (vegetable)
Regardless of which feeding method you chose, the goal is that by 9 months, at the latest, your baby is being introduced to a wide variety of flavors and textures from all food groups.
That's because research shows that infants who are introduced to textures by 9 months generally have less feeding problems and greater food acceptance down the road.
If you’ve been spoon feeding, start by preloading the spoon and allowing them to pick it up themselves. There may be great resistance at first, and your baby may want you to continue feeding them. But stand strong.
Your baby will eventually realize that mommy or daddy won’t feed them no matter what and begin to explore for themselves.
Also, it’s completely normal for your baby to start eating less during this transition. Managing textured foods is a whole new experience, and your baby will need some extra time to learn the skills to handle them.
And they will when given plenty of opportunities to do so. Therefore, don’t fall back on purees. Keep marching forward. In the meantime, you can increase the amount of milk feeds.
For more tips, here's an in-depth post on how to transition from purees to table foods.
Best Baby Foods for 8-9 Months
By this age, your baby is working on developing their pincer grasp, which involves using the thumb and the index finger to pick up small pieces of food. You can start serving bite-sized pieces to help practice this new skill.
But do continue offering big pieces of food to minimize frustration and to allow for practice with taking bites.
I've dedicated a whole post to this along with recipes! I believe you will find it extremely helpful.
Best iron-rich foods for babies
- Nuts and Seeds
Best Weight Gain Foods for Babies
Fruits and Vegetables
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Mashed peas
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), smashed)
When cooking vegetables, don't forget to season with herbs and spices!
Tips for Helping your Baby Eat
- Offer meals when your baby is happy and seems interested in eating.
- Make sure foods are soft and easy to smash with your fingers.
- While their hands will be their best tools for quite some time, offer utensils from the beginning for exposure and familiarity.
- Don’t be afraid to season the food with a wide variety of herbs and spices. It’s such a delicious and easy way to expose them to all the different flavors. Hold off on salt!
- For foods that are harder to pick up, like rice and quinoa, mash with some sweet potato or avocado to make them easier to eat.
- Your baby may still be doing a lot of playing and throwing at this point, and that’s ok. They are still learning to self feed and it’s a skill that takes A LOT of practice. So be consistent and patient. Stick to your mealtime schedule and eat alongside your baby so they can watch and learn from you.
- If your baby doesn’t eat much during mealtime, you can offer a little bit of breastmilk/formula afterwards.
What to do when baby doesn't eat
What Foods to Avoid
- Hard or crunchy texture - raw fruits and vegetables, whole nuts, crackers, popcorn, etc.
- Sticky texture - a glob of peanut or nut butter
- Honey until 1 year as it can lead to botulism - it’s unsafe even if it’s uncooked. Be sure to read the labels as it’s an ingredient in a lot of unexpected foods.
- Unpasteurized milk, yogurt, cheese, or juice (which should be avoid until 2)
- Milk for drinking (can be used in recipes)
- High-sodium foods
- Added sugars
Favorite Feeding Tools
Here are the essentials that I know will save you time and your sanity! I know it’s tempting to buy all the adorable products that are out there. But truly, these are really all you need!
If you are struggling to move beyond purees or feeling overwhelmed trying to give your baby the best, here's a complete roadmap that would show you through daily videos and photos of what foods and how to serve them to your baby AND the rest of the family at the same time!
the optimal menu for an eight-month-old baby
When my child was 8 months old, I began to be advised to make adult food the basis of his diet and reduce the number of feedings. But I decided to study the issue and share with you. Let's find out how the eating behavior of an 8-month-old baby changes.
Important foods for an eight-month-old baby
At this age, breast milk or formula is still the main food for a baby. Their volume will reach 700-900 milliliters per day. But adult food is still in second place, although the composition of complementary foods is already expanding. The child becomes more and more familiar with new tastes, he develops food interest.
Let's see what can be added to the diet:
In addition to buckwheat, rice and corn, oatmeal is added. Also, a child can already try pasta and vermicelli for soups. But it is better to introduce bread not earlier than a year.
In addition, broccoli and cauliflower, spinach, green beans are introduced.
The child can already taste bananas, prunes, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots.
Add turkey, rabbit, chicken and veal to your menu. But soups with meat broth should be avoided for the time being.
Since eggs can cause allergies, the hard-boiled yolk is given a taste first. A whole egg can be given after a year.
This is a new food item. For an eight-month-old baby to get acquainted with fish, cod is suitable.
Choose butter, olive and sunflower oils.
Many mothers introduce them as early as possible to provide the baby with calcium. You can give pureed cottage cheese and yogurt.
Baby biscuits should be added in small portions if the child already chews well.
In addition to breast milk or formula, offer your baby other liquids such as water, juice or compote.
How to cook and serve food
Cooked fruits and vegetables can be given to your child. We cook food mostly still in a soft and puree form. It is better to make porridge boiled to feed the baby.
At this age, the child begins to pick up food on his own and already knows how to chew better. To practice these skills, offer food in the form of pieces so that he can take them by hand. For example, bananas, pasta, meat and vegetables. Never leave your baby unattended while feeding. Do not give grapes, raw carrots, raisins, as they are easy to choke on.
Offer new food in the morning. And in the evening you can have the dishes familiar to the child.
A table with an example of what the daily menu of an 8-month-old baby might look like (suitable for both breastfeeding and IV):
Remember that this is just one example of nutrition at this age.
When introducing new products and monitoring the nutrition of an eight-month-old baby, be guided by the baby and his taste preferences.
Nutrition and sleep
Often mothers try to introduce complementary foods early, thinking that their child wakes up at night from hunger. They hope that giving solid food before bed will solve the problem. But in fact, this is not food, but the ability to fall asleep on your own will help the child not wake up at night and a properly formed regimen for this age.
Share in the comments, do you have problems feeding your 8-month-old baby or is everything okay?
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How to feed a baby at 8 months
- Anastasia Ivanovna, does the nutrition of a child at 8 months differ from the diet of a one-year-old child?
— Yes, different. By eight months, additional baby foods with greater density and nutritional value are needed as the more active baby develops new needs. The most important stage in the formation of a balanced diet begins, the purpose of which is to lay the right eating habits in order to transfer the child to the common table by the year and feed him with adult food, which is customary to eat in the family.
— What is the optimal combination of complementary foods with breast milk and infant formula?
— During the day, complementary foods and the usual milk food for the baby — mother's milk or an adapted formula — are given in different feedings. In the morning and evening, the mother will continue to breastfeed or formula, and for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea she will offer the child complementary foods.
— In what cases is the start of complementary foods delayed?
— There are a number of reasons for delaying the introduction of new complementary foods:
- allergic reactions;
- unformed gastrointestinal tract and rejection of complementary foods;
- unformed nervous system;
- complications or operations after childbirth;
- chronic diseases;
- benign and malignant neoplasms;
- lack of nutritional interest with an unformed need for complementary foods.
— Why is it important to expand the baby's diet at 8 months?
— Eight months is a period of increased activity, intensive growth, formation of the food apparatus, digestive, urinary, and immune systems. All this requires the expenditure of a large amount of energy and the introduction of additional complementary foods that contain nutrients, vitamins, minerals in greater quantities than dairy food and the first complementary foods.
— What to feed a baby at 8 months?
— By eight months, a child can already try a large number of puree-like foods — vegetables, fruits, cereals. But the older the baby becomes, the less the products are crushed so that he gets acquainted with the pieces, learns to chew and swallow them. Age-appropriate foods are numerous. But it is worth remembering that at least four days are allotted for adaptation to one new nutritional component in order to have time to track the body's reaction. If the baby responds well to one product, move on to the next.
What can a baby eat at 8 months
— What foods are bad at eight months?
- The cooking method will play a role here. For the baby, the products are not fried, but boiled. It is not recommended to consume juices, soda, products with food additives, sweeteners, flavors and preservatives. We do not give the child sauces, canned food, fatty meats, as well as poorly digestible semi-finished products. Whole milk as an independent product at this age is too early to give.
8 month old baby's menu option
Why doesn't the baby want to eat complementary foods?
— Such behavior is possible due to the lack of food interest or the lack of formation of some functions or organs of the child — not everything depends on the mother here, it will be necessary to resolve the issue with doctors and try to introduce new products.
Food interest is considered to be situations when a child reaches for a spoon, looks into a plate, is interested in different tastes. If this is not the case by eight months, it is worth contacting an allergist, a nutritionist, a gastroenterologist through a pediatrician.
- Why a child refuses to eat complementary foods and what to do in such situations.
— How can I tell which complementary foods my baby is allergic to?
- The easiest way to track allergies is through observation and keeping a food diary. Flushing, screaming and crying, and constipation can occur alone or along with other symptoms of a food allergy. It is necessary to introduce new food very carefully, not to give everything at once, so that the body adapts to complementary foods, and in the case of an allergic reaction, it is easier to recognize its pathogen.
Nutrition at eight months should be varied and balanced. The nutrients of each new product are important, because the child needs to be supplied not only with energy, but also with dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.