Nutrition for Infant 10-12 Months

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This is the time when your infant can safely  transition to soft table food if you haven’t already done so. No more making separate meals for your little one and welcome them to dine together with the entire family and start modeling good eating behavior from a young age.  They might not interest in new foods in particular but keep offering and let them explore, it usually takes 8-10 tries of introducing same food item before they start accepting it.

Persistent and interactive fun is the key to coaching healthy eating behavior among children. Don’t skim on the flavor as well.  Children doesn’t have to eat bland or mild tasting food, introduce interesting natural flavor such as  strong vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, onion, garlic, ginger, cabbages), spices (not spicy) and herbs to stimulate their taste bud. They don’t have to like it but by offering and expose them to the flavor profile will do.

10 – 11 Months old 

Baby at this age still requires roughly about 4 feedings (6-8 ounces) of breast milk or formula on a daily basis. The breast milk and formula consist of 50-60% of their daily intake and the remaining is from food.  You can start offering combination meals and doesn’t have to be a single food item by this age anymore.  Peanut butter, fish, eggs are safe to introduce at this time as well if there’s no history of allergies in you or your partner medical history. A schedule 3 meals 2 snacks should be offered daily.

Make sure to keep offering 2-4 ounces of water in a cup during the day as well. If you live in an area that the water is not fluoridated, then make sure to add 0.5 ml drop of fluoride in the water he/she is drinking starting after 6 months of age. Always check with the pediatrician and pediatric dentist to see if your baby need it. Formula fed baby might not require additional fluoridation.

*There has been some controversies regarding the safety of giving fluoride to infant and young children. At this time, American Academy of Pediatric and American Dental Association still recommend fluoride to be given to children in none fluoridated communities. It will be up to individual parent decision whether they would like to use it for their infant.

12 Months old

They can start eating table food without any problem. Still cut round foods into quarters to avoid choking. Cut other foods into small strips for easy holding. Do not serve whole nuts and hard to to chew item as well. By about one year of age, your baby should be able to  self feed themselves (will be messy) with their finger or using spoon/fork. This is part of their development milestone to be able to pick up food and put in their mouth.

Breast milk/ formula still consist about 40-50% of their daily intake (3-4 servings of 6-8 oz milk) and the rest from solid foods. They should be eating 3 meals and 2 snacks daily.  A easy rule of thumb to remember how much solid food they should be eating is one tablespoon of each food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, meat/meat substitute) per year of a child’s age at each meal. Refer to this How_To_Feed_Baby-English step by step guide if you wanted a more specific serving size.

If you still have ample breast milk supply, please continue to breast feed your baby as long as you desire. And, if you are formula feeding, you can also start switching to whole cow’s milk/ full fat (original) fortified soy milk.  There is now toddler transitioning formula available from Similac (R), and Enfamil (R) if this is something you are interested in. Your child is also supposed to triple his/her birth weight by the time they turn one.

Note: Let your baby be their own guide as to how much they can eat.  Forcing baby to eat the amount of food you think they should can easily back fire and cause food aversion. There’s going to be weeks they don’t have much appetite for food such as teething period. Sometimes they will eat more than the recommended servings and don’t be alarm as well, baby tends to go through short period of growth spurts. As long as they grow accordingly along their growth curve without excessive weight gain or weight loss, there’s nothing much to worry about.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

As I mentioned before, my daughter is very selective on the types of meat she eats and this dish has never failed me or her. I like homemade tender because you know exactly what you are using. No fillers, no grounding the meats and just a few simple ingredients you can transform a plain chicken breast to delicious delight the entire family can enjoy.

I’ve tried baking these before but the chicken turns out to be dry. So I decided to stick with pan fry using minimal oil as I could. The chicken breast stays tender, juicy and has a nice bite to it. Hope you like it too!

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Ingredients:
2 chicken breast (~5-6 ounces each)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppers
2 eggs
1 cup panko
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:
1. Cut chicken breast into 1 1/2 inches thick and cut into strips or triangle shape to please the youngsters. Set aside.
2. Mix in salt, peppers and flour together in a big bowl, set aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Set aside.
4. Mix grated parmesan cheese with panko in a baking pan.
5. Lightly dust the chicken in the flour mixture, next dip the chicken in the eggs and then evenly coat it with the panko. Continue this step until all chicken is completely coated.
6. Heat up a 10 inch skillet, filled up with cooking oil to about an inch thick (about 1 cup).
7. Once the oil started to glisten, slowly add in the chicken and pan fry 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown under medium heat.

You can add paprika and some cayenne powder to the flour mixture, or once the chicken is done cooking sprinkle some peppers flake over if you like some kick to it.

Toasted Soba with Green Tea Soup

Tired of the plain noodle soup? Try this new recipe instead! It’s lite, soothing and refreshing with a different layer of flavor by roasting or toasting the soba noodles and pair it with the green tea as the soup base.

Japanese and Korean culture often pour green tea over rice as their comfort food. So, it inspire me to try it over noodle instead. The dish turns out to be a surprised to me and also toddler approved by my daughter.

Roasting/toasting the noodle has a lot to do with adding a nuttier flavor to the soba and after noodle soak in the soup for a few minutes, the nutty flavor infused with the green tea and make it tastier.

It’s easy and simple to make.  I decided to use zucchini, carrots and top of with a boiled egg with the yolk just cooked through. You can pick and choose what kind of topping to go with it, chicken, turkey, tofu, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli or seaweed, whichever your heart desire.

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Servings: 2, each serving is about 260 kcal, 15 gm protein.

Ingredients:

1 bundle of soba noodle
3 teaspoon of loose green tea leaves
3 cups hot water
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1/3 cup julienne carrots
1 boiled egg (halved)

Instructions:

  1. I toast the soba noodles in a large skillet under medium low heat for about 12 minutes. You can also bake them in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove from pan/oven, let it cool down.
  3. Fill a 4 quarts pot with water about half way, bring it to boil. Add the toasted soba noodles in and cook until tender (about 6-7 minutes).
  4. While waiting for noodle to cook, steep the green tea leaves with 3 cups of hot water in a pyrex 4 cups measuring cup for 1.5-2 minutes (Don’t steep it too long as it will turn bitter).
  5. Cook the vegetables in a pan/pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes.
  6. Once the soba noodles are tender, remove noodle from the pot. Arrange noodle, vegetables in a bowl and pour the green tea over it. Serve hot.

9 FAQ From First Time Parent about Nutrition

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It is exiting yet nerve wrecking when your precious little one finally arrive in your arms. You can read all the parenting guide book to get yourself prepared as much as you can but the real deal awaits you when you bring your baby home. That’s when the true test of parenthood begins.

Here’s a few frequently asked question by my patients’ parent as to what to expect regarding their newborn/infant first year of nutrition problem/needs.

1. How do I know my baby is getting enough ? 

Well, the first few days your baby’s stomach really can hold 5-15 ml of breast milk or formula. Slowly it will stretch out and increasing the volume they can tolerate. One way to know is adequate wet diaper and soiled diaper. Breastfeeding babies should have at least 2-3 soiled (yellow seedy poop) and 8-10 wet diapers daily.  Another sign of baby is getting enough is good weight gain, if your baby is gaining 1.5-2.0 pounds per month, that’s a good sign he/she is receiving enough from breast feeding or formula. If you have a premature babies, his/her nutrition requirement will be higher than a normal healthy term baby and are expecting to grow a minimum of 2.2-2.5 pounds per month.

If you are still worried, go to the doctor’s office in between well baby visit for weight check. There’s also birth center that does weight check for infant as well.

If you have time, read nutrition for infant 0-6 months article I’ve written earlier.

Every parent should familiarize themselves with an age appropriate growth chart. This can help you keep track of how their growth is overtime. You can go to infant chart website to monitor growth for infants and children ages 0 to 2 years and 2-20 years of age in the U.S. The website also included preterm baby’s growth chart, and a Chinese babies growth chart as well (Historically, Asian babies tend to be smaller in size).

2. My baby has bloody diarrhea ! What do I do ?

This could means several things, intestinal irritation, intolerance of breast milk/formula, and/or allergies. Please call your child’s pediatrician office right away.  In the meantime while waiting for your doctor’s call back, continue to offer breast milk to prevent dehydration. Pedialyte also is appropriate at this time. You can try switching to a hypoallergenic formula (Nutramigen(R), Alimentum (R), Pregestimil (R), Gerber(R) Extensive HA) and consult a doctor for next step.

3. My baby is constipated, HELP !

Most breastfed infant seldom get constipated before solids food are introduced. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. When babies goes 3 days without a bowel movement, you can start some prune juice (15 ml juice mix with 15 ml water) and give it to your baby twice daily. You can also do warm bath and gentle belly massage to stimulate the bowel movement. If constipation doesn’t resolve in 1-2 days, call the doctor !

4. When should I stop feeding baby during the night? 

Breast milk is easily digested therefore your baby will get hungry much faster compared to formula fed babies. It is best to continue feeding your baby on demand until adequate solids intake is achieved, usually between 8-10 months of age when sleeping through the night is possible.  However, breastfed babies might still wake up in the middle of the night craving for comfort nursing, it will be your decision, whether you wanted to continue offer a bottle or breast. One thing to remember is that they are able to consume enough solids food during the day to meet their energy needs and doesn’t need the 1-2 feedings at night as it was before.

5. Can I drink coffee or alcohol when I’m breastfeeding ?

Moderate amount of coffee (1-2 cups) is usually acceptable while you are breastfeeding.  If you are expecting to go to a social events and would like to have more than a few sips of wine/beer. Feed your baby before hand or pump and completely empty both breast before drinking alcohol. Wait for 3 hours after before the next feeding after alcohol consumption. Only one serving is recommended (5 ounce of wine, 12 oz beer, 1.5 oz of spirits).

6. When should I introduce solids ?

Technically by 6 months of age or 6 months of corrected age if you have a premature babies. Babies have to be able to sit up without neck support, showing signs of interest in food, open mouth wide when seeing a spoon.

7. What is an ideal first food ?

There’s none. You can choose infant cereal (rice, oatmeal, barley), puree vegetables (avocado, peas, carrots, green beans, sweet potato, squash), puree fruits (peaches, pears, prunes, banana, applesauce),puree meats/beans. It is your choice and what your family prefers. Just remember to introduce one food at a time, wait for 2-3 days before the next new food is being introduced. The key is to continue introduce different variety and flavors and will be more adventurous in trying new foods later on.

8. Homemade purees vs Commercially prepared

All of us know what home made food is the best. But there’s a large majority of parents that didn’t have the time or luxury to obtain fresh/ organic produce to make home made foods for their little one. Just be careful that fresh produce and some roots vegetables such as spinach, green beans, squash, beets and carrots may contains large amount of nitrates, which can leads to anemia. So, it is best to buy commercially prepared ones for those food items as food manufacturer does test of nitrates in baby’s food.

9. Is eggs, nuts, dairy, soy, fish safe to introduce during first year? 

The latest research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013 have indicated early introduction to allergenic foods are actually beneficial to prevent food allergies later on. Unless your family has a history of food allergies, then it is unnecessary to avoid introducing eggs and/or peanut butter containing foods to infant starting at 6 months of age given appropriate texture is provided. It is still not safe to provide large chunks, hard to chew food during the early introduction of solids food.

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Grapes with Greek Yogurt

Have you ever bought a bunch of grapes and they turn out to be too sour to enjoy it and doesn’t know what to do with them ?

Try roasting them instead! I’ve seen a cooking show long ago talking about cooking with grapes and had this “a-ha” moment in my head thinking roasting should concentrate their sugar content and make it more palatable.

Guess what ? It works ! You can paired the roasted grapes with pork and chicken or blend it up to make up a compote for cheese and crackers too. Here, I decided to add the grapes to plain Greek yogurt with some sesame snaps for added crunch as a dessert/snack for myself and my little one.

This recipes serve 6, each serving is about ~ 170 calories, 5 grams of protein.

Ingredients: 

1-2 small bunch of red grapes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1  teaspoon of olive oil
3 cups of plain Greek yogurt
3 pieces of sesame snaps (crushed into small sections)
*1 tablespoon of sugar or honey* (optional-only needed if you are making a compote. I enjoy the slight tartness of the roasted grapes without the added sugar)

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit (220 degree Celsius).
  2. Lay the red grapes with stem intact in a roasting pan, add olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the grapes a few times to evenly coat it.
  3. Bake the grapes for 35-40 minutes, until the skin is slightly bubbly on the outside.
  4. Remove the grapes and let it cool down or refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  5. Arrange 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt on a bowl, add 1/4 cup of roasted grapes (6-7 grapes) on top, layer it with a few sections of the sesame snaps and enjoy ! You can also substitute the sesame snaps with nuts (such as walnut, hazelnut, or pistachios).

Asian Style Steam Swai Fillet

Growing up by the coast has given me the opportunities to try vast variety of deep sea fish. It is sort of sad that I couldn’t find a lot of the fish I enjoyed eating at home when I moved to America. Though, I always find ways to curb my home sickness with a little bit of twist and substitution here and there to make it work.

This time I use Swai fish (Vietnamese catfish), it is tender and has a milder taste. It doesn’t have that “muddy” earth like taste of the regular catfish so it might be more acceptable to the little kids to try. You can use any type of white fish as well, cod, grouper, catfish, tilapia, flounder, sole, bass or snapper as you wish.

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Serves:3-4 servings (4 oz per serving : 140 calories, 20 gm protein)

Ingredients:

2 medium Swai fillets (~8 oz fillet each)
5 1/2 inch thick sliced ginger – julienned
3 Garlic clove – minced
2 Green onions stalk – cut into 4 inches length and slice thin
1-2 Tomatoes (half and slice ) *optional
2 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
A pinch of Salt & White Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Rub salt and white pepper powder on the fish fillet.
  2. Layered sliced tomatoes at the bottom of a 10 inches deep dish.
  3. Steam fish for 8 minutes (longer if a thicker cut fish is used).
  4. In a separate small skillet add cooking oil and heat up under medium
    heat.
  5. Once the oil started to glisten, add in the ginger and garlic, sauteed until slightly golden brown then toss in the sliced green onions and continue to sauteed for 8-10 seconds. Add in a tablespoon of soy sauce at the end and turn of the heat.
  6. Pour the sauce mixture over the steam fish and serve immediately.

 

 

Baby’s Poop 101… What parents should know!

“Did they poop? How much they poop? What’s the poop look like ? Is this normal ? ” Those are the thoughts process always going through new parents’ mind on a daily basis when taking care of their babies.

Well, what does nutrition has to do with it ?? The answer is EVERYTHING ! Food consumption, digestion and defecation is an important indicator for healthy gut, digestion and food tolerance. A healthy gut and healthy poop means your baby will be absorbing the nutrients he/she is needing and grow without major problem.

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Baby’s stool frequency,  color, and consistency tells me a lot about their diet and whether if there’s something the parent should be concerned about. Whether it be allergies, intolerance, dehydration, constipation, malabsorptions, irritable bowel etc – poops are usually the first tell tale signs of something has gone awry or it is completely normal.

FREQUENCY:
What’s normal?? There really isn’t a concrete answer. Some baby goes everyday with 2-3 soiled diapers  or more and some only goes once per day. As long as they don’t look uncomfortable with harden belly or straining too hard when they have to go, there’s nothing to worry about. Exclusive breastfeeding baby sometimes can go several days and up to 7 days without having a bowel movement and this is completely normal as well.

COLOR & CONSISTENCY

NORMAL POOP WHAT IT MEANS
Black, Sticky, Tarry (First  1-3 days of life) Meconium (the first poop from the intestine of newborn)
 
Yellow, Seedy, Curds like Breast feeding poop (Breast milk is very easily digested and move through the intestine quickly. Therefore, it’s yellow/mustard yellow color most of the time).
 
Darker Yellow/brown Combination of breast milk and formula feeding
 
Dark brown/Tan/Light Tan Formula feeding or sometimes when your baby is on goat’s formula or goat’s milk.
 
Yellow  with Mucus Sometimes this is normal, usually when baby is teething and is swallowing more of their saliva. But it can also means some intolerance to milk (check the frequency and when in doubt-call the doctor)
 
Green frothy Imbalance of foremilk (watery clear)and hindmilk (rich creamy milk) Note: Just make sure to feed baby long enough on one breast to empty the rich creamy hindmilk before switching to the other breast.
 
Darker Yellow/ Dark brown soft solid with undigested food–It could be orange, dark blue, dark green Transition between milk to solids, and when they start eating more solids food, undigested food chunks will be identified in their soft formed poop. Colored poop as long as is not black and dark red is normal based on the type of foods they are eating. If it is darker red (make sure baby hasn’t been eating beets or cherries the day prior).

NOTE: Remember the faster the food goes through the intestine tract, it will be yellow, when it’s a slower digestion, it will change to green, brown then dark brown to black (which will lead to constipation)

Green If your baby are those select few that were solely on amino-acid based formula such as Elecare® or Neocate® or Alfamino®. Don’t be alarmed if their poop is green.
ABNORMAL POOP WHAT IT MEANS
Diarrhea Food/milk intolerance, malabsorption, or it could be viral illness as well.  Note: Make sure baby is well hydrated. If it lasted more than 2 days, contact your baby’s pediatrician.
 
Very dark brown/black, hard small pellets, marbles like size Constipation.  This could mean they have extra iron in their diet, not enough fiber or not getting enough liquids. Note:  Offer prunes, peaches, pears and massage their belly gently if they are older than 6 months old. Making sure baby (6 months and older) getting enough liquids (breastmilk or formula and 1-2 oz water daily). You can also look into probiotic drops or formula that contains probiotics for your baby if he/she is prone to constipation.
 
Bloody tint/streak in yellow stool Sign of food allergies. Usually milk protein allergies. Note: Remove cow’s milk formula and use an semi-elemental formula (Alimentum®, Nutramigen®Gerber® Extensive HA®
or Pregestimil®). If you are breastfeeding, you’ll need to eliminate all dairy from your diet.  Check with your baby’s pediatrician to complete a milk protein allergy testing to get a better picture.
 
Bloody stool Milk, allergies, intestinal infections, or gastrointestinal bleeding.  Call the pediatrician right away!
 
Chalky White Liver or gallbladder problem because of bile malabsorption. Call pediatrician right away!

There’s several parenting sites that has visual I like that decipher the baby’s poop mystery for mothers (and fathers) to look at.  First one is from Parents: Baby Poop Guide they also have a very nice pdf file to download and keep it handy at home. All you have to do is simply becoming a member with no fees or obligations. Here’s their PDF Parents_Baby_Poop_Guide to save you a trip to sign up if you don’t want to subscribe.  Second site is  Baby poop: A complete guide | BabyCenter and the third one is from Similac Diaper Decoder. I quite like the Similac decoder page because it tells you the reason why the poop is the way it is and if you should be worried.

Again, this is all just a guidance for the first time parents. A proper diagnosis from your child’s pediatrician is highly recommended if your child is experiencing any abnormal signs and symptoms of their bowel movement!

 

 

Macaroni with Sauteed Mushroom and Tomatoes

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This simple vegetarian dish is something anyone can cook real quickly after a busy day from work. Less than 30 minutes you’ll have a meal on the table.

A family friend has given us a bunch of oyster mushroom earlier this week and I think it goes quite well with the macaroni. You can definitely substitute with other button mushroom as well.

My daughter ate a heaping portions of it and I hope yours does too. If you have leftovers, or just would like a little extra protein, revamp the dish and topped it with steamed broccoli, grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked macaroni (about 1 1/2 cups dried macaroni)
1/2 can of small (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup pasta water (reserve the boiling liquid from cooking the macaroni)
1 1/2-2 cups grape tomatoes (halves)
2 cups oyster mushrooms
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

Instructions:
1. Cook the dried macaroni in a 2 quarts pot of salted boiling water (1 teaspoon of salt). About 6-7 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup liquid, drain macaroni and keep aside.
2. In a separate saute pan heat up olive oil in medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 10-15 seconds.
3. Once the garlic turn slightly golden, add in the mushroom and saute for 1-2 minutes with a splash of water to prevent the garlic from burning.
4. Next add in the cooked macaroni, mushroom soup and water. Stir the content until evenly coated or well mixed. Let it cool together for another minute.
5. Lastly toss in the grape tomatoes, stir it a few more times and remove from heat.
6. Add some freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Easy Greek Yogurt Creamsicle (酸奶冰条)

As the weather warming up in Oregon, making some cold snacks has been the routine between me and my husband.  Now we have a little tot running around, I’ll have to make something sweet but at the same time nutrient pack as well.

I’ve recommended this type of greek yogurt pop for a lot of the kids I see in clinic to help them get the calories and protein they need to gain weight. Greek yogurt is caloric dense, less sugar and high in protein, plus the probiotic benefits is good for their digestive system as well.

I’m using the full fat type of yogurt as fat free is not recommended for any children age 2 and below because they needed the fat for their brain development. If you have an older kid, feel free to use the low fat yogurt to cut down the calories unless they are underweight and needing the calories for weight gain.

This is another easy recipe that can be enjoyed by everyone in the house 🙂

Ingredients:

5.5 oz of full fat peach Greek yogurt (one container)
2-3 Tablespoon regular strawberry yogurt (to add a little sweetness or you can use frozen strawberries puree too)
2 Tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
1/4 Cup of orange juice

Instructions: 

  • Mix all ingredients together and put into the Popsicle mold or use paper cups with ice cream sticks.
  • Tap the bottom of the mold to ensure the content settle to remove the air bubbles.
  • Put in freezer and let it freeze for 2-3 hours. It will make 4-5 creamsicle depending how large the mold is.

 

Nutrition for Infant 6-9 Months

If you are a first time mom (FTM), surviving the first 6 months after your baby is born is definitely worth celebrating. If you are an experienced mom, then kudos to you for your bravery to take on the second or third kids challenge.

Being a mother is a 24/7 job and  not counting the sleep deprivation, trying to establish breast milk supply, constant worrying and the emotional roller coaster post-partum and the list goes on. None the less, you have made it past the most difficult months but there’s still a lot more ahead we have to know about your baby’s nutritional well being when they are ready to embark on the solid foods journey.

Now that you’ve mastered their schedule down to a tee, let’s talk food 🙂

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6 -7 Months

Starting solids is a big step for your baby. But where do you start ? Answer is start simple, one food at a time and there’s no right or wrong on whether you start rice cereal, fruits, vegetables or meat first. There’s no research to support whether the starting order of vegetables first will make your infant to be more incline to eating vegetables later. Nope, no such things. Breast milk and infant formula are sweet to begin with, so most babies will have a tendency to like fruits much better than others.

Offer a wide variety of foods (cereal, fruits (no juice at this time), vegetables, meats), but only single food at a time. Start with one food, offer for 2-3 days and then introduce the next to rule out any potential allergies. But do remember, do not add salt at this time as baby’s kidney are still developing. This will go on for about two months time to let them try as much food as possible. By the end of 7 months, the list of food they can consume will grow to about 30-35 foods.

You can also lightly seasoned the foods with spices, herbs as well at about 7 months. Introducing purees doesn’t equate to eating bland foods for your children. Expose them with different flavors which in turn will help them be more of a adventurous eater later on. They don’t have to like it, by just exposing them with variety of flavors profile will do.

How much to offer ? About 1/2-1 Tablespoon is a good start at each meal. Let your baby be the guide on how much they wanted to eat. Baby will turn their head or spitting out food when they are done with eating.

Key Point:  At 6-7 months of age, solids foods are consider a “complimentary” foods. As in it is just supposed to be letting the infant to experience the different taste of food and continue to work on their oral motor development. Food at this point are not suppose to replace their major source of nutrition (breast milk or infant formula. 90% of their caloric intake should still be breast milk or infant formula at this time (approximately 26-32 ounces daily).

8-9 Months

After your baby has time to master the oral motor skills for 1-2 months. Now is time to introduce some chunky purees now. If you are interested and aren’t afraid of baby led weaning (BLW) techniques, you can also try giving your baby well cooked vegetables, soft ripen fruits (cut in stripe or small cubes), soft/ground meats (fish/meat balls) with careful supervision at dining table. At this time, most baby has the capability to chew with or without teeth and swallow without much difficulty.

You can start introduce cheese, yogurt (not cow’s milk or goat’s milk yet), egg yolk and egg whites if you like. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Allergy organization have released reports that early introduction of high allergenic food such as egg whites, wheat, nuts can reduces even high risk infants of developing egg/nuts allergies later on.

How much to feed ? Making sure to offer about 1-2 Tablespoons of each food groups (Grains/bread, fruit, vegetables, meat/meat substitute) at meal time if possible. They can have more if desire. Can start offering snacks in between feeding such as cheese, yogurt, teething biscuit, cut up fruits.

Don’t let anyone (family, friends or co-workers) to put you down whichever methods you choose and how you feed your children.  As long as your baby is growing well and eating nutritious meals within the recommended guidelines, do what works for your family! One size doesn’t fit all.

However, do remember that at this time. Baby still need their main source of nutrition from breast milk and infant formula. About 70-80% of caloric intake from breast milk/infant formula (~24 ounces per day) and the rest from solids. Continue with no to minimal salt with cooking for the foods that will be served to your baby at this time frame.

Once they started to eat more solids, their poop will change to more of a darker solids form and sometimes even becoming less frequent with their bowel movement. Offer 1/2-1 ounce of water during meal time and also feed your baby fruits that helps to relieve constipation such as prunes/pears/peaches/plums. If your baby hasn’t poop in 3 days, you can offer 1 oz prune juice / apple juice mix with 1 oz of water and massage their belly to help stimulate bowel movement. Always call the pediatrician for advice when you are worried.