Baby’s First Foods, Stages and Ideas (4-10 months)
Feeding a 10 month old can be hard. Knowing what’s healthy, what’s liked and in the right portion size is something that I stumbled my way through learning. So I wanted to write today to help you learn more about baby’s first foods, the stages and some ideas you can use in your journey.
There’s loads of info out there though that can help you learn a few tricks to make it easier! Prepping and freezing a bunch of fruits and vegies is always a great idea! And as baby gets older there is so much more you can do to make mealtime quick and fun for even mum!
Every little human has different tastebuds however, so we all get a unique experience teaching our little ones about food.
At 10 months, my little girl is a true monster with food. Literally everything goes into her mouth.
She’ll eat most anything without any fussiness, so you could say we are lucky.
I’m going to break our experience introducing food to our baby into a few key stages, to provide as much relevant info as I can. They’ll be;
Food introduction and our experience between 4-6months;
Our experience in second stage of eating solids incl. baby led weaning from about 6-8months;
Our experience eating finger foods 8-10months;
And quick, easy meal and snack lists for each stage
Let’s get into it!
Food introduction and our experience between 4-6 months
You go through baby’s first stages of ‘food’ around 4-6 months, depending on what’s recommended to you by your healthcare professional.
It can depend on the baby. My girl was ready to try little tastes of flavours and started reaching for daddy’s cereal bowl when she was around 4 months, and started getting a baby porridge or rice cereal from then.
She wanted it then, but some babes I know have started solids earlier for reasons such as reflux or to try gain weight better as well.
We gave it to her once a day for breakfast and also intergrated baby fruit and veg purees twice a day. This led to 3 ‘meal’ times a day by 6 months.
Another key thing you’ve got to do in this stage is to take it slow and introduce foods one at time, single ingredients only. We were suggested a new food every 3 days at the start.
Guage how your baby and their body reacts to them and encourage the hell out of them! They will be more open to trying new things with mummy or daddy’s support.
I wasn’t too anxious about what brands she ate, though I did try to steam, process and freeze as much fresh fruit and veg as possible.
This stage focused mainly on learning to eat instead of consuming alot though, and we weren’t too concerned about how much she did eat as she was still getting most of her nutrition from formula.
Babies before solids are used to sucking on something sweet, and so when you first start giving them food, don’t be to surprised if they don’t like the taste too much or constantly spit it back at you.
A baby with reflux will act differently. A baby will tell you if they really don’t want it. I wouldn’t recommend forcing them, though maybe try a drop of honey in the cereal mix to see if it’s better recieved.
Our bub wouldn’t eat a baby porridge plain until she was used to the process of eating. She was much more fond of fruits and vegetables though, we would give her about 2-3 tablespoons of puree for lunch and the same for dinner.
Because babies have been sucking their whole life, their tongue is very uncoordinated to the task of eating off a spoon. Experience has only taught them so far how to drink, and a spoon is a very advanced device for them. They may constantly push it out of their mouths until they get the hang of it.
Pureed fruit was the clear favorite of this stage.
Our experience in second stage of eating solids incl. baby led weaning from about 6-8 months
Between 6-8 months, we had begun feeding her consistently 3 times a day, and we slowly started introducing more lumpy and mashed foods.
Again, our bub continued to have a sweet tooth, however we combated this by trying to feed her as many sweet vegetables as possible instead of giving her the fruit she always wanted.
We also decided to try whether she had a reaction to egg products at this age, as recommended by our nurse.
We started introducing little bits of egg white, then yolk, then scrambled eggs to her.
We did this over the period of about two weeks, just giving her a bit every few days and watching to see if she had any reaction.
Hallelujah! Our bub had no problem with egg, or full cream milk, other than it would often make her poo a bit looser and smellier than normal. Egg poos are the worst smelling!
She would have 4 bottles of formula a day. This is still considered the base of your babies diet at this age, the main place they will draw nutrition.
We would give her a cereal for breakfast (rice or actual rolled oat porridge), then fruit with some yoghurt for lunch, steamed veg for snacks and usually a pre-made baby dinner for 6+ months at dinner. Sometimes I would also puree mummy and daddy’s dinner too, this was great for having an extra 3+ dinners prepped to freeze with little extra cost.
Gradually I started mashing things a little lumpier, and giving her more soft foods she could grab herself and play with while she ate.
I think my nurse called this baby-led weaning, and though messy, helps hand-eye coordination. It also made her very excited to eat, instead of shying away from any food now, she started to investigate it more.
The more variety you can give to bub at this stage is great too, as later on they might be open to eating adventurously instead of cautiously.
I also trialled her on grilled cheese toasted sandwiches, which made for a great little snack that didn’t fall apart too easily. This was around the 8 month age.
I would say only give them about 1/4 of a sandwich though, especially if you have a big bub like ours. Cheese and bread is very high in carbs and cheese can sit funny with some babies.
I would still be giving mostly fruits and vegies at every meal time, and sometimes we had snacks on the softer things that mummy and daddy had.
We got our first tooth at 6 months, and this made it easier to actually bite and tear off little bits of food.
Constantly you have to watch them however, as bubs can tend to overestimate how much they can fit in their mouths and may choke.
Another quick tip I remember, is that this was when I started using Heinz baby dinners that come in little glass jars. I could reuse the little jars to hold formula powder for when we went out, and also for meal prepping baby food in advance on budget.
So good, highly recommend rinsing and reusing those little glass baby food jars in any way you can think of!
Our experience eating finger foods starting from 8 months
At 8 months, we went to our nurse and she told us that we could begin pretty much anything at this stage, as long as it was appropriate, not too small or hard or spiky to choke on.
Our bub would suck and nibble at lamb bones, mash bits of steamed carrot up and has recently started eating small pancakes and toast for breakfast!
She STILL adores everything sweet, and I don’t know if this is something that will go away – all of daddy’s teeth are sweet. Other babes may have different tastebuds – all babies are so different!
Every stage so far has been different and something new to learn. This stage has definitely been more about fun.
As long as you have foods that your babe loves, mealtime should be a happy, play experience for them and shouldn’t stress you out too much.
Our bub had learnt pretty well what she could and couldn’t swallow by 9 months, though we still constantly supervise her with anything.
Snacks became more regular in morning and afternoon here, just steamed vegies, or a bit of whatever I might snack on would entertain her for at least 10 minutes and fill her needs.
Also, I highly highly highly suggest getting a sippy cup now and to just constantly have that filled with water in their reach at all times from 6 months. It’s helped our daughter to stay constantly hydrated, and made her love drinking plain water too.
I’ve always tried to give her as many fruits and vegies as I can since we started our journey onto solid foods.
One, she loves them.
Two, I love fresh fruit and vegies too and it helps me actually eat them lol.
And three, her body loves them too and I don’t feel too guilty giving her extra steamed carrot sticks because things like that have helped her body function more regularly.
As she’s gotten older, she seems to want only carby and sweet things over everything else, but stick with nutrition and balance your bubs meals properly.
A few tablespoons at mealtime is generally enough until they are signalling to you for more.
Grow, explore and learn with your child, it’s such a fun, fleeting activity that will be over before you know it.
Thanks for reading this super long post about baby food. I hope that someone out there found something they could take away from our experience!
Let us know in the comments below 🙂