I’m talking about food again today, but it’s a big part of my day at the moment. I am a growing baby, after all! Although I don’t have many teeth yet, it’s still important for me to start trying foods with a bit more ‘substance’ so that I can practice chewing – up until about 9 months, most babies tend only to have very smooth foods, pureed or boiled to mush, and I was one of them.
Thankfully, I’m far more involved with the family mealtimes now, and I get to share what everyone else is eating. A baby we know has developed a bit of a fussy habit now and has some problems with anything with a bit of texture because he didn’t learn to chew properly.
Mummy says it’s quite easy to cook for me now – she doesn’t use much salt in her cooking anyway, but if she is putting some in a dish, she just takes my portion out first. On the days the rest of the family is eating something not good for me, I’ll have something they made before, or a pre-prepared meal from a supermarket. Some of the jars or pouches are really yummy!
I’m also enjoying practising feeding myself, although Mummy finds it quite a messy experience if I’m in charge of the spoon. We find a happy compromise is finger foods. These are some of my favourites:
· Breadsticks, or ‘soldiers’ of toast or bread
· Pasta shapes
· Vegetable batons (cooked is probably better now as I can bite bits off now which can pose a choking hazard if it’s harder. I’m thinking things like raw carrot here)
· Batons of cheese
· Strips of cooked chicken or meats (well-cooked, so it’s nice and tender)
It follows that as I eat more ‘proper’ food, I’ll need less milk. Milk is still important and I’ll keep having a fair bit till my first birthday. Some days, I drink more than others; it might be that I don’t like the food, but it might also be because I still find a bottle comforting, or I’m just thirsty!
As a guide, up until about one year old, a baby should drink roughly a pint a day (as milk levels drop, water can be introduced). Like grown-ups, babies want more to drink when it’s hot outside, so make sure we have plenty of water available when the weather’s nice.
Milk, and dairy products in general (yogurts, fromage frais etc) are a good source of protein and calcium, which help growing bones and teeth. Mummy gives me my bottle now after a meal to make sure I don’t fill up on it and it stops me eating enough ‘proper’ food. That is unless I’m really thirsty and I demand milk first!