Once your baby reaches 8 months milk is offered after food and they will start to really establish their eating. I found with both our children that it wasn’t until around 9 to 10 months that they were really eating for hunger and eating proper meals. Around this point they also significantly reduced their mid morning milk feed. If you find that your baby has not taken to solids and doesn’t seem interested in meals you might want to seek advice from your GP, health visitor or Plunket nurse as although milk is still an important part of their nutrition it is not sufficient and there are nutrients particularly iron that they need from food.
From 8 months your baby will be playing an active part in feeding. They will want to feed themselves and finger foods are a great way for you baby to have their meals. It can also greatly reduce the stress of mealtimes which some parents experience. Don’t forget to listen to your baby. They will show you whether they are hungry or have had enough to eat. If given the opportunity you will notice your baby will quickly become a expert feeder managing to manoeuvre small items such as peas successfully into their mouths. I do warn you though that letting your baby feed themselves can be pretty messy!
Homemade crumbed foods such as pesto chicken nuggets and fish fingers are a great meal. You can make bulk batches and freeze them for easy dinners on days when you run out of time. This version is based on a recipe a friend of mine makes for her children and has been a hit with both Lottie and Freddie. We ended up eating them for our dinner tonight too!
- 160g Chicken Breast – sliced into tenderloins
- 2 tbsp red or green pesto
- 1 thick slice of wholemeal bread (a great way to use up stale bread or the end of the loaf)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the crumb by blending the bread into fine crumbs. Add the sesame seeds and grated Parmesan and combine.
- Place the pesto in a bowl and the bread crumbs in another.
- Coat the chicken with pesto and roll in the bread crumbs.
- Place on a baking tray (spray with spray oil to prevent sticking) and cook for 10-15 minutes at 180 C turning halfway.