Want a sample feeding schedule for 8 month old?
Is it ok to give egg to an 8 month old?
When to introduce meat and fish in your baby’s diet?
Will my baby miss any proteins and vitamins if we are strict vegetarians?
This article is all about what you can give to your 8 month old baby and also includes a baby food chart week by week for your 8 month old.
What foods can an eight month old eat?
Hurrah! It is your baby’s 8th month in this amazing world.
By this time you must have introduced most of the veggies and fruits you use in your household. She must have even tasted and decided for herself what her favorite flavors are and whether she likes fruits or veggies more.
Let us see what more to include in an eight month old’s food plate.
Vegetables: Almost all veggies
Fruits: All fruits including citrus fruits (orange, musambi etc)
Grains, cereals and pulses: All grains and pulses including toor dal and masoor dal, chickpeas.
Dairy: Pasteurized cheese, whole milk yogurt, butter, ghee, paneer, tofu
Non-Veg: Egg yolks, fish, chicken
Spices: Asafoetida, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, coriander, curry leaves, mustard, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, turmeric, garlic
Eighth month of baby- A good time to start non-vegetarian food:
Eight month is a good time to introduce non-vegetarian food in your baby’s diet.
Non-vegetarian foods are a good source of proteins. Folic acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals necessary for the healthy development of the body are also present in them.
You can introduce non-veg starting with eggs in your baby’s diet from 8 months. While giving eggs, you must give only egg yolks for your baby until he/she turns 1 year.
Egg white is a main cause of allergy in babies. So avoid it till she turns one year.
Make sure eggs are cooked properly.
No half cooked or over cooked eggs for babies. You can refer these 8 egg recipes for your baby.
If your family has a history of egg allergy, better to wait till 1 year or consult with a pediatrician before you introduce even the egg yolk.
You can start giving fish to your baby around 8 months followed by eggs. To start with you can steam cook fish, shallow fry or bake fish with mild spices.
Debone fish properly and puree it if your kid is comfortable with only pureed foods. If your baby is ok with eating small bites of food, you can offer him bite size pieces of cooked fish. Make sure it is deboned properly.
You can start with any locally available white flesh fish as these are easily digestible and are less likely to cause any allergy.
Sardines, pomfret, cod, trout and sole are good options. You can also give fishes like salmon, pollock and catfish that are low in mercury content.
Avoid shellfishes and fishes high in mercury content like shark, king mackerel etc. You may also refer the article on introducing fish to babies.
Meat can also be included in your baby’s food after introducing eggs and fish.
You can cook the chicken and puree it for your baby or can introduce chicken in the form of chicken soup.
Babies don’t have molars to grind the meat properly. Hence meat or chicken offered should be soft, very small bite sized and easily chewable.
If your baby is one who is allergic to any food, has eczema or has digestive issues you can delay the introduction of non-vegetarian foods.
To know everything about introducing non vegetarian food in your baby’s diet read our article 30 faqs on non vegetarian foods for babies and kids answered.
We are vegetarians!!
If you and your family are pure vegetarians don’t worry. You can still meet your baby’s protein and vitamin requirements if you plan a well balanced vegetarian diet.
Pulses are a good source of vegan protein. Lentils, beans, tofu and nuts are also rich in proteins. Proteins are made of essential and non-essential amino acids.
For your baby to develop well, both these amino acids are necessary. It will be more effective if both these amino acids are given at the same time.
Non-vegetarian food has these both amino acids in them and hence is considered complete protein food.
Foods derived from plants don’t have both these amino acids. So always try to combine the sources of essential and non-essential acids if you are a vegetarian.
For example, combine rice and lentils, kidney beans with rice or bread sticks with cheese etc. to get both amino acids.
Beetroot and green leafy vegetables like spinach contain good amount of folic acids. Dark green vegetables are also a good source of iron.
If you fully avoid eggs, fish and meat, there is a chance of Vitamin B12 deficiency as foods derived from plants are not a natural source of Vitamin B12. You can include good amount of curd, cheese and yogurt in your baby’s diet to get Vitamin B12.
A word on cheese:
Cheese is a processed food and it will have good amount of salt in it. So when selecting store bought cheeses always look for the ones with less salt content.
Only pasteurized cheese is safe for babies. Mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan are good varieties to start with.
Indian cottage cheese or paneer is also good. You can make it at home by following the step-by-step instructions given in the article how to make paneer at home.
Strictly avoid cheese with blue molds.
If your baby if not ready for finger foods, you can melt cheese to his vegetables and porridges.
Say hello to citrus fruits
Also you can introduce small amount of citrus fruits like orange, grapes, tomatoes and musambi.
It is ok to give citrus fruits to babies as early as 6 months. But it is better to wait at least till 8 months to introduce citrus in the diet and some even wait till one year.
It is because citrus fruits like oranges can cause rashes and also sometimes cause acidity. It is not an allergy causing food but can sometimes turn out to be not so good choice for your baby. It is up to you as a mom to decide whether you should include citrus fruits in baby’s diet at this stage or not.
If you are introducing, start with small quantities and watch for rashes or upset tummy. If your baby is ok with small amount of citrus fruits, hurray green signal for citrus fruits.
Apart from this you can also introduce cheese, paneer and yogurt.
Spice up your baby food:
By 8th month your babies digestive system will be matured enough to handle spicy food. You can add a pinch or less of spices to your baby’s food from 8th month.
Apart from adding flavor to food, spices also helps to improve digestion and appetite and also work as home remedies for certain ailments.
Some common Indian spices that you can introduce at this stage are turmeric, hing, cloves, cardamom, mustard, cinnamon, curry leaves, garlic, fennel, fenugreek.
Hing is excellent for curbing gas and tackling indigestion. Some add hing as early as 6 months and there is nothing wrong in that. You can start by adding a pinch of hing to khichdi, veg puree etc especially to foods which can cause gas.
Mustard is good for asthma and also improves immunity. Curry leaves are good for anemia. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Both mustard and curry leaves can be used as tempering.
Coriander leaves aids digestion and improves appetite. It can be used in khichdi, rice preparations, chutneys etc.
Remember to introduce only one spice at a time and then move on to combinations if your baby can handle it.
Curry leaves, bay leaf, coriander leaves and cloves should be removed after cooking to avoid chocking.
Green chilly, red chilly or pepper should not be introduced at this stage.
To know more about the benefits of spices in baby food, when to add spices and how to add it and to download a free printable age wise spice chart for babies, click here.
Food consistency for an eighth month old baby:
By this time some babies might have teeth and others may not.
Babies with teeth may show interest in accepting foods with thicker consistency or food of small bite size.
Please note that teeth is not a must have for babies to accept thicker consistency food or bite size pieces. The baby gums are strong enough to grind small bite sized soft food items. So your baby may be ready to accept stage 3 food, i.e. foods prepared in bite sized food consistency.
If you are still offering pureed food, try to thicken the consistency and size of the bites slowly. It makes the process of transition from pureed food to normal food easy for your baby.
If your baby is not comfortable eating thicker consistency foods, don’t stress, give her time to learn the skills.
Finger foods for 8 month old
Your baby might have started sitting without support by this time. With the new set of pearly whites and the newly acquired skill of pincer grasp, your baby may around this time show interest in picking small things and putting it in her mouth. Take this as a sign to introduce finger foods to your baby.
Remember that if your baby is not sitting upright by herself, is not picking up things with her hands and is having difficulty chewing small pieces of solids, delay the introduction of finger food. It is natural that some babies may take little longer time to accept finger food. If yours is one, just wait for a month or two more.
To start with you can cut small pieces of fruits, cooked veggies and offer it as finger food. The pieces should be big enough for her to pick with the fingers and hold in her fist. Cut veggies and fruits into long chip shapes so that the baby can hold it.
Soft boiled/steamed carrots, beetroot or slices of cucumbers, apple, papaya, cheese, scrambled egg yolk, cooked soft chicken pieces or fish etc. can be given as finger foods.
Always make sure your baby is sitting upright while having finger foods.
If the baby manages to bite any piece of food that is larger than what she can handle; gently take it out immediately without frightening the baby.
Chocking is a main issue to be looked for and so always supervise your baby especially when he or she is self-feeding.
How much should an 8 month old eat?
Most of the babies will be having three meals daily by this time in addition to breastfeeding or formula feeding.
You can introduce a snack also in between the main meals. Finger foods can be given as snacks. Avoid store bought snacks like crisps, salty biscuits, junk food etc. as these are high in salt, sugar content and preservatives.
Please don’t stress over the quantity of food your baby takes at each meal. Your baby will decide how much he wants.
Breast milk or formula milk should be given importance till your baby turns one year old. Breastfeed or formula feed on demand.
Teething and hunger strikes
Some babies start teething, some at 8 months. The baby might go off his favorite foods for days, start mouthing and chew on everything handy.
Offer chilled fruit and vegetable slices with active monitoring for them to chew on. This will relieve the teething pain.
Teething is just a phase which will go away with time – so if your 8 month old turns his head away even from his favorite foods – give him his time to get back on track.
You can consult the pediatrician if your baby doesn’t seem to accept food, water or breast milk for more than 2 weeks.
Sample feeding schedule for 8 month old baby:
Now that we know what to feed 8 month old baby, we will now look into a sample food chart.
The given chart is only a sample that you can use as reference. The timings given are also for reference. You should be adjusting the timings and the food according to your baby’s daily schedules and preferences.
Since there are a lot of non-vegetarian foods and dairy introduced in 8th month, I have given a week-by-week chart for this month so that it can be easy for you to follow.
Some recipes for 8 month old baby
- Raw banana powder porridge
- Avocado puree
- Sweet potato and lentil mash
- Carrot dal mash
- Carrot rava porridge
- Carrot and beetroot soup
- Mixed vegetable soup
- Lentil Soup
- Spinach Soup
- Kerala banana mash
- Banana sheera without milk
- Ragi porridge
- Brown rice moong dal porridge
- Moongdal khichdi
- Sabudana khichdi
- Chicken Soup for babies and kids
- Chicken, apple and sweet potato mash
- Broccoli cheese soup/mash
- Aamras recipe
- Vegetable clear soup with broccoli and carrots
- Vegetable soup with spinach and sprouts
- Ragi Dosa
- Ragi idli
- Homemade rice noodles or sevai( in 6 mouthwatering flavors)
- Tomato rice
- Tomato rasam
- Rice recipes (15 varieties)
- Egg recipes ( 8 easy recipes)
Keep these in mind while feeding your eight month old
- Follow the 3-5 day golden rule each time you introduce a new food
- Use sterilized plated and spoons. You can opt for silverware too. Know the benefits by clicking
- Baby should sit upright when eating food
- When making combination foods or mixed foods, take care that you have introduced each food items individually
- If your baby is not ready for snacks don’t force feed, instead breastfeed or formula feed during snack time.
- Constipation can be one of the issues your baby will have when new foods are included in his diet
- Keep an eye on water intake, 2-3 ounces a day is necessary.
- Breastfeed on demand
- Always look for food allergies and consult your doctor in case of allergies
Hope this article is helpful to you.
What all food items did you introduce to your 8 month old?
Was she/he ready for snacks at the age of 8 months?
What finger foods did you offer at this stage?