Age 7 to 10 Months: Lumpy Foods
Up until now, your baby has been happy eating mush. But around month seven, she may begin picking parts of your dinner off your plate -- a sure sign that she's ready for the next phase. Pay attention to her cues: "If kids haven't been exposed to lumpy textures by their first birthday, they may develop an oral aversion," says Dr. Vartabedian. "They'll gag when offered food with an unfamiliar texture."
Good choices for first lumps include toast strips, well-cooked pasta, bits of soft fruit, and cooked chopped vegetables. But be careful: Many foods, such as nuts, raisins, grapes, and hot dogs, present a choking hazard for kids under 5 years.
Through the eighth month, breast milk or formula should form a large part of your baby's diet (three to five breast-feedings or 24 to 32 ounces of formula a day). At this stage, however, she needs additional sources of protein and iron. Meat can provide both--but she may not like it on first tasting. Try mixing a little pureed meat with her favorite vegetable, and gradually build up to two tablespoons a day. Or use a similar quantity of pureed beans: They're packed with nutrition.