Switching to Solids

Finger Foods and More

Between 8 and 10 months, your baby can try soft and textured foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, mashed bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes. He can also use more iron, so try pureed meats like beef, chicken, and turkey. And at this point your baby should be ready to try to feed himself. So give him finger foods, such as tiny mozzarella cubes, pasta, wedges of ripe fruits, cooked veggies, and dry cereals (like Cheerios) that dissolve easily in his mouth. To prevent choking, be sure to cut everything up into cubes no longer than the tip of his pinkie.

Since kids develop taste preferences early on, now's the time to offer a variety of foods at each meal to encourage your baby to appreciate lots of different flavors and (fingers crossed!) ward off a future picky eater. Don't put salt or sugar in his food -- it's best if your baby learns to like it without the added seasonings.

By 12 months your child should be eating three meals and approximately three smaller snacks a day, including fruits and vegetables (1/2 cup each); hot or cold cereal (1/4 to 1/2 cup); rice, pasta, or bread (1/2 cup); and protein (4 to 6 tablespoons). Don't stress too much over the exact amounts, though -- your baby will let you know when he's full.

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