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Meal Plan For an 8-Month-Old Baby: Examples and Schedule

By eight months, babies have usually tried a few different foods and probably found their favorites. By this age, they are probably easily swallowing mashed foods and even beginning to chew some more solid foods. However, at least half the calories they need still come from breast milk or formula.
Eight-month-old’s diet

What are the best foods for an 8-month-old baby?

A wholesome and healthy diet that contains the correct quantity of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins is crucial for the growth of your baby. A correct mix of all these nutrients is found in a wide variety of food items. 

A menu for an 8-month-old baby should include the following foods:

  1. Fruits — Fresh fruits form a vital source of a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, and other types of micronutrients. Fruits cut into cubes and cooked until soft make excellent finger foods for babies of this age. Please remember to use fruits that grow in your region or at least are very widespread. That will help lower the risk of an allergic reaction.
  2. Vegetables — At this age, your baby may shift from eating mashed vegetables to chewing small pieces of steamed vegetables. Soft cooked vegetables also make excellent finger foods for babies. As with fruits, to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction, don’t try anything exotic.
  3. Fish — You can also introduce fish to an eight-month-old baby. Fish such as salmon and tuna is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and is excellent for the development of the brain and growth of babies. You can offer fish as a soup or as a puree to your baby. 
  4. Dairy — Yogurt and cheese made from pasteurized milk are excellent sources of calcium for eight-month-old babies. You can include cottage cheese, cheddar, jack, and colby cheese. Soft cheeses including blue cheese and brie can pose a health risk, so hold off on these for now. 
  5. Protein — You can include various foods that are rich in protein for an eight-month-old’s diet. Some protein-rich foods include legumes, beans, beef, egg yolks, chicken, fish, tofu, turkey, and pork. You can cook these foods and puree them or chop them into small pieces. 
  6. Cereals and grains — You can mix together some of the cereals that your eight-month-old baby is already eating without producing a reaction. You can also introduce muffins and bread into the meal plan for your eight-month-old after your baby is able to enjoy foods with more texture. Pasta mixed with cheese is a popular favorite for babies of this age. The seeds and grains that you can include in your eight-month-old’s menu are amaranth, quinoa, rice, oats, wheat, sesame, spelt, barley, buckwheat, and millet. 

8-month-olds feeding schedule 

Making a feeding schedule for your eight-month-old baby is very personal. You will get familiar with your child’s cues gradually and can start to develop a schedule of sleeping, playing, and eating that meets the needs of your whole family. While creating an 8-month-old’s feeding schedule, remember that most babies this age need the following:

  • Solid foods at least twice or three times a day along with 25 to 32 ounces of formula or breast milk every 24 hours. You can start increasing the quantity and variety of the foods in your 8-month-old baby’s diet. You can also try introducing a sippy cup and finger foods. 
  • About 13 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps and overnight). Babies at this age often take two naps during the day — one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. 
  • Social interaction with their primary caregivers lets children play and work on developing new skills.
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A mother is feeding her baby according to the 8-month-old’s meal plan

Preparing an 8-month-old’s meal plan may become more challenging as your child begins eating solid foods. 

A sample meal plan for an eight-month-old baby is as follows:

Breakfast

  • Mashed egg or cereal: ¼ to ½ cup 
  • Diced fruit: ¼ to ½ cup
  • Breast milk or formula: 4 to 6 ounces 

Snack

  • Breast milk, formula, or water: 4 to 6 ounces
  • Cooked vegetables or diced cheese: ¼ cup

Lunch

  • Meat, cottage cheese, or yogurt: ¼ to ½ cup
  • Orange or yellow vegetables: ¼ to ½ cup
  • Breast milk or formula: 4 to 6 ounces

Snack

  • One whole-grain cracker or teething biscuit
  • Diced fruit or yogurt: ¼ cup

Dinner

  • Diced tofu or meat: ¼ cup
  • Green vegetables: ¼ to ½ cup
  • Potato, rice, pasta, or noodles: ¼ cup
  • Fruit: ¼ cup
  • Breast milk or formula: 4 to 6 ounces

Before bedtime

  • Water, breast milk, or formula: 6 to 8 ounces (if you are giving your child breast milk or formula before bed, it’s a good idea to also give them water afterwards)

Eight feeding tips for an 8-month-old baby

Here are few tips to keep in mind while feeding your 8-month-old baby. 

1. Don’t forget the breast milk or formula

At eight months, your child needs about 750 to 900 calories per day, from which 400 to 500 calories should come from formula or breast milk (approximately 720 ml or 24 ounces per day). They no longer need the calories from breastfeeding or formula once they turn one.

2. Stick to one feeding position and location

While feeding your baby, it’s best to try to stick to one feeding position and location. This helps develop a strong relationship between the place and the food. High chairs not only make mealtimes trouble free, but they are also excellent at teaching your child how to sit still while eating. They also help minimize choking hazards and keep food mess more or less isolated. 

3. Don’t mash the food completely

Another thing to keep in mind while preparing food for an eight-month-old baby is not to mash the food completely. Instead keep the consistency somewhat grainy. This can help your baby transition from pureed foods to solid foods more easily. 

4. Don’t add salt or sugar yet

Salt and sugar can put unnecessary load on babies’ kidneys. Furthermore, eating too much salt during childhood has been shown to lead to higher risks of diseases such as hypertension, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases later in life. Similarly, adding sugar to your baby’s diet can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Excessive sugar intake may also suppress immunity and make children more prone to developing diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. 

5. Try to avoid plastic

If possible, store foods for your baby in containers made of glass or steel. Plastic sometimes contains harmful chemicals that can contaminate the food. 

6. Avoid fried foods

Swap fried foods for steamed vegetables and fruits. 

7. Be careful about allergies

When you are introducing new foods into an 8-month-old’s meal plan, make sure to introduce them one at a time, by themselves. This will help you identify any food allergies. Health experts recommend that you wait at least four days between introducing new foods.

As you introduce new foods, look for possible allergic reactions such as hives, difficulty breathing, or rashes. If there is a family history of food allergies, particularly for eggs, nuts, and dairy products, exercise extra caution. 

8. Don’t use cow milk yet

Cow milk doesn’t contain the essential nutrition that your baby needs at this age, so wait until they turn one before introducing it. Cow milk contains more salt, protein, calcium, and potassium than formula or breast milk. This can raise the load on babies’ kidneys. 

By eight months, your baby is probably able to easily swallow mashed foods and beginning to chew soft and cooked solid foods. However, they’re still getting at least half their calories from formula or breast milk. The best foods for an eight-month-old baby are fruits, vegetables, fish, dairy, chicken, eggs, cereals, and grains.

Try to arrange the feeding schedule of your eight-month-old baby according to their personal needs and those of your family. While preparing an 8-month-old baby’s meal, don’t mash the food completely. Avoid salt and sugar, and try to store leftovers in glass or steel. Be careful about food allergies, and don’t introduce cow milk until your child is one year old.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Sample-One-Day-Menu-for-an-8-to-12-Month-Old.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK148957/

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/8-month-old-baby-food-ideas-chart-recipes-and-feeding-tips/

https://www.babycenter.com/0_sample-baby-schedules-for-7-and-8-month-olds_3657236.bc

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