By the time your baby is 10 months old, she will have a few teeth to chew with and the motor coordination to pick up bites of food and put them in her mouth. Some babies will be ready to try to use a cup and spoon by themselves at this age. Others refuse to be spoon-fed and insist on finger food only. This is a good time to start feeding baby some of the same foods that the rest of the family eats.
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Ten months is a good age for babies to get to know vegetables in their solid form. Steam broccoli and cauliflower florets, green beans, diced carrots or zucchini, or roast sweet potatoes, winter squash or cauliflower in the oven. You also can use frozen vegetables.
Most babies love the sweetness of fruit, and anything fresh that can be cut into manageable pieces is fair game--strawberries, mangoes, peaches, melons and pears. You also can feed the baby frozen and canned fruits, but watch out for added sugar. You can let the baby eat fruit puree with a spoon, or swirl it into yogurt or oatmeal.
Meat, Beans And Other Protein
Small cubes of cooked chicken, ground meat or flaked fish are good finger food choices; your child also might enjoy picking up individual beans, either cooked from scratch or from a can, well rinsed. Tofu cubes are a good choice, as are portions of diced omelet. You can feed cooked lentils or mashed egg yolks with a spoon.
Oatmeal is one of the most nutritious foods you can feed your baby, and it's also a good choice for practice using a spoon. If your child prefers finger food, unsweetened dry cereal is a fine choice for breakfast. For other meals, offer whole-grain crackers, pretzels and toast squares. Chunky pasta shapes such as rotelli, tortellini and farfalle are also a popular finger-food choice.
You baby should not drink cow's milk until he is a year old, but you can introduce other dairy products around 10 months. Cottage cheese and yogurt are both good choices. Other possibilities include cream cheese and small cubes of a mild semisoft cheese such as cheddar, mozarella or monterey jack.
Foods To Avoid
Advice about allergen exposure for babies under a year old diverges sharply, but if allergies run in your family, it might be wise to avoid peanut butter, egg whites, citrus, strawberries and other common allergens. Do not feed your child honey until she is a year old, and let her drink breast milk or formula until their first birthday as well; cow's milk is not as nutritious and is harder to digest. When feeding finger foods, be cautious about choking hazards. Food should be pea-sized and easily mashable. You might want to avoid raisins and other dried fruit, corn kernels and popcorn, nuts, raw carrots, grapes, raw apples and hot dogs.