Healthy Eating for 6 to 24 month old Children (2) Moving On (6 – 12 months)
Adapting to a new way of eating
During the transitional period of learning to eat solid food, babies are also learning to eat independently. When feeding them, parents should make the following two changes: let your baby eat with you together as a family, and help your baby learn to feed himself.
Eating together as a family
Babies like to eat with parents, and adults they are familiar with. Eating with other family members helps them develop good eating behaviours.
- Expose him to a greater variety of food at the family table. Babies have more chances to taste new foods and family foods. This helps them accept new foods more easily.
- Let him watch others eating. Through watching and copying how others eat, babies learn to feed themselves and enjoy eating more.
- Help him develop social skills. Family members actively communicate with each other during mealtimes. Babies will love to join in.
How to eat together with my baby?
- Let your baby eat with family members for at least one meal each day;
- Allow him to hold the food to eat or explore the spoon while you feed him;
- At start, you need to prepare the food for him separately;
- Let him taste the family foods that are suitable for him. This helps him adapt to eating the family's food.
Learning to feed themselves
From 8 to 12 months of age, babies pick up daily objects and try to understand their use. They also learn to drink from a cup and hold food to eat at this stage. Refer to “How to help your baby learn to feed himself”, and “How to help your baby learn to drink from a cup” for more details.