At eight months, your baby’s food can be cranked up by introducing new flavors and textures with different herbs and spices. New textures may also be initiated by changing the food’s consistency: making the items in her food a little coarser with more to chew, or at least a little more so she can experiment with chewing. Nevertheless, it is always best to discuss with your pediatrician all foods including herbs and spices you are about to give your baby. Watch out for any allergic reaction with the introduction of new foods.
Herbs and spices can make food interesting and exciting. Salt and pepper are the usual seasonings used in everyday food, but don’t use salt till after your baby turns one. Other herbs and spices you may want to explore in the preparation of baby cuisine are basil, oregano, mint, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, onion, ginger, and lemon. Herbs and spices have nutritional and health benefits as well. Ginger and cinnamon are said to be helpful for upset tummies. Garlic has natural antibiotic properties. Mint helps with digestion.
Expand your child’s taste range so she doesn’t become a picky eater. Fret not if baby does not take an instant liking to the new tastes. Try offering again after a few days and let her slowly get accustomed to the new tastes and textures.
Healthy and nutritious food can easily be made for your baby with these interesting additions. Try regular yogurt with a hint of cinnamon or mint together with your usual fruits, banana and avocado. A baked or boiled sweet potato can be given an interesting twist with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon and a dollop of butter.
Meat can also be introduced at this stage since this is a good source of iron and protein. Chicken or turkey is a good first meat. Just make sure that the meat can be swallowed well by your baby. You may puree or grind it, or you can cut it in shredded bits to make swallowing easier. Tofu (coagulated soymilk), a good alternative to meat, is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron. It comes in two types of textures, soft and firm. You may choose to use either texture in cooking baby’s food.