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8 to 12 months

PLAYING: Mini meals for mini people

Mini meals for mini people

Focus on your baby’s nutrition by offering them smart eating choices in between mealtimes.

3 mins to read Jan 5, 2022

The food that you offer your baby, and the ways you offer it, introduces eating patterns that can continue into later life. This can affect both health and weight as your child grows older. For this reason, it’s important not to think of the foods you offer your baby outside of traditional mealtimes as snacks or treats, but as essential mini meals or ‘in-betweeners’. Every bite counts toward good nutrition for your baby so always try to provide nutrient-rich food and avoid candy or high-salt ‘snack’ foods.

Nutritious snacks

A healthy mini meal consists of nutritious foods in the appropriate texture for your eight to 10-month-old. It might include small pieces of foods that they can pick up and put in their mouth themself. A small serving of soft, diced fruits or vegetables, alongside a protein-rich food, such as cheese or yogurt, is a great combination. These mini meals include foods from any of the main food groups to give your baby a range of important nutrients throughout the day

  1. Grains
    Grains are an important source of B vitamins and fibre. B vitamins play a key role in metabolism and are also essential for a healthy nervous system. Fibre helps your baby’s digestion and may prevent them from becoming constipated. Iron-fortified baby cereals, soft crackers, and rice are grain foods that are perfect for your eight to 10 month old.
  2. Meat/fish/protein foods
    Foods from this group are rich in protein, and also supply your baby with many other important nutrients, such as iron. Proteins work as ‘building blocks’ for bones, muscles, skin, and blood, and iron helps blood carry oxygen to your baby’s organs and muscles. Chicken is packed with protein and iron, as is red meat. Beans, such as chickpeas, are a good non-meat source of protein.
  3. Dairy
    Dairy foods contain calcium, vitamin D, and potassium—all of which are essential for keeping your baby’s body healthy. Calcium and vitamin D work together to build strong bones and teeth, and potassium helps with normal digestion and muscle function. Plain, full-fat yogurt and cheese provide valuable sources of these nutrients.
  4. Fruits
    Fruits contain many essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. Vitamin C helps body tissues grow and repair, and folic acid helps your baby’s body form red blood cells. Strawberries and kiwis are high in vitamin C. Oranges, grapefruit, and banana are good sources of folic acid, and vitamin C too!
  5. Vegetables
    As well as being high in many essential nutrients, vegetables (and fruits) are naturally low in fat and calories and contain no cholesterol. Vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre, potassium and folate. Vitamin A is an important nutrient that helps keep eyes and skin healthy, and protects against infections. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach are all rich in this vital vitamin.


  • Duyff, RL (2017). Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Complete food and nutrition guide (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  • Shelov SP & Altmann TR (Eds.). (2009). American Academy of Pediatrics. The complete and authoritative guide Caring for your baby and young child birth to age 5 (5th ed.). USA: Bantam Books.


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