As your baby's personality develops over the first year of life, her eating habits and preferences will also begin to manifest in different ways. Although babies’ eating schedules will vary and your own child’s eating habits may be erratic from one day to the next, you can follow general feeding and schedule guidelines to monitor your 10-month-old’s intake and ensure she is receiving the nutrients she needs. Remember that quality is more important than quantity, but most 10-month-olds eat five to six times a day and may also continue to feed several times at night.
Breakfast is essential for starting the day off right even for the youngest children. By now, your baby eats solid or semi-solid foods and should have about two of the following breakfast items suggested for 10-month-old babies soon after waking for the day: 1/4 to 1/2 cup cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, cooked mashed egg, or bite-sized bagel or fruit pieces for breakfast, depending on his ability to self-feed and eat finger foods. In addition to these healthy breakfast foods, your baby should also have 4 to 6 ounces of breast milk or formula.
About three to four hours after breakfast, your 10-month-old should have two to three servings of the following lunch items: 1/4 to 1/2 cup yogurt; diced or shredded poultry, lamb or veal; yellow or orange soft, cooked vegetables such as squash, yams or carrots; cottage cheese or beans. Puree chunkier foods for 10-month-olds who have not yet mastered self-feeding, and serve your child 4 to 6 ounces of breast milk or formula along with this meal.
Your 10-month-old should have dinner about three to four hours after lunch and food selections should consist of three to four 1/2 to 1/4 cup servings of the following food items: diced poultry, salmon, lamb, veal or tofu; soft, cooked green vegetables; diced or mashed noodles, pasta, potato or rice; yogurt; and fruit. Don’t choose food items from just one of the categories (for example, three meats). Instead, ensure your baby is getting a variety of tastes, textures and nutritional content by selecting one food item from the meat category, one from the fruit and vegetable category, one from the carbohydrate category (pasta, rice, etc.) and one from the dairy category. Your 10-month-old will also need another 4 to 6 ounces of breast milk or formula with this meal.
Snacks will hold your 10-month-old over until her next meal during lapses between breakfast, lunch and dinner. HealthyChildren.org recommend feeding two snacks at this age: one between breakfast and lunch, and one between lunch and dinner. Healthy snacks for self-feeding 10-month-olds include two 1/4 cup servings of cooked, bite-sized vegetables, fruit, diced lowfat cheese, noodles, rice cakes, dry cereal or a teething cracker or biscuit. If your 10-month-old isn’t feeding herself just yet, semi-solid snacks such as 1/4 cup yogurt, mashed avocado, mashed yams or barley cereal make healthy, nutritious choices. Again, serve your child two of these snack suggestions to ensure variety, healthy development and diversity in nutrition.
Breast Milk and Formula
Although your 10-month-old is now eating varieties and textures of foods, it is important to keep supplementing his nutritional needs with plenty of breast milk or formula (at least 20 to 30 ounces per day). Serve your baby 4 to 6 ounces of breast milk or formula with every meal and at least one snack. Your baby should receive another bottle or breast feeding just before bedtime.
In addition, your baby will still likely wake up for night feedings, though not as frequently as when she was an infant. Serve 4 to 6 ounces of formula or breast milk during the night, as few or as many times as she wakes for it. Remember, children under 1 year of age should never have cow’s milk because it does not provide the nutrition babies need to develop and grow in the first year of life.