Read this article to learn more about the best foods for 9-month-old babies.
What are the best foods for a 9-month-old baby?
It might seem like your baby was a newborn only yesterday, but at 9 months old, they’re developing their own temperament and preferences. Your baby might try the foods that you put on their plate, but they’ll quickly form an opinion and decide which they like and which they don’t.
Most 9-month-old babies are probably partially weaned off breast milk. Many parents choose to continue to nurse their babies once they’ve started to eat solid foods. The process of stopping breastfeeding usually starts when a baby is approximately 6 months old. As they get older, you can introduce new foods to their diet.
From 9 to 12 months old, your baby needs approximately 750–900 calories every day. Between 400 and 500 of those calories should come from breast milk or formula.
The remaining calories will come from food. Don’t introduce cow milk until your baby is at least a year old. Before that, their digestive systems aren’t prepared to digest cow milk properly.
Here are some of the best baby foods for 9-month-olds:
- Non-citrus fruits — Fruits are a great way to provide a sweet snack for your baby without any added sugar. For now, stay away from citrus and stick to fruits like apples, pears, mango, papaya, bananas, and peaches.
- Oatmeal — Oats are packed with fiber and minerals, which can do wonders for your baby’s digestion.
- Bread — As long as your baby doesn’t have any food allergies, you can give them bread. Try to give them whole grain bread, since it’s more nutritious than white bread.
- Vegetables — Your 9-month-old baby can eat vegetables prepared many different ways. From pureed carrots or roasted cauliflower to fresh leafy greens, offer your baby different vegetables to see what they like best.
- Tofu — Tofu is full of protein, healthy fats, iron, and zinc. Lots of babies like it since it has such a mild flavor.
- Egg yolks — Egg whites are potentially allergenic, so most health care providers recommend waiting until your baby is a year old to introduce them. However, at 9 months old, your baby can try egg yolks. Make sure that you cook the yolks thoroughly.
- Lean meats — Even though your baby gets protein and iron from breastmilk or formula, you can start adding other sources of protein into their diet. If your family eats meat, lean red meat, chicken breasts, and fish are great options. Remember to cook any meat thoroughly and cut it into small pieces so that your baby can eat it easily.
- Cheese and yogurt — Your baby shouldn’t have cow milk yet, but they can start eating сheese and yogurt. These are great foods for 9-month-olds, since they’re full of calcium, and most babies love them. Stick to soft, pasteurized cheeses such as cottage cheese and natural yogurt without artificial flavorings.
- Nut butters — Health care providers used to advise avoiding nuts during infancy because they were believed to be allergenic. However, experts now agree that nuts are safe for babies older than 6 months old, as long as they haven’t shown signs of allergies to other foods. Nut butters are packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
- Beans — Beans and lentils provide lots of protein, iron, and minerals. You can puree them or mix them with rice to create a balanced meal for your baby.
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9-month-old baby’s food menu
When offering 9-month-old babies food (especially finger food), size is important. Pieces should be large enough to pick up, but small enough that your baby won’t choke. Try to aim for cubes about a third of an inch in size. This is just a little bit bigger than a standard pea.
Here are some ideas for a healthy, balanced menu for your 9-month-old baby:
- Cheese sandwich
- Oats with yogurt and fruit
- Egg yolk scramble with bread
Lunch (non-vegetarian options):
- Meat and vegetables
- Creamy chicken soup
- Pasta with meat or chicken
- Beans and rice
- Tofu and vegetables
- Mashed potatoes and cheese
- Macaroni and cheese
- Yogurt parfait
- Peanut butter and fruits
Remember that your baby still needs formula or breast milk. If you’re trying to get your baby used to an eating schedule, store your breastmilk and feed it to your baby when they wake up, right before bed, or between meals.
Quick ideas for 9-month-old babies
- Sandwiches — Sandwiches are easily customizable to your baby’s taste. You can try all kinds of ingredients such as cottage cheese, chicken, avocado, vegetables, peanut butter, and fruits.
- Pasta — Your baby can eat pasta now, so you can try creating one of your favorite pasta dishes for your baby.
- Fruit smoothies — Mix some yogurt with your baby’s favorite fruits and vegetables for a quick, easy, and delicious snack! But make sure the yogurt is low on sugar and artificial sweeteners.
9-month-old baby’s food advice
Try to avoid fried foods, sugary drinks, and processed foods, which should be offered very sparingly due to their low nutritional value. Scientific studies have shown that babies can become accustomed to unhealthy foods like french fries, salty snacks, and sugary sweets from a very young age.
As you introduce your baby to new foods, remember to be patient and provide lots of options. Once your baby discovers there’s a whole world of delicious new foods waiting for them, they’ll love exploring all the flavors and textures that are out there!
Fox, Mary Kay, et al. “Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study: What Foods Are Infants and Toddlers Eating?” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14702014.
“What to Feed Your Baby.” NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/what-to-feed-your-baby/7-9-months/.
“Foods to Avoid Giving Babies and Young Children.” NHS Choices, NHS, 15 Nov. 2018,
“Your Baby's First Solid Foods.” NHS Choices, NHS, 1 Mar. 2019, www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/solid-foods-weaning/.