Read this article to learn more about the best foods for 9-month-old babies.
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 mothers choose to continue to nurse their babies once they've started to eat solid foods. The process of stopping breastfeeding usually starts when your 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 the food that you provide for your baby. 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 varieties and stick to fruits like apples, pears, mango, papaya, bananas, and peaches.
- Oatmeal — Oats are packed with fiber and minerals, and they 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 in 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. Babies tend to like it since its flavor is so mild.
- Egg yolks — Egg whites are potentially allergenic, so most doctors 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 still gets protein and iron from milk, you should start adding other sources of protein into their diet. Lean red meat, chicken breast, 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 already. 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 — Doctors 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 for your baby. You can puree them or mix them with rice to create a balanced meal for your baby.
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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
- 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.
- 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.
- Lasagna — Your baby can eat pasta and beef now, so you can try creating one of your favorite dishes for your baby.
- Fruit smoothies — Mix some yogurt with your baby's favorite fruits and vegetables for a quick, easy, and delicious snack!
9-month-old baby's food advice
Try to avoid unhealthy options such as fried foods, sugary drinks, and processed foods. Tempting foods like these should be offering very sparingly. 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 and filling new foods out there, they'll love trying out new flavors and textures!