With thousands of options, multiple voices of advice, the initial stage of parenthood isn’t the least bit easy. Amidst staying up all night and diaper duties, feeding healthy food to your baby may become daunting.
Here are various ideas, tips and recipes to keep you and your baby happy and content.
Video: Food Ideas for 9 Month Old Baby
How Much Food Should a Baby Eat at this Stage?
While your baby may not be able to consume everything that you eat, their taste buds will be delighted with the introduction of new food and flavours. While it will be scary and troublesome for most new parents to figure out what to give and how much to give their child, know that there is no golden rule by which you must operate. Do not place unnecessary stress on the food itself and remember to keep it nutritious and as natural as possible.
Babies in this age category generally can have anywhere ½ tablespoon of an entire spoon. As the experience is new for your baby, he/she will nibble on the food, spit it out if they don’t like the taste. Remember that a baby’s tummy is the size of a person’s fist and it doesn’t take a lot to get them full. Also since their taste buds are still developing, they may not like all the different kinds of food you give them. Some of them will like vegetables, some will like fruits, and some will even determine what texture of food they like. It can be either in puree form or mashed or even small tiny chunks. Trial and error are crucial at this stage to understand your babies preference.
Don’t forget though that your baby is also getting all the nutrients required for a formula or breast milk. Make sure that your baby is eating three meals a day in addition to the milk.
Best Food for Nine Month Old Baby
Your baby will be adventurous or developing into becoming a fussy eater with the introduction of new food so make sure you pick the best and delicious tasting food for them.
Some of the food you can start with for your 9-month-old Indian baby is:
Berries such as blueberries, melons, cranberries, dates and figs, cherries, citrus fruits cut into 1/4th their size can also be given to your child. Always ensure these are completed cooked and either pureed or mashed before serving your baby
Broccoli, Asparagus, potatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, mashed potatoes, onions, parsnips all which can be cooked and mashed
3. Meat and Egg
Eggs, chicken and fish which are thoroughly cleaned and cooked should be served. Do not give any raw meat or runny eggs.
4. Water and Juices
Your baby’s digestive system is still developing so make sure he gets plenty of water. Try making natural juices (no sugar) at home instead of processed juice.
5. Cheese and Other Dairy Products
Cream cheese, cottage cheese ghee, butter can be given in very small quantities to your baby.
Cooked quinoa, millets, whole wheat pasta (softened), rice and oatmeal are tasty options to give your baby
Toast, small pieces of flatbread, crackers
Mashed lentils, beans, soups made from legumes
As your little one’s taste enhances, try using small quantities of cloves, coriander, mustard, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, turmeric, garlic while making their food.
9 Month Old Baby Food Chart/Meal Plan
Make sure your baby’s food is soft to prevent choking. Here is a detailed schedule of what you can give your child at meal times and as snacks:
|Day||Breakfast*||Mid-Morning Snack*||Lunch*||Afternoon Snack*||Dinner*|
|Monday||Steamed pear puree||Veg Soup||Carrot and Sweet potato puree||Apple fingers||Homemade Cerelac|
|Tuesday||Apple and cinnamon puree||Boiled egg||Carrot and zucchini puree||Grape||Oatmeal porridge|
|Wednesday||Carrot and peas puree||Mashed potatoes||Cottage cheese and soft toast||Papaya||Wheat almond porridge|
|Thursday||Oats Pancake||Breadsticks||Plain rice||papaya mash||Finger Millet porridge|
|Friday||Rice cereal||Pumpkin sticks||Flavoured rice||Carrot fingers||Oats Apple Porridge|
|Saturday||Wheat cereal||Yoghurt||Vegetable puree||Frozen banana||Chicken soup|
|Sunday||Mashed banana pancake||Blueberries/cherries||Vegetable rice with tomato sauce||Sweet potato fingers||Brown rice cereal|
*Introduce small portions and then depending on your baby’s taste and appetite increase the portion. Never force your baby to finish the food
Food to Avoid
It is important to serve your baby clean and fresh food. Be alert and notice the texture of food which your baby prefers so that you can incorporate more of it into the next meal. While your child can now happily join you at family meals, here are a few foods that must be avoided at all times.
It contains bacteria that can cause serious illness in your child, by damaging the intestines and leading to a rare syndrome called infant botulism. It can also be damaging to a baby’s emerging teeth
2. Some Types of Fish
Shark, swordfish or marlin contain high traces of mercury which can affect a baby’s nervous system. Also, avoid shellfish to avoid food poisoning
3. Whole Nuts
Do not give whole nuts to your child until they turn Five, in order to avoid choking
Sugary food is bad for your kids growing teeth. These include ice-creams, biscuits and sweets
Do not add salt to your baby’s food as the kidneys cannot cope and avoid salty foods such as namkeens, chips altogether. Babies should have less than 1 gm of salt a day
6. Citrus or Acidic Fruits
Some infants may suffer from acidity due to citric fruits. However, a dash of lemon is allowed in purees
7. Peanuts/Tree Nuts
This is sensitive food and may cause allergic reactions in your baby. It is typically introduced 1 year onwards.
8. Whole Milk
These can cause tummy issues and should also never be supplemented with breast milk. It can also hinder absorption of iron which is crucial to an infant’s growth
Can you Give your Baby Finger Foods and Snacks?
Nine-month-old babies are generally ready for finger food and snacks. They have what you can a ‘Pincer grasp’ a skill with which they can pick up small objects with their thumb and forefingers. If your baby has started picking up small objects with his/her fingers without any support and can chew small bites of food then it’s time to introduce finger foods for 9 month old baby.
This can be cooked carrots, apples, pear, cucumber, that can be chewed well by baby teeth. Cut all of them into small, long shapes for your baby to hold and nibble on. Be cautious and never leave your child alone while they have finger food.
If your baby has still not picked up things with their fingers, waiting for a month or two before introducing finger food
You can include one or two snacks between meal times for your 9-month-old baby. Give small quantities of food at regular intervals can help weaning easy in the future. Make sure that this does not affect breastfeeding.
Homemade Baby Food Recipes for 9 Month Old
Here are a few recipes for you to whip up quickly to delight your baby at home.
1. Pumpkin and Thyme Puree
An easy and simple recipe which are full of beta-carotene, potassium and iron.
- 1 small organic pumpkin
- ½ tsp of fresh thyme
- 1-2 cups of water, vegetable stock or breast milk
How to Prepare
Cut the pumpkin and peel away the skin. Scoop out all the seeds and then put it in a blender or food processor. Add water or vegetable stock till you get desired consistency. Start adding thyme and start blending more.
Once you have the puree, cook in a cooker for 10-15 minutes (1 or 2 whistles)
2. Quinoa and Banana Mash
Nutrition rich and dense meal which can be great for lunch or dinner
- 1/2 banana
- Pinch Cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp cooked quinoa
- 1 Tbsp whole milk yoghurt
How to Prepare
Mash the banana in a bowl. Separately cook 3 tbsp of quinoa with no oil in a separate pan with water (10-12 minutes). Add the cooked quinoa to the banana along with yoghurt and stir to combine the ingredients.
You can also add powdered cinnamon (a pinch) for taste. Serve cold.
3. Lentil and Rice with Vegetable Mix
An great recipe for your child, when you are first introducing rice and vegetables
- ½ cup rice
- ½ cup kebtuk
- 1 cup mixed vegetables washed properly and chopped into small pieces (carrots, peas, potatoes and beans)
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- A pinch of turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- chopped coriander leaves
How to Prepare
Clean the rice and lentil and soak in water for thirty minutes. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker. Now add the cumin seeds till they crackle. Follow it with lentil and rice and then vegetables. All these can be sautéed, followed by a pinch of salt. Add water and pressure cook this for 3-4 whistles, till everything is well- cooked.
Mash lightly with a spoon.
4. Wheat Flour Porridge
Wheat Flour Porridge is a food recipe for 9 month old baby
- 2 teaspoon wheat flour
- ½ tsp ghee
- 2 cups hot water
- Formula or breast milk
How to Prepare
Heat ghee in a pan and add the wheat flour, butter, sugar and cardamom. Roast it, stirring continuously. Once the mixture is slightly roasted and gives off a nice aroma, slowly add hot water. Keep stirring to avoid lumps and bring it to your desired consistency. Your baby will love the smooth texture of ghee. Turn off the heat.
Once the mixture is a little cool, add milk to adjust the consistency and add flavour. You can add banana puree or apple sauce for sweetness.
5. Finger Vegetables
Finger foods for 9-month-old baby are perfect for a mid-morning or evening snack
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Pumpkin
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 1 Zucchini/ Cucumber
How to Prepare
Cut any or all of the vegetables into long slices which your child can grasp in their fingers. Steam them in a pressure cooker for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.
6. Oats Pancakes
These pancakes are super easy to make and delicious, as well.
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 medium banana
- 1/4 cup milk
How to Prepare:
Mash the banana in a bowl, and add the milk. Mix well and add oats. Mix until well blended. Heat up a pan and add 1-2 drops of oil. Add 3-4 tablespoon of the mixture, and let it cook on one side. After 30 seconds to a minute, or until slightly brown, flip and cook well. Serve warm.
7. Vegetable Soup
This is a comfort food, especially in the winters and monsoon, and easy to make for your baby.
- 1/2 carrot chopped
- 3-4 beans chopped
- 10 peas
- 1/2 tomato chopped
- 1/2 potato finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon ghee
- Pinch of pepper
How to Prepare:
Pressure cook all the vegetables in 2 cups of water for 3 whistles. Let them cool, and blend into a smooth puree. Reheat the puree, add water if required, as well as the pepper. Serve warm.
- Start by taking any solid food that you want to introduce to your child in a big spoon and give them little nibbles off the spoon.
- All vegetables and fruits should be given to them at this stage but create a schedule and discuss it with your paediatrician before deciding. This can help avoid any allergies or reactions your baby may have.
- Follow a ‘4-day rule,’ i.e. wait for 4 days before introducing a new food in order to check for allergies.
Time flies and soon your little nine month old will be walking and running. Make the most of this time by introducing healthy food habits and make it a foundation of their childhood.