The Best Foods for 9-Month-Old Babies

Your little one is quickly becoming a toddler, and her food tastes show it. We've rounded up a list of healthy food for 9-month-old babies and beyond!

Now that your little one is on the move and (hopefully) sleeping more at night, it’s time for another milestone—more food! Your baby has most likely mastered first foods like cereal and pureed fruits, so now it’s time to teach her that variety is the spice of life. Here is some of the best food for 9-month-old babies.

What can you feed a 9-month-old?

At 9 months old, your baby is ready to eat (almost) everything you do at mealtime. Your little one has most likely been sticking with baby food cereals, as well as fruits, veggies and some meats. Babies need the same variety that we adults do, so aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Do keep in mind, their servings are still tiny and should be about one tablespoon. (More on this later.)

By 9 months old, your baby is also ready to try new foods like peanut butter. Once your little one has gotten used to several fruits and vegetables, as well as grains and meat, start adding foods like egg, dairy and peanut butter. According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, waiting to offer peanut butter to your baby could put her at an increased risk for developing an allergy later on.

So, what can’t 9-month-olds have?

Steer clear of honey, cow’s milk and any choking hazards. While it’s safe for your baby to enjoy dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese, hold off on drinking milk until one year of age. She could also choke on foods that are too big or hard, so avoid whole grapes, raisins, nuts and large chunks of food. These tips help prevent choking at any age.

How do I know he’s ready?

If you’re a fan of baby-led weaning, you know that our babies can show us when they’re ready for food. If your baby is always reaching for your food or opening his mouth when it’s feeding time, he is most likely ready for more foods.

This is a great age to start fostering self-feeding, so pull out your rain poncho, because it’s going to get messy! (You’ll probably want to stock up on these baby ponchos, too.) Start offering your baby a cup, spoon or simply allowing her to explore the food with her hands. Giving your baby the freedom to feed herself will definitely take longer, so try giving her extra time at family meal times.

You can also try cutting up soft foods like bits of ripe banana or cooked vegetables for baby to grab. Unsalted sweet potato fries provide great practice for picking up and holding food.

How much food should my baby eat?

While babies need the same variety as adults, their portions are tiny. Aim for about three meals and two snacks per day. Start with the healthiest options like vegetables and fruits before offering more food. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 9 months is usually when most babies start eating less pureed produce and more processed foods. Try incorporating nutritious options into favorites like veggie mac and cheese or blueberry yogurt muffins. This is a great time to teach healthy habits for life.

And before you know it, you’ll be a pro at preparing yummy and nutritious toddler meals for your growing babe!

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Carrie Madormo, RN
Carrie is a health writer and nurse who specializes in healthy eating and wellness through food. With a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into interesting, actionable articles. During her six years at Taste of Home, Carrie has answered hundreds of reader questions about health and nutrition, such as if pomegranate seeds are safe to eat, why pregnant women crave pickles and how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Carrie is also a former health coach and food blogger.