Feeding Older Babies- 9 Months and Up

When your baby is nine months old, you may begin to introduce foods with more texture. At this point, your baby is probably beginning to show interest in feeding herself. Try offering the baby mashed beans, rice, pasta, cereal, toast, chunks of fruit, roasted cubes of vegetable, or shredded cheese. Your baby may enjoy some shredded chicken or fish.

Purchase Baby Food or Make Your Own?

Many parenting books advise new parents to make their own baby food, as this is often more economical than purchasing it by the jar and not overly difficult. While a small jar of applesauce or pureed peas can cost almost a dollar, the same food could be prepared at home for pennies. 

One benefit to preparing your own food is that the baby can eat some of the rest of the family's dinner. 

The only equipment required to make your own baby food is a food processor or food mill. Simply puree some cooked vegetable or fruit until it reaches a smooth consistency, adding water if required. This puree will last for a few days in the refrigerator, or can be easily frozen. Try freezing it in an ice cube tray for convenient, meal-size portions.

Realistically, sometimes you may be unable or unwilling to prepare baby food from scratch, despite the best intentions, and it may be handy to have a few jars of commercial baby food at the ready. Look for organic fruits and vegetables, if you can afford it. Baby food should not contain sugar, preservatives or artificial flavoring.

Grains, Pastas and Breads

  • plain cooked pasta
  • plain cooked rice
  • oatmeal
  • cooked quinoa
  • barley
  • toasted bread cut into chunks
  • crackers

Protein Foods

  • cut a hard-boiled egg into chunks
  • shredded chicken or fish
  • cubes of tofu or steamed tempeh
  • shredded or cubed cheese

Vegetables

  • cubed roasted sweet potato, squash or carrot
  • diced sugar snap peas
  • cooked corn kernels
  • steamed carrot coins
  • steamed zucchini
  • pureed spinach

Fruits

  • mashed or sliced banana
  • applesauce
  • pureed pears
  • pureed prunes
  • pureed plums

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