What is the ideal 9 month old feeding schedule?
How many meals should I give at this stage?
What to feed a 9 month old to ensure proper nutrition?
Are snacks and finger foods necessary for a 9 month old?
Are these questions bothering you? Well we present to you the 9 month old feeding schedule with FREE downloadable sample food charts.
Looking back at my journey as a working mom, it seems like yesterday that I juggled with my breast pump and her daycare 😛
How time flies isn’t?
When any mother asks me what my food chart was during a specific period for Anshika, I am at ease. I peep into the month wise food charts section in the blog and suggest accordingly.
Hope the food charts are helpful for you too to get an idea of the various food options available.
9 month old baby feeding behavior:
Babies are totally unpredictable and so are their eating habits. Some may prefer fruits; some veggies while some have non-veg as their favorite. Some like their food pureed, some prefer mashed and some like their food as small chucks.
And there are some who prefer to go the easy way and stick on to breast milk or formula as their main meal. Who wants to take the pain of chewing and swallowing when you can curb the hunger just by sucking? J
By around 9 month you will be either having battles during mealtimes if you have a picky eater or you will be searching high and low to find out different recipes to please your little foodie.
There is no doubt that breast milk is the best milk and should be the main food for the baby till he is one year. But after 6 months of age, solid food is a must to meet his nutritional requirement. So how can you make sure that your baby is getting the required nutrition as per his age?
Breastfeeding on demand and following a meal plan that includes foods from all variety of edibles helps to ensure a proper balanced nutrition.
Referring to sample food charts is a great way to get an idea of how you can include all types of food in a day/week for you growing kid.
Here is a sample food chart for 9-month-old baby. Along with the food chart we will be also dealing with how to handle a fussy eater and a picky eater.
What can a 9 month old eat?
By 9 months your baby would have got a taste of commonly used veggies, fruits and also would have started with non-veg that you commonly consume in your house.
At 9 months you can give:
Vegetables: Almost all veggies
Fruits: All fruits including citrus fruits
Grains, Cereals and Pulses: All grains and pulses including toor dal and masoor dal, chickpeas.
Dairy: Pasteurized cheese, whole milk yoghurt, butter, ghee, paneer
Non-Veg: Egg yolks, chicken, fish (no shell fishes)
Spices: Asafoetida, cloves, coriander, mustard, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, curry leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, turmeric, garlic
You can notice that at 9 months of age the food items are almost the same as that of 8 month food chart, but you should bring in more variety of taste and texture into the dishes you present for your baby at this stage.
At 9 month old you can go for thicker consistency foods and also small chewable bite sized foods that are easier for the baby to chew with his teeth/gums.
If you are still sticking to loose puree consistency/ watery food, time to slowly introduce thicker consistency foods that are soft and easy to chew. When doing so always give your baby time to understand the new texture and let him decide if he is ready and can handle thick consistency foods. But as a mom, you should try to change the consistency slowly so that it gives your baby a chance to try different textures and consistency.
Foods to be avoided at this stage:
Certain foods are hard for a 9 month old’s tummy and should be avoided.
As always we say, milk should be avoided till your baby is 1 year old.
You can also read why cheese and butter is fine for baby until one year, but not cow’s milk.
Avoid honey till one year of age as it can cause botulism. No egg whites too as it can cause allergy.
Avoid soft sticky foods like peanut butter, as it can become difficult for babies to eat due to its sticky consistency.
Don’t give whole nuts as it can cause choking. Instead you can give powdered nuts mixed along with baby foods.
Limit juices and try giving fruits as such or as purees or shakes.
How much should a 9 month old eat?
At 9 months, most of the babies will be having 3 meals a day plus one small snack.
On an average this is the amount of food your 9 month old may be having in a day.
- Around ¼ to ½ cup of grains or cereals. It can be anything, rice, wheat, ragi etc.
- Two servings of fruits and vegetables. One serving can be anything between ¼ to ½ cup of fruits or vegetables.
- ¼ to ½ cup of diary – for eg: ¼ cup yogurt.
- ¼ to ½ cup of non-vegetarian foods
- Around 4 to 5 times breastfeed or formula
The above is just an approximate amount; your baby can eat lesser or more.
Don’t force feed and let baby decide the amount of food at each meal. When the baby’s tummy is full he will turn his face away from spoon, spit food or start playing with it. Take these as the signs that he had had enough to fill his little stomach.
We as parents should try to include food from all the groups in a day. So the 9 month old baby feeding schedule should include any grain, fruit, veggies, diary and a protein rich food like egg, fish, meat or legumes.
Finger food for a 9 month baby:
Anything picked with hand goes straight into the month( except food)– this is a universal law when it comes to babies, agree moms?
Pincer grasp is a skill that we acquire when we are around 8 to 9 months of age. Pincer grasp is the fine motor skill to pick small things with thump and forefinger.
Nine month olds, if not all most babies, will be ready for finger foods. If your baby has started picking things with her fingers and if she is sitting without support and can chew small bites of foods, your baby is ready for finger foods.
Give him cooked carrots, apples, pear, cucumber, cheese, paneer etc. that can be chewed well by the baby teeth/gums. Cut all finger foods into long chip shapes big enough for your baby to hold and nibble.
Never leave a child unattended when having finger foods. Be alert always as there are chances of chocking.
If your baby is not yet sitting or is not interested in working on her pincer grasp, don’t worry. Wait for a month or two before you introduce finger foods.
Snacks for the 9 month old baby:
You can include one snack in between the main meals. Giving small quantity of food at regular intervals of time is the best way to make weaning easy and including a snack can help in this.
The idea is to not to give a large quantity of food at a time, instead give small quantity of foods in regular intervals without affecting breastfeeds. This ensures that the child gets to get a taste of a variety of foods and also fills in nutritional requirements too. So including a snack or two is a good way to encourage solid intake.
Finger foods make good snacks. Snack time can be used to encourage baby to feed himself with finger foods and also help him discover new textures.
The food given during snack should be light or lesser in quantity so that it won’t interfere with your baby’s breastfeeding and main meals. Breastfeeding is must and important for a 9 month old.
Avoid giving packet chips, biscuits and heavy foods during snack time. No chocolates and salt crackers or store bought crisps for snacking. You can give soups, porridges, plain or flavored yogurt, juices, smoothies, fruits pieces or vegetable salads or home made foods in small amount as snacks.
Handling a fussy eater:
Fussy eating is nothing to worry at this stage as long as your baby is breastfeeding/formula feeding properly and is having proper growth.
But fussy eating should be handled and shouldn’t be ignored. If ignored thinking it is a phase, it may affect the smooth weaning. Even if the child is showing aversion towards certain type of food, try to sneak in these foods in his diet. Patience is the key to deal with fussy eaters.
Try..try and try, but don’t get frustrated. Sounds difficult, but not impossible 😛
If you have a fussy eater, watch carefully and find our what he is interested in and prepare meals accordingly. Some may be bored with the same kind of food, so bring in variety.
Give new foods or foods he hate one at a time and in small quantities. Instead of setting a plate full of food that the baby dislikes, try to give his unfamiliar foods along with his favorite foods.
Don’t make meal times a time for war, never stuff food or force feed. Instead make it a fun time.
Add spices to add flavor:
Babies just like us don’t like bland food; so add some spices to your baby food to increase its taste and nutritional value.
At 9 months of age you can start including a pinch of asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric, garlic and mustard. Fennel, fenugreek and nutmeg are also safe for a 9 month old baby.
You can also add a pinch of this multi-purpose spice powder for babies above 8 months.
To know what spices to add in your babies diet and the quantity read the article 34 essential spices for babies with a FREE downloadable chart.
9 Month old feeding schedule with chart for a week:
Nine month old baby feeding schedule is almost same as that of an 8 month old. Only thing is you will have to include more variety in texture and taste.
As I have discussed previously in the 8-month-old food chart article, if you are pure vegetarians, you may miss out certain vitamins, minerals and proteins as some of these are mostly/exclusively found in egg, fish and meat.
So when you plan a food chart for your vegetarian baby make sure you combine different foods in his daily diet in a way that it compensates for the minerals and vitamins he may miss out being a vegetarian.
For example, combining rice and lentils or kidney beans or a combination of bread sticks with cheese to ensure that your baby gets both essential and non-essential amino acids at the same time.
Include beetroot and green leafy vegetables like spinach for folic acid and iron.
If you completely avoid eggs, fish and meat from your LO’s diet, there is a chance of Vitamin B12 deficiency. In that case include good amount of milk products like curd, cheese and yogurt in your baby’s diet.
Here I am including sample food chart for a week separately for both vegetarian babies and non-vegetarian babies so that you can get an idea of how to plan your kiddo’s diet in a well-balanced way. Also a list of recipes is also given so that you can include as many varieties as possible.
Here is the 9 month old food chart:
Some 9 month old baby food recipes are listed below.
- Raw banana powder porridge
- Avocado puree
- Sweet potato and lentil mash
- Carrot dal mash
- Carrot rava porridge
- Carrot and beetroot soup
- Mixed vegetable soup
- Lentil Soup
- Spinach Soup
- Kerala banana mash
- Banana sheera without milk
- Ragi porridge
- Brown rice moong dal porridge
- Moongdal khichdi
- Sabudana khichdi
- Chicken Soup for babies and kids
- Chicken, apple and sweet potato mash
- Broccoli cheese soup/mash
- Vegetable clear soup with broccoli and carrots
- Vegetable soup with spinach and sprouts
- Ragi Dosa
- Ragi idli
- Homemade rice noodles or sevai (in 6 mouthwatering flavors)
- Tomato rice
- Tomato rasam
- Rice recipes (15 varieties)
- Egg recipes (8 easy recipes)
Keep these in mind while feeding your 9 month old:
- Always follow the 3-5 day golden rule whenever you introduce a new food
- Make sure to sterilize plates and spoons
- Baby should always sit upright while having food
- Introduced each food items individually and make sure there is no allergy
- When making combination foods or mixed foods, take care you combine only those ingredients that are already given to your child individually
- If your baby is not ready for snacks you can breastfeed or formula feed during snack time
- Constipation is a common issue when new foods are included in diet
- Give 2-3 ounces of water to ensure necessary water intake in a day
- Always breastfeed on demand and keep in mind that breastfeeds are important at this stage
- Keep an eye on food allergies and seek medical advice whenever necessary
So now that you know some examples of the foods, a sample 9 month old feeding schedule and the precautions to be taken, I hope that meal times will be stress free for both mom and baby.
What all food items did you introduce to your 9 month old?Was your nine month old feeding schedule similar to this?
Did you include snacks at the age of 9 months? Was your child ready for finger foods at this stage?
Do revert with your doubts, suggestions and queries. Your feedback keep us going.
Editor’s Note June 2016: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.