Parents of 9- to 12-month-old babies are experienced in giving their babies pureed or slightly textured foods, but at this time they might want to expand the babies' palates with new and delicious chewable foods that are healthy for them. With the following tips, your older baby will enjoy his meals more and grow stronger.
Fruits and vegetables are essential
Do not let the day go by without feeding the baby an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables. You can continue feeding pureed fruits and vegetables if the baby has no teeth, but if he or she does, you can give soft boiled carrots, potatoes, spinach in broth, tomatoes with pasta, mashed broccoli or cauliflower with cheese, baked apples, mashed bananas with yogurt, and boiled eggplant with Parmesan. Fruits and vegetables should always be soft enough for the baby to chew and swallow easily.
Introduce the baby to meats
Now is a good time to introduce the baby to a variety of meats. These might include chicken, ground beef, turkey, duck, veal, and pork. Mash up tough pieces of meat in a food processor to prevent choking. Serve the meats in fun and diverse ways so that the baby will not get bored with the same meals. On one night you can feed provide chicken with sweet potatoes and on another night you can serve turkey with Lima beans.
Carbs are fine in moderation
Babies at this age can eat a variety of carbohydrates in moderation. Feed the baby small and softened pieces of whole grain bread with peanut butter as a snack, and for dinner you can give brown rice with boiled vegetables. Be sure not to give your baby too many carbs, as this leads to obesity in the toddler years.
Gradual weaning off breast milk or formula
Babies at this age are still getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula, but there should be a gradual weaning off as the baby turns a year old. You can switch to whole milk after the baby's first birthday and to make the transition smooth, combine equal parts of formula and whole milk until the baby has gotten used to the taste of whole milk.
Scheduling your baby's feedings
Generally, your baby should eat three to four times a day; his schedule should be similar to that of an adult.
Feeding your 9- to 12-month-old baby can be challenging at times, but with creativity, patience and an understanding of the baby's preferences, mealtimes will be some of the most enjoyable times for you and the baby.