At 9 months old, your baby will begin to consume less breast milk or formula, and you should start to introduce more solid foods. At this age babies can eat a variety of finger foods as long as they are cut into small pieces or pureed to a mushy consistency. While 9-month-olds are able to expand their dietary repertoire, they should also be watched carefully while eating.
Fruits and Vegetables
At 9 months old, your baby will begin to eat soft fruits and steamed vegetables. Fruits to serve at this age should be cut up into small, bite-size pieces or mashed. Bananas and ripe peaches are soft enough to cut up into small pieces and serve as is. Fruits such as apples, mango, pears and pineapple should be mashed or pureed before serving. Vegetables to serve include squash, green beans, sweet potatoes, zucchini and eggplant. Vegetables should always be steamed and either mashed or cut into very small pieces.
Finger foods make it easy for the baby to eat on his own, though an adult should still keep a close eye on him. Finger foods that are appropriate for a 9-month-old include cubes of soft cheese (unless your child has a milk allergy), dry cereal, pieces of crackers and toasted bread crusts. Soft fruit that has been cut up and steamed vegetables also work well for a snack or during mealtime.
Nine-month-olds can be introduced to many of the sit-down meals you have with your family. They will be able to eat small pieces of grilled cheese, pasta, rice with sauce and mashed potatoes. Choose foods that are made with whole grains, limiting the amount of fat and sugar in your child's meals. Other family meals also may be served to the baby, as long as her portion is put through a food processor first to make it soft and mushy.
Foods to Avoid
Serve your 9-month-old foods that are healthy and free of sugars and unnecessary fat. Choose the unsweetened variety of yogurt when possible, as he will not know any better. Foods to avoid that might be potential choking hazards are whole grapes or berries, peanut butter, raw carrots or other hard vegetables, meat chunks, nuts, hard candy and popcorn. Hard fruit that has not been pureed first, such as apple slices, should not be served. Avoid sugary foods such as cookies or other treats.