Parenting

What to feed a 9-to-12-month-old baby?

Overview

As your baby grows beyond nine months, you start concerning what type of new food you should give them to ensure they get sufficient proteins to keep growing in a healthy manner. Worry no more, as here we are with some fun, healthy, yet easy to prepare food options that your baby might love.

Interestingly, babies also require the same variety of nutrients as adults. Just like adults, babies also need five servings of fruits and vegetables everyday, though their serving sizes are way smaller.

Including those fruits and nutrients in a diet may seem very tough but are extremely vital as far as nutrition is concerned. As we say for the adults – “eat the rainbow”, the same has to be done for the kids as well. Include different colours in diet like orange (cantaloupe, sweet potatoes), green (peas, spinach, zucchini, green beans, asparagus), red (red peppers, cooked tomatoes), and yellow (bananas, squash).

Parents usually believe that a cup of juice will fulfill all the nutritional requirements of their kids. However, it isn’t true, as there is often added sugar and zero fiber in such drinks. Moreover, if such juice is used to replace breast milk or formula milk, your child may miss out on several proteins they need. So, you must consult with a pediatrician for an adequate amount of juice to serve to your baby.

Breads and grains are the most important parts of all the best food options. Babies do like to have cooked noodles, rice, cereal and soft breads, and it is also easy to serve enough dairy to the babies as nine to 12-month-old babies already consume 16 to 24 ounces of milk daily. Meanwhile, you should consider serving them some extra proteins in the form of chicken, eggs, fish, and beans.

Getting Started

You should consider using the homemade baby food which your child already loves. For example, if you want to increase the protein intake of a child, you may consider stirring the peas, fish, or any other legume into mashed potatoes or cooked pasta. You just have to know which food your child already likes and what amount of protein he needs.

For instance, if your baby likes having mashed potatoes, you just have to mash the peas well enough and mix them. Now, your baby will be eating his/her favourite food, and will also get all the important nutrients.

Remember to keep a tab on allergies a child might develop due to the newly introduced food. You should not start more than one new food at a time so that you can specifically know which type of food is actually causing allergies.

At this age, babies usually eat when they are hungry and do not have food hang-ups. So, force-feeding your 9 to 12-month-old baby would never be a good idea, as it may cause adverse effects like overeating while growing up.

Creative Ideas

Prepackaged finger food for babies is easily available in the market, but you have to be extra careful while buying them to avoid the extra sugar and preservatives. Moreover, you can use a steamer to steam fresh veggies and fruits and peel off the skin. After steaming for a few minutes, the veggie or the fruit becomes completely edible for the babies.

As soon as your baby starts liking this food, you can go on to make pasta with broccoli and beans. You just have to run this through a food processor. You can follow the same process with mashed potatoes, lasagna, and cooked chicken.

Importantly, you have to understand that everything you serve your baby has to be as soft as a ripe banana. Once the baby gets older than a year, you can start offering him food with more texture, like sandwiches. However, you must consult a pediatrician before opting for any of these.

Discussed below are the best food options you can serve your child when it is 9 to 12 months old –

The Best Food Options for Breakfast:

Oatmeal: Beginning the day with unsweetened oats, made with breast milk, water, formula milk or juice is a great option. To make it healthier, you can add banana slices or jarred or home-steamed pears or apples [1].

Pancakes or waffles: Using a whole-grain mix is also a great option. To make it healthier, you can add a bit of wheat germ. To make it even more interesting, you can add pureed fruit. However, you should never add sugary and non-nutritious syrup.

Eggs: Scramble it well along with a tablespoon of cottage cheese. Add mashed tofu or softened veggies to make it even more filling. It is one of the best food options for kids.

The Best Food Options for Lunch:

Grilled cheese: Use 100% wheat bread, little butter and shredded cheese to make a sandwich. Now, cut it into small pieces before serving. To make it even more interesting, you can also add two cheeses, like cheddar and mozzarella, or a thin slice of avocado.

Yogurt: Serve unsweetened yogurt to your baby. To add flavour, you can add home-steamed fresh fruit. For making it tastier, you can include some wheat germ combined with various fruits.

Sandwich: Use a very little amount of peanut butter (as it may lead to choking), and spread it thinly. Use the softest bread and also cut off the crusts. You can also add cooked egg yolks, cream cheese, avocado and hummus as ingredients.

Soup: Use noodles and soft veggies and broil them with broth. Wait for it to get lukewarm to be edible for your baby. You can also add mashed beans, shredded cheese and well shredded meats.

The Best Food Options for Dinner:

Baked potato: Peel off the potato skin and mash it in butter, soft veggies and cheese. You can also consider putting it through a mini food processor with vegetables, broth, butter and cheese. You can make it more interesting by mixing a variety of sweet and white potatoes, or mash beans, tofu and meats.

Pasta/rice/couscous: Put these in a mini food processor with a sauce and mix it well. To add variety, adding cooked veggies or well shredded meats can be a healthy and tasty idea.

Lasagna: Take the ingredients like spinach, sauce, cheese and meat, and put them in a food processor. To improve the taste, you can add different cheeses, meats and vegetables in the filling.

The family dinner: It may sound a little weird, but it is absolutely fine if it doesn’t contain any allergens or choking hazards. You just have to take the baby’s food and run it through a food processor to mash it well before serving [2].

Takeaway

The above discussed food options can help you in cultivating good eating habits in your child, which will keep him fit and healthy even when he grows old. You just have to speak with your pediatrician first before starting with any experimental diet, to be sure about its safety.

References – 

[1] – When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods
[2] – Baby and toddler meal ideas

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