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Foods for 9-month-old

Foods, tips, and meal plan for feeding your 9-month-old

You may wonder what to feed your baby when they're around 9 months old. This article provides tips for choosing safe foods, which foods to avoid, and a sample meal plan to help make feeding your baby less confusing.

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Foods, tips, and meal plan for feeding your 9-month-old
Last updated on November 8, 2023, and last reviewed by an expert on February 26, 2023.

By the time your baby is 9 months old, they have likely been eating solid foods in addition to either breast milk or formula for a few months.

Foods, tips, and meal plan for feeding your 9-month-old

Deciding what foods to feed your little one can be overwhelming, especially when you’re most likely already busy babyproofing and soaking up all the new and exciting milestones.

This article provides an overview of some of the best foods for your 9-month-old, as well as which foods are best avoided so that you can help your baby get all the nutrients they need.

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What are the best foods for a 9-month-old?

Even though your 9-month-old is eating food, their main source of nutrition should continue to come from either breast milk or formula. Any additional foods can be considered complementary until your baby turns 1.

Some parents choose to begin with puréed foods when first starting solids. At the same time, others may opt for a baby-led weaning approach, which involves offering foods in their solid form with an emphasis on allowing babies to feed themselves.

If your baby eats purées, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends beginning to offer foods with varying textures and some more solid foods that help a baby learn how to chew around 8 months of age.

Some great foods to offer your 9-month-old baby include:

Key nutrients for your baby

Offering a variety of foods will provide your baby with a variety of important nutrients, some of which are especially important for healthy growth and development.

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health and may help build strong immune systems in babies, though more research is needed on the latter.

Infant formulas are typically fortified with vitamin D. Still; it’s often recommended that breastfed babies take a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D daily for their first year of life.

Because babies experience such rapid growth in the first year are at a high risk of an iron deficiency, which can lead to serious health outcomes.

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Suggested read: 12 healthy and practical foods for 1-year-olds

Iron supplementation may be needed after the first 6 months. Still, it may not be necessary if your baby is getting enough iron-rich food sources regularly or drinking formula, which is typically fortified with iron.

Healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, are also important for babies and young children. They help promote brain, eyes, and immune health development and function.

Summary: Offering your baby a variety of foods will provide them with a variety of important nutrients, but keep in mind their main source of nutrition should still be breast milk or formula at this age.

Foods to avoid

While most foods are OK for babies if they are prepared and cut appropriately, some foods should be avoided in the first year. Some foods may cause food poisoning in little ones, and others are considered choking hazards.

Here are some important foods to avoid feeding your 9-month-old:

You may have heard that babies under 1 year shouldn’t drink cow’s milk. They should still drink formula or breast milk to meet their nutritional needs.

They can mix milk into foods like oatmeal or smoothies, but you could also use breastmilk or formula.

Babies shouldn’t get added sugar, which can replace more nutritious options. Also, too much sodium may harm their developing kidneys, so it’s best to limit their salt intake.

Suggested read: 28 healthy snacks your kids will love

Summary: It’s important to avoid certain foods in the first year of life because they can cause food poisoning or choking or may not be the best choices for their developing bodies.

How many calories does a 9-month-old need per day?

A 9-month-old needs 750–900 calories per day, and about 400–500 should continue to come from breast milk or formula.

You don’t need to track your baby’s calorie intake, but you may wonder how much to offer at each meal and snack.

Babies will eat when hungry and stop when full, so you can let them decide how much they want to eat.

Your baby will likely show cues of feeling full, such as turning his or her head away from you or pushing food away, and signs that they’re hungry, such as opening their mouth for food or getting excited.

Summary: A 9-month-old baby needs about 750–900 calories daily. Be sure to keep up with regular formula or breast milk feedings to help them meet their needs, and let your baby decide when they’re full at meals.

Sample 1-day menu for your 9-month-old

It’s normal for your little one’s appetite to vary day to day. Remember, breast milk or formula should continue to be the main source of nutrition for the first year of life, and babies should get about 24 ounces (720 mL) of either daily.

You should also offer water with meals at this age to encourage proper hydration and help wash down solid foods. Babies should get about 4–8 ounces (0.5–1 cup) of water at this age daily.

As for other beverages, the AAP recommends sticking to water and breast milk or formula at this age and avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages and other drinks until 2 years of age. Cow’s milk or soy milk can be introduced after 12 months.

Here’s a sample menu for a 9-month-old, including three meals, snacks, and breast milk or formula:

Breast milk or formula

6 ounces (177.4 mL)


Snack (optional)

One of the following options:

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Breast milk or formula

6 ounces (177.4 mL)


Snack (optional)

One of the following options:

Breast milk or formula

6 ounces (177.4 mL)


Breast milk or formula

6 ounces (177.4 mL)

Summary: Above is a sample menu for a 9-month-old baby. Remember, babies will let you know when they are full and may not eat everything offered. It’s important to continue to offer at least 24 ounces (720 mL) of breast milk or formula daily.

Quick meal and snack ideas

Feeding your little one can feel daunting, but there are ways to keep it simple, so you don’t have to spend too much time cooking and prepping.

Here are some quick meal and snack ideas for your 9-month-old:

Quick and easy breakfast ideas

Quick and easy lunch or dinner ideas

Quick and easy snack ideas

Summary: Feeding your 9-month-old can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Having some go-to ideas in your back pocket for quick and easy meals is a good idea.

Tips for feeding your 9-month-old

Meal prep

Meal prepping is a great way to save time and set yourself up for an easier week. If you can, try planning some meals and cooking in advance so that you can reheat things during the week rather than cooking daily.

By the time your little one is 9 months old, they can eat a lot of what you’re eating. When you prepare a meal for yourself or the rest of the family, see what you can do to make it baby-friendly. Here are some tips:

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To reduce their choking risk, cut food small enough for them to grab and bite but not so small that they can swallow it whole. Some raw fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, are also choking hazards because they’re too hard to bite into.

Food safety

It’s important to prepare your little one’s food using safe cooking practices to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Wash your hands and switch cutting boards when handling raw meat to avoid cross-contamination. Cook meats, fish, and eggs to safe temperatures — 145–165°F (62.8–73.9°C) — depending on the food.

Be sure to refrigerate food soon after finishing it to preserve it. It’s also good practice to add a date to leftovers, so you know when to throw them away. Most food lasts a few days in the refrigerator or 1–2 months in the freezer.


By the time your child reaches this age, you may have already begun introducing some common allergens, such as peanut butter, eggs, and fish. If you haven’t, now is a great time, as introducing them earlier may help prevent an allergy.

It’s a good idea to introduce allergens one at a time and wait a few days in between so that you can monitor your baby for any possible reaction.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

Call your pediatrician if you notice any signs of a mild allergic reaction, such as a rash or upset stomach. Call 911 if the symptoms are more severe, such as if you suspect anaphylaxis, which usually involves wheezing, hives, drooling, and drowsiness.

Packaged foods

Offering packed foods to your baby can be a convenient way to feed them when you’re short on time. We recommend offering a variety of whole foods whenever possible, but having some packaged items in the pantry can come in handy.

When shopping for packaged baby-friendly foods, look for foods low in sodium, added sugars, additives, and preservatives. Additionally, be sure they don’t contain any foods that should be avoided in the first year, such as honey.

Lastly, remember that mealtimes should be a fun, low-pressure experience. Try not to force your baby to eat more if they are showing signs of feeling full. If they refuse food, you can try offering it again another time.

Repeated exposure to new foods and maintaining a low-stress environment have promoted food acceptance among little ones.

Summary: Properly handling, preparing, and storing foods for your baby will help prevent choking and possible foodborne illnesses. Do your best to keep mealtimes fun and relaxed, and let your baby decide how much to eat.


With so many exciting changes and challenges that come with parenting, thinking about and preparing healthy meals and snacks for your 9-month-old baby can feel overwhelming.

By planning and having some go-to meal ideas, you can throw together a healthy, balanced plate for your little one in less time.

Preparing some food ahead of time and making your own meal baby-friendly will help save time and the stress of putting together more than one meal.

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While 9-month-olds can eat most of the foods you eat, some foods should be avoided, including honey, salt, added sugars, and undercooked or unpasteurized foods.

Properly handling, cooking, and storing your baby’s food will significantly decrease the risk of them experiencing a foodborne illness. Be sure to cut your little one’s food into safe shapes and offer appropriate textures to reduce their choking risk.

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