9 Months Old Toddler & Baby Food Chart
Watching your toddler pick those small bite-size pieces of meal or finger food and feed themself is a treat for all parents to watch! Baby-led weaning and self-feeding are practices that help you build independence in your kids early on. But along with how to introduce feeding habits, one big concern for parents is also what to feed the baby. So, if your baby has recently turned or is turning 9 months old, and you are looking for ideas on a 9 month baby food chart, here is your answer to all those questions and doubts. This article will discuss the 9 month baby food chart, what to introduce, what to avoid, how frequently to offer food etc. Are you ready?
Nutritional Needs Of 9 Month Old Baby
A 9 month old baby would ideally need around 800 – 900 calories daily. As per the 9 month baby food chart, breast milk or formula feed already meets about 400 – 500 calories required. Thus, a baby at this age needs to make up for only the rest of 300 – 500 with the solid food they consume. By this age, toddlers already understand the hunger cues and can feed themselves. Thus, as long as you feed them a balanced and healthy variety throughout the day, you would not need to worry about their nutritional needs being met. They will also learn to reject food by pushing it away or taking their face away if they are full. However, if your child has any deficiencies or health conditions, is on supplements or has been asked to be put on a special meal, please consider the meal plan your baby's doctor recommended for them. Ensure that you do not put too much emphasis on the food but the nutrition via the food. Many parents get obsessed and caught up in quantities, which is not great for the baby's future health and food habits.
What To Include In A 9 Month Baby Food Chart
The following should be a part of the daily meal plan as per 9 month baby food chart:
- ▪ Fruits – The easiest to digest and chew, and no cooking or additional ingredient is needed. Fruits are essential to meet the daily nutritional needs of a growing child. Slowly introduce all fruits to a baby and offer at least 2 seasonal fruit snacks to your 9 month old baby.
- ▪ Vegetables – Similarly, introduce all vegetables to your baby's diet and add at least 3 – 4 veggies in their snack or meals daily. While introducing the new vegetables, your baby's paediatrician would give you a progression plan – which vegetables to introduce first, how to feed, which vegetables not to give at night time etc. Stick to those recommendations and watch for signs of allergies and poop consistency to rule out any issues. This article regarding Poop Colour to understand the relationship between poop colour and health of your baby better.
- ▪ Healthy Fats – After a certain age, we adults start avoiding fats like butter, ghee, nuts etc. But for kids, while they are developing and growing, fats are essential. So, as per their paediatrician's recommendation, add butter, ghee, nuts, avocado, fish, etc., to their meal.
- ▪ Iron is also one of the essential nutrients for a growing baby. If your family is non-vegetarian, then eggs, meat and fish are excellent sources of iron. Otherwise, introduce iron-fortified cereals, whole grains etc., to your baby in their meal.
- ▪ Fluids – Now that your baby is not exclusively on breast milk, their need for hydration can not necessarily be met just with milk meals. Add water, freshly squeezed unsweetened juices and soups to the 9 month baby food chart.
What To Exclude From A 9 Month Baby Food Chart
Just like there are items you must add to your baby's daily diet, a few things are not great for a 9 month old baby. Avoid adding the following to your baby's meal plan:
- ▪ Honey – Until one year, honey is a big no-no. No matter how pure the honey is, it can cause infant botulism, a life-threatening disease.
- ▪ Added Sugars – The fruits and milk a baby consumes contain enough sugars for the calorie needs of a baby's body. Added sugar can cause dental problems for the baby in future and can add unhealthy weight to the growing baby's body, which can become a big problem later.
- ▪ Salt – High sodium is not suitable for developing a baby's kidneys. Thus, till the first birthday, salt or anything with high sodium should be avoided in the baby's food.
- ▪ Animal Milk – Unpasteurised or animal milk is not needed for human babies until they consume breast milk. As a thumb rule, avoid animal milk for the first year altogether.
- ▪ Potential Chocking Hazard – Until your baby is not completely able to chew food, avoid giving them foods such as grapes, nuts, peas, corn etc., in the whole form.
Sample 1 Day 9 Month Baby Food Chart
So, now that we know what a 9 month baby food chart should contain and not contain, let us see a sample one-day meal plan for 9 month old baby. Then, you can create your baby's meal plan following the same format and depend on their breastmilk meal and nap time. Please remember that your baby will not eat up and finish all of it, but you must keep offering a variety of food to them.
- ▪ Oats porridge with applesauce or banana and nut powder
- ▪ A few pieces of cut fruits
- ▪ A piece of dry toast
- ▪ A small bowl of roasted rice puffs
- ▪ A cup of unsweetened curd/yoghurt
Breastmilk or Formula Milk
- ▪ Chapati with soft cooked vegetables
- ▪ Khichdi
- ▪ Dalia
- ▪ Paneer or unsalted cheese
- ▪ Scrambled egg
Breastmilk or Formula Milk
- ▪ Soft boiled vegetables
- ▪ Daal rice
- ▪ Soup
Breastmilk or Formula Milk
Please remember that just like we adults do not like every taste, every fruit and vegetable, children also have their taste preferences. So do not force them to finish their food if they are full or eat a particular food item that they do not like. Happy feeding, happy parenting!