Baby feeding schedule: 9 to 12 months old

As your baby completes 9 months of age, He/ she probably moved on from breast milk or formula milk to some different solids. At this tender age they are exploring their preferences and changing their mind from day to day in terms of foods and tastes. Babies really grow fast in the first year of their age and their nutritional needs also change accordingly. They themselves didn’t know their likes and dislikes, thus use to experiment with foods each day. Slowly as they get to know the taste of different food items they develop taste buds. This is the time when you need to make a proper schedule to feeding up baby.

Some babies show more interest in fruits, some may prefer veggies, some like to eat in pureed or mashed form, whether some enjoy chewing or like finger foods more. As it is a growing age baby goes through a lot of physical and mental developmental changes. Feeding up baby according to the planned schedule can help to provide a balanced nutritional diet that not only fills their little stomach but also meet all the required nutrients they need in a day.

How much milk is required?

Around 9 months of age, food schedule of a baby should consist of three proper meals a day with one or two healthy snacks (Some healthy snacks ideas) in between. These snacks can include fruits, finger foods, or any light preparations. In spite of this your baby still needs breast milk or formula milk as an important part of his/her meal plan. Milk is the most essential source of protein and at this age the baby needs ample protein as it is the building block of the body. Around this age the quantity of milk required can be anywhere from 15 to 25 oz a day. Its absolutely depends upon the consumption of solid foods by baby throughout the day.

Baby feeding schedule for 9 – 12 months old

It is important to include breast milk/ formula milk in your 9 months baby’s meal planner. Some mothers want to wean off milk completely whereas some continue up to 2 years of age. It’s absolutely a personal choice and the mother is the one who can make decisions. As your baby completes 6 months of age, feeding up solids to them becomes important for them, because at this time they need additional nutrients for their growth and development. Around 9- 12 months of age a baby may require approximately 700-900 calories per day. Breast milk (How to increase breast milk production?) or formula milk is sufficient to provide only 400-500 calories and the remaining you can balance through solids only. Sharing a simple meal planner you can follow for your baby. According to your baby’s preferences you can make your own chart including various combinations of foods.

Breakfast options
  • Half cup of small sliced soft fruits
  • Half cup cereals
  • Upma, mung bean cheela/wrap
  • 5-6 oz of breast milk/ formula milk
Mid morning snacks
  • Any finger food
  • 4-5 oz breast or formula milk
Lunch options
  • Khichdi/ Porridge
  • Rice with dal
  • Cheese or yogurt
  • 4-5 oz breast/formula milk
Evening snacks
  • ¼ cup of boiled veggies
  • Oat meals
  • Muffins
Dinner
  • Half cup of cooked vegetables
  • ¼ cup of Rice
  • Boiled lentils
Some foods for 9-12 months old
Cheese

Cheese is an excellent finger food for babies. It also has the ability to make any dish mouth watering.  From 7 months onward, cheese can be included in the baby’s diet. It is a great source of calcium, protein, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Calcium helps to develop healthy bones; protein contributes to growing healthy muscles, skin and hair. It is high in vitamin B12 which prevents anemia, supports bone health, boosts energy and promotes skin and hairs.  The presence of probiotics in cheese helps in maintaining healthy gut microbiota. Cottage cheese is the safest and healthiest and best 9th month baby food. Including it in babies food schedule can be a great choice.

Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of many essential nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin B12. It is safe for babies to consume an egg in a day. It helps them in all over growth and development. Though both the egg yolk and egg white are rich in nutrients, half of the nutrients found in eggs are in egg white only. Mostly egg yolk is recommended to babies while weaning them on solid foods. It is considered as 9th month baby food. (Check some more brain foods for kids)

Pear

Pear is a nourishing food that can add more nutritional value to your baby’s diet. It is a good source of dietary fiber. Feeding up pear to babies can provide them with essential nutrients as it is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. It contains pectin, a water soluble fiber and sorbitol, a compound that retains water in the large intestine, which helps to prevent constipation and promotes bowel movements by loosening the hard stool. Pear with peel contains polyphenols, a bioactive compound that boosts immunity by combating free radicals. You can start with peeled and cooked puree or mashed ones as baby solid food.

Berries

Berries are a great source of micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B- complex.  Vitamin K in this fruit with support of calcium and magnesium makes it the best fruit for bone development. It also promotes cognitive development in babies. It is one of the best 9th month baby food.

Watermelon

This fruit has amazing health benefits. It contains almost 95% water and thus helps babies to stay hydrated. Watermelon is high in vitamin C which can help in strengthening immunity and in absorption of iron in the baby’s body.  It is also a good source of vitamin A which promotes eye health.  It helps to prevent constipation and helps in digestion as it is the best source of dietary fiber . Watermelon has a good amount of calcium and magnesium which plays a huge role in the development of strong bones in babies. All these qualities make it the best 9th month baby food. (What are other foods good for skin?)

Dates and Apricots

Dates are a good source of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc including vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and vitamin K. They are also excellent sources of natural sugar and fiber. All these nutrients help in growth and development.  Apricots are a rich source of beta- carotene, fiber, vitamin C. magnesium, potassium and antioxidants. These nutrients help in brain development and boost immunity among babies. It is best to include them in 9 months old baby food. (What does sugar do to kids’ bones?)

Nuts

Nuts are an amazing source of fat, iron, protein, and micronutrients like copper, zinc, and vitamin E and B vitamins. full of nutritious values, nuts promote brain function and development, boost up immunity levels and build strong bones and muscle strength in infants. They are also rich in fiber and take care of any bouts of constipation and thus help in digestion too. (How to easily feed nuts and Ayurvedic herbs to kids everyday)

Cucumber

Though cucumber is slightly tasteless, it has a wide range of health benefits for babies. It is full of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, magnesium and manganese.  Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants and act as a great source of liquid to keep the baby hydrated. If you are not a fan of teething toys, chilled cucumber rings are the right option for teething solutions too. It also helps in digestion and promotes bone strength. It is the best 9th month baby food.

Apple

Apple is one of the safest and full of nutritious solid food for babies to start with. Babies love its sweet flavour. It is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber thus easily gets digested by babies. As it is full of carbohydrates, it provides energy to the baby to stay active. Apple skin contains quercetin, a type of plant pigment flavonoid that helps to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. It is considered as one of the baby’s first foods.  You can easily introduce apples in baby feeding schedule 9 months. (Fruits to feed everyday)

Finger millet (Ragi)

Ragi is one of the super foods with numerous health benefits. It is the richest source of calcium and vitamin D. Both of these nutrients are vital for proper development of bones and teeth in babies. Calcium in it easily get absorbed by the body and is beneficial for babies during the teething phase. It also prevents malnutrition in babies as it has high protein content. Ragi is loaded with a high level of dietary fiber thus, preventing constipation. Insoluble fiber in it promotes easy digestion of foods in babies. While preparing ragi porridge for babies, dry roast it thoroughly for at least 10 minutes. Feeding up ragi at this age can help babies to develop strong bones and healthy digestive system. (Foods to keep the bones of a child strong?)

Tapioca

It is considered as one of the excellent foods for babies to start with. It has numerous health benefits. Tapioca is loaded with calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin K which are key minerals for baby’s bone development. Tapioca also helps to cure digestive ailments including indigestion, bloating and constipation. Starch in it is packed with carbohydrates which provide energy to the baby throughout the day and helps to gain weight. It is also a good source of protein thus aids muscle development by strengthening them. It tops in one of the best baby’s first food categories.

Tips for feeding up your baby

Small portions: Always start with small portions otherwise the baby will vomit or swallow all which may cause digestive issues. Increase the portion slowly as your baby gets comfortable with the taste and texture of the preparation.

Never force: Let the baby choose the quantity of food he/she wants to eat. Never force a baby to eat anything. You can only decide what to feed, it’s entirely the baby’s choice how much to eat.         

Self eating: It may be a little messier, but allow your baby to eat with his/her own hands. Just make sure that your baby’s hands are clean as they tend to touch everything at this age.

Attentive: Keep a close check on your baby while he/she is eating. Offer food in small pieces as big ones may choke.

Sitting position: Use an upright position while feeding your baby. Make the baby sit on a high chair or just make sure that he/ she is not in a lying position.

Milk bottle: Never put your baby to sleep with a milk bottle. This can cause dental issues in babies.

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What Is The Need To Soak Dal/ Rice Before Cooking

In traditional diets of our ancestors, soaking was key to preparing food. Dal, rice, beans, nuts, seeds and other whole grains contain phytic acid. Soaking for a few hours before you cook helps to break down the phytic acid which makes it easy for the body to absorb all the nutrients and also digest the food better. Study shows that our grains contain arsenic, a compound found in earth‘s crust. By soaking the grain prior to cooking, the arsenic level can come down by 25-30%. Soaking grains also release compounds called lower order inositols – specifically myo- and d-chiro-inositol. And these compounds help support blood sugar regulation, metabolic and hormonal health (PCOS).

Soaking of rice and dal can be done up till 4 hours. For oats and most nuts, soaking overnight is good.

Traditionally In India, rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days before they are prepared as idli and dosas, or flour is fermented to make Bhatura; Africans soak corn overnight before adding it to soups and ferment corn for days to prepare a traditional dish; Welsh prepared similar dish by soaking oats overnight. Latin Americans ferment rice for long before cooking; Ethiopians make their distinctive bread by fermenting a grain called teff for several days; Mexican corn cakes are fermented for two weeks in banana leaves; Americans and Europeans used fermented starter to Bake bread, cookies and cake. The Chinese were the first people to carry moong dal (mung bean) and sprout for consumption as they sailed on voyages overseas.