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Healthy Balanced Diet for a 9-Month-Old Baby

By Bryan Berg

Your baby's ninth month is full of growth and experimentation. Whereas he once needed you to do everything for him, he is now learning to explore places and things on his own. Along with his physical abilities and his sense of curiosity, his diet is also beginning to change.

Baby's Development at 9 Months

At 9 months, your baby's physical development is really starting to blossom. She should be able to support herself while sitting up, and she should also be starting to crawl. She may even be able to pull herself up to stand and cruise around while holding onto furniture. Her motor skills are also beginning to develop, as she can clap her hands and bang toys together. By this point, she should also be able to sleep through the night.

Regular Feedings

Though your baby is growing at a rapid rate, his regular feedings of breastmilk or formula are the staples of his diet. Your baby should still be having 16-24 ounces worth of these feedings, which occur four or five times per day. Since he's sleeping through the night by now, he doesn't need to be woken up for a nighttime feedng.

Solid Foods

If you haven't started your baby on table foods yet, you can do so when she's 9 months old. She's probably used to eating runny cereal and strained fruits and vegetables, so chewing pieces of actual food might not come easily to her. However, she's capable of mastering this technique, even if she doesn't have any teeth yet. Eating table foods will also help her to build up her dexterity, as picking up foods and putting them in her mouth helps her to practice her developing motor skills.

Types of Food

Since most of your baby's nutritional needs are met with his regular feedings of breastmilk and formula, you can experiment with table foods to see what he likes. However, you'll want to stick with basic foods without a lot of seasoning that are soft enough for him to chew. You can give him foods like pasta and lean meats, along with the solid versions of the fruits and vegetables he already loves. These meals can be served with water or diluted fruit juice.

What's Next

Once your baby masters table foods, she's almost done advancing through the baby food stages. All that's left is for her to start on whole milk, which occurs when she's about a year old. When that's done, she's essentially eating the same foods as she will for the rest of her life, albeit in a much smaller and chewier form.

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