Healthy Foods and Meal Ideas for Your 9- to 12-Month-Old

9-12 Months

Providing healthy baby food is a never-ending job, so we’ve put together two meal plan cheat sheets to help. Note that these plans include general serving sizes. Every child is different, and even the same child will eat different amounts from meal to meal and day to day. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, and don’t worry too much about sticking to the exact amounts listed below.

The following baby meal plans assume that your child’s meal pattern is established, and that he has been exposed to each of these foods individually (without any allergic reactions). 

Around 9 months: Just starting finger foods

A meal plan including baby finger foods may look like this:

Wake Up: Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula

Breakfast:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified infant cereal (mixed with just a little liquid)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup mashed or “stage 2” fruit
  • A few sips of water from an open cup (with help) or from a sippy or straw cup

Snack: Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula

Lunch:

  • 1/4 cup diced beans (cooked or canned) or egg (scrambled or hard-boiled)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced, cooked veggies, like peas or carrots
  • 1/4 cup whole grains like brown rice or 1/4 slice dry whole-wheat toast
  • A few sips of water from an open cup (with help) or from a sippy or straw cup

Snack:

  • Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula
  • 1/4 cup iron-fortified toasted oats cereal
  • 1/4 cup fruit or veggie

Dinner:

  • 1/4 cup ground or shredded meat, like chicken, beef or tofu
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced, cooked veggies, like sweet potato or broccoli
  • 1/4 cup whole grains, like small noodles or torn soft tortilla
  • 1/4 cup fruit, like diced banana, mango or canned peaches (packed in water or 100 percent fruit juice, not syrup)
  • A few sips of water from an open cup (with help) or from a sippy or straw cup

Bedtime: Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula

10 to 12 months: Eating the family meal

A meal plan including foods from family meals may look like this:

Wake Up: Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula

Breakfast:

  • 1/2­­­ to 1 plain whole-wheat waffle or piece of toast; or 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced fruit, like banana
  • A few sips of water from an open cup (with help) or from a sippy or straw cup

Snack:

  • Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula or water
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt or cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup fruit, like diced, canned peaches (packed in water or 100 percent fruit juice, not syrup) or halved blueberries

Lunch:

  • Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula
  • Leftovers, or the family meal, consisting of a protein, veggie and whole grain. For example, spaghetti with green beans:
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup whole-wheat pasta, lightly sauced (look for no-salt-added tomato sauce)
    • 1/4 cup ground meat or poultry
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cut green beans

Snack:

  • 1/4 cup fruit or veggies, like frozen, thawed peas
  • 1 to 4 crackers (look for lower sodium/salt); or 2 to 4 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • A few sips of water from an open cup (with help) or from a sippy or straw cup

Dinner:

  • The family meal, consisting of a protein, veggie, fruit and whole grain. For example, if your family is eating tacos:
    • 1/4 to 1/2 whole-wheat tortilla, torn into pieces
    • 1/4 cup ground meat
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup diced avocado or corn
    • 1/4 cup canned fruit
  • Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula

Bedtime: Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula or water