Here is a list of some of my favorite foods for 9-month-olds, plus links to recipes!
Nine months old is such a fun age with the journey to solids, particularly in regards to baby-led weaning. Your little one is just getting used to the idea of feeding him- or herself, and you start to see how much fun it is to introduce them to new flavors and textures. Plus, it’s before they get too much of a mind of their own about what they do or don’t want to eat – they’re just happy to be eating at all.
I’ve mentioned it in a couple of my other baby-led weaning related posts, but Raia didn’t even get her first tooth until after she was a year old. That didn’t stop us, though, from feeding her a whole slew of foods when she was completely toothless. It’s amazing how much a child can chew with just their gums 🙂
That being said, we were still keeping things fairly soft at this point. Here is a list of Raia’s top 5 favorite foods when she was around 9 months old:
#1 SAUTEED ZUCCHINI
Sauteed zucchini is still, to this day, one of Raia’s favorite foods. At this age, it’s best to cut the zucchini into spears before sautéing or roasting, so that it’s easy for your little one to pick up and feed themselves. Once he or she gets a little older and their manual dexterity improves, you can slice the zucchini into disks. You can learn more about preparing vegetables for your little one here, but some of my favorite seasonings for zucchini are dill, oregano, or (if you can find it) a salt-free garlic-herb seasoning [affiliate link].
#2 BAKED OATMEAL
Once your baby gets the hang of chewing (and isn’t gagging quite as much), it’s nice to work in some more easily handheld foods, so mama has less of a mess to clean up! Baked oatmeal was a great way for me to get Raia the oatmeal that she loved without the splattering of oatmeal all over her face, her chair, the floor, the dog…you get the idea. Baked oatmeal is also an easy way to sneak in some veggies. The first recipe I experimented with was this Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal, omitting the pecans. It is so good! Once Raia got a little older, I created my own recipe for Beet and Berry Baked Oatmeal (pictured at the top of this post), which you can find in my 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers e-cookbook. I’ve also made a savory baked oatmeal that’s a great twist on your traditional sweeter versions!
I found raspberries to be a great first fruit. They’re fairly soft, easy for (9-month-old) little hands to pick up, and I didn’t worry so much about Raia choking on them. They’re delicious served plain, of course, but you could also simmer them into a no-sugar-added compote that you can use to mix into chia pudding (see below), top oatmeal, spread over pancakes, etc. Just let them simmer on the stove with some water and any other flavorings you like (perhaps vanilla extract or orange or lemon zest) until they burst open and reduce down to a luscious sauce.
#4 THIN-SLICED GRILLED CHICKEN
Our little girl has always loved her meat…Maybe that’s why she’s off the charts in height and weight? I mean, I swear she was born with quad muscles. Needless to say, we found that thinly sliced grilled chicken was a great way to get some animal protein into her. It’s easy for the little ones to pick up, easy to bite into and easy to chew. We didn’t usually put too much seasoning on the chicken, but she didn’t seem to mind!
#5 CHIA PUDDING
Not going to lie – this one is messy – but Raia absolutely LOVED chia pudding at this age. If you’re willing to pick chia seeds out of your little one’s hair (and ears, and nose) for days to come, I urge you to give it a shot. Raia isn’t lactose-intolerant, but I still love experimenting with alternative milks when I’m cooking for her. One of my latest obsessions has been oat milk, so I developed this tasty Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote for her and she gobbled it down on multiple occasions. I love that you can prep everything the night before and simply pull it out of the refrigerator and serve the morning of. Try storing individual portions in Mason jars!
And I also want to hear from you! What were your child’s favorite foods at 9 months old? Let me know in the comments below!