Is your baby pointing and grabbing for the food you are eating? Are you wondering if it is okay to share some of your meal? As children get close to one year old, they are getting ready to expand their tastes.
When your baby reaches 9-12 months, they may be ready to: Use fingers to eatReach for a spoonHold a cupEat soft table food
To help your child get accustomed to eating table foods, remember the following:
When your baby is eating, have a quiet and calm atmosphere. Be patient and relax if meal time gets messy.When you give your baby finger foods, be sure that the pieces are small and it is easy to chew, since most infants this age do not have molars.Avoid foods that can cause choking.Constantly supervise your baby when eating.Give your baby healthy foods. Your baby has a small stomach, so it is easy for them to become full, especially on junk food.Encourage your baby to drink water. Avoid giving your baby soda, fruit punch, and other sugary drinks, tea, or coffee.
|Food||9-10 Months||11-12 Months|
or iron-fortified formula
Do not give cow's milk until age one.
| 3-4 feedings or on demand24-32 ounces total per day|| 3-4 feedings or on demand24-32 ounces total per day|
Infant juice (100% fruit juice)
8 tablespoons or ½ cup
8 tablespoons or ½ cup
8 tablespoons or 2 ounces or ½ cup
Continue to give infant cereal until your baby is aged 12 months old. Small amounts of other types of food like fruit can be mixed in with the cereal.For finger foods, give your baby dry cereal, crackers, or cooked macaroni.Do not add sugar or syrups to your baby's food.
You can give your baby tender or finely chopped meat, but red meat should be limited. Other options include cooked egg, cheese, yogurt, or mashed beans.
Avoid giving your baby: Fried meats, gravies, and saucesProcessed meats such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, bacon, and sausage
Choose plain fruits and vegetables. You do not have to add any seasonings or sugar to your baby's food. When serving vegetables, cook them until they are soft and offer bite-sized pieces. Cut the fruit as well, and take out the seeds and pits.
Remember not to give your baby honey. It can contain botulism spores.
Serve liquids in a cup rather than a bottle. Your baby should still be drinking breast milk or iron fortified formula. Water is a healthy drink for your baby at this age. Do not give your baby cola, fruit punch, or other sugary drinks. Also avoid from giving your baby coffee and tea. Limit 100% fruit juice to less than 4 ounces daily.
Choking is a major cause of fatal injury in infants. It can occur anytime, anywhere.
Follow these guidelines to prevent choking: Wait until your baby is ready before giving solid food.Give small portions.Encourage your baby to eat slowly.Be aware of the atmosphere during mealtime. It should be calm and quiet.Always be with your baby when during feedings. Supervise closely. Avoid propping up your baby's bottle.Check the hole in the bottle nipple. The hole should not be too large.Feed your baby when your baby is interested in eating. Feeding when your baby is not interested may result in overeating and increase the risk of obesity. If your baby is moving around, crying, lying down, or playing, wait before offering food.Make sure that the food you are giving your baby is the right size and shape. For example, the food should not be too large, too slippery, or too tough to chew.
Be aware of foods that can cause choking, such as: Tough meatHard candyPopcorn, nuts, or seedsHot dogs or sausagesMarshmallowsPotato chips, corn chips, and other types of chipsLarge chunks of cheeseWhole kernel cornChewing gumRaisins or other dried fruitsFruit pieces that are hard or have pitsWhole fruits that are round, like grapesCherries, berriesWhole canned fruitRaw vegetable piecesFish or meat with bones
Learn how to give
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed March 2, 2016.
Nutrition (pediatric preventive care). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 27, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2016.
Sample menu for an 8-12 month old. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: https://healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Sample-One-Day-Menu-for-an-8-to-12-Month-Old.aspx. Updated December 8, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.
Self-feeding. Vermont Department of Health website. Available at: http://healthvermont.gov/wic/food-feeding/months0-12/selffeeding.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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