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? When children get close to one year old, they are getting ready to expand their tastes.

When your baby reaches 9-12 months, he may be ready to:

    
  • Use his fingers to eat
  • Reach for a spoon
  • Hold a cup
  • Eat soft table food
  • Helpful Tips

    To help your child get accustomed to eating table foods, remember the following:

        
  • When your baby is eating, have a quiet and calm atmosphere.
  • When you give your baby table food, be sure that it is easy for him to chew. Avoid foods that can cause choking.
  • Constantly supervise your baby when he is eating.
  • Give your baby healthy foods. Your baby has a small stomach, so it is easy for him to become full on junk food.
  • Encourage your baby to drink water. Avoid giving your baby soda, fruit punch, and other sugary drinks, tea, or coffee.
  • Feeding Schedule: 9-12 Months

    The South Dakota Department of Public Health offers these guidelines:

    Food9-10 Months11-12 Months

    Breast milk or iron-fortified formula

    Note: Do not give cow's milk until age one.

        
  • 3-4 feedings or on demand
  • 24-32 ounces total per day
  •     
  • 3-4 feedings or on demand
  • 24-32 ounces total per day
  • Infant cereal

    4-6 tablespoons

    4-6 tablespoons

    Infant juice (100% fruit juice)

    4 ounces

    4 ounces

    Fruits

    6-8 tablespoons

    8 tablespoons or ½ cup

    Vegetables

    6-8 tablespoons

    8 tablespoons or ½ cup

    Meat

    4-6 tablespoons

    8 tablespoons or 2 ounces or ½ cup

    Suggestions When Using Solid Foods

    Grain Products

        
  • Continue to give infant cereal until your baby is aged 12 months old. Small amounts of other types of food can be mixed in with the cereal.
  • For finger foods, give your baby soft, cooked food that is cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Do not add sugar or syrups to your baby's food.
  • Meat

    You can give your baby pureed meat or finely chopped meat. Other options include cooked egg, cheese, yogurt, or mashed beans. Avoid giving your baby:

        
  • Fried meats, gravies, and sauces
  • Processed meats (eg, hot dogs, luncheon meats, bacon, sausage)
  • Fruits and Vegetables

    Choose plain fruits and vegetables. You do not have to add any seasonings or sugar to your baby's food. When serving veggies, cook them until they are soft and offer bite-sized pieces. Cut the fruit, as well, and take out the seeds and pits.

    Remember, too, not to give your baby honey. It can contain botulism spores.

    Liquids

    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.

    Prevent Choking

    Choking is a major cause of fatal injury in infants. It can occur anytime, anywhere.

    The South Dakota Department of Public Health offers these guidelines to prevent choking:

        
  • Wait until your baby is ready before giving him 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 he eats. Keep a close watch on him.
  • 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 he is interested in eating. If your baby is moving around, crying, lying down, or playing, wait before giving him food.
  • Make sure that the food you are giving your baby is the right size and shape for him. 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 meat
  • Hard candy
  • Popcorn, nuts, or seeds
  • Hot dogs or sausages
  • Marshmallows
  • Potato chips, corn chips, and other types of chips
  • Large chunks of cheese
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Chewing gum
  • Raisins or other dried fruits
  • Fruit pieces that are hard or have pits
  • Whole fruits that are round, like grapes
  • Cherries, berries
  • Whole canned fruit
  • Raw vegetable pieces
  • Fish or meat with bones
  • Learn how to give CPR to babies.