Food – For Children Nine to Twelve Months Old

From 9 to 12 months, your baby will be able to mash food very well with their gums and teeth. Food should be chopped, grated, diced or served in small pieces.

At this age your baby will show more independence when being fed and may refuse to be fed by you, insisting they feed themselves. While messy, it is important for your baby to explore food and practise feeding themselves to encourage hand-to-mouth coordination.

Finger foods may now be introduced as coordination improves, and your baby can sit up without support and begin to chew. Some finger foods include finger sandwiches, soft crusts, rusks, cooked pasta spirals, cooked potato pieces, toast fingers, baked beans (no added salt) and peeled banana.

Be aware that babies should always be watched when eating finger foods in case of choking.

Aim to offer three meals and snacks in addition to breast milk or infant formula each day. Continued breast feeding until 12 months is important for good nutrition. Weaning from the bottle to a baby cup can begin at around nine months.

New foods to introduce:

  • Cow’s milk – can gradually be introduced to mix with cereals and use in cooking. Cow’s milk should not be used as a drink until after 12 months.
  • Eggs –cooked boiled egg, egg custard or scrambled egg
  • Cheese – full cream varieties, grated or finger food size
  • Cereals and grains – rice, pasta, wholemeal cereals and breads, pikelets
  • Spreads – margarine, avocado or smooth peanut butter can be spread thinly on bread and toast
  • Fruit and vegetables – continue to increase variety and texture to soft cut-up with skins and seeds removed.