By 9 months old, most babies are able to and even comfortable eating more solid foods. So much so that they can have up to 3 solid meals every day. In addition to being able to eat solid foods, they can also, now, be fed more varieties of some foods than earlier. These means you can introduce more complex meals into your baby’s everyday diet.
While babies are able to eat a wide range of pulses from an earlier age, there are new fruits and vegetables that they can start eating at 9 months. During this period, your little one’s diet can include almost all veggies and fruits. Not only that but for all the non-vegetarians out there, you all can start introducing non-veg into your baby’s meal plans. At this stage, it will have to be limited to white meat, fish, and egg. Do keep in mind that this increased range of food does not mean that your little one can do without breastmilk or formula. It’s still an important part of a baby’s diet for all the nutrients that may be skipped out on during meals (they are picky eaters after all)!
Weekly meal plans could be something like this:
Start the day with breastmilk/formula, even before breakfast. Breakfast could include foods such as steamed idlis or dosa. Keep in mind that it’s better to give your baby the freedom to eat what they want and on their own if they show the initiative. Babies often eat only a little in one sitting. This is why they tend to get hungry faster and therefore require multiple meals throughout the day. In accordance with this, there will generally be a mid-morning meal consisting of breastmilk/formula. This mid-morning meal can also introduce soup to your baby. Then for lunch, you can try experimenting with different vegetables mixed in with khichdi. For an early evening snack, breast milk/formula again, but this time you can try accompanying it with some finger foods like fruit slices. Dinner can consist of rice dishes like pulao. Remember that your baby will need one more breast milk/formula feeding before bed.
Waking up goes hand in hand with an early morning formula/breast milk feeding. For breakfast, you could try some yummy pancakes. The mid-morning meal, along with formula/breast milk could consist of some cheese or cheese sticks. For lunch, you could try some rice with a vegetable curry. Evening snacks would include milk along with maybe some vegetable sticks. For dinner, in order to balance out the nutrition of the day, get your baby some roti with a different vegetable. Don’t forget the breastmilk/formula before bedtime!
Breast milk/formula in the morning. Shake things up for breakfast by serving some homemade porridge complete with some added fruit like banana. Breast milk/formula again! Lunch could be some yummy rice with fish/chicken curry. Remember that your baby can also have a wide variety of spices in small quantities, so don’t hesitate. Evening snack - breadsticks? Dinner could include some steamed dosa. Milk afterwards, either as formula or breast milk.
Wake up time means morning milk feeding. Breakfast can be some yummy buttered toast with some veggie mash or spread. Milk time after a while. Lunchtime could mean some lovely masala Pongal (don’t be stingy with the flavour). For an evening snack, you could see how your baby feels with vegetable soup or chicken stock. Dinner can be some lovely aloo or paneer paratha (makes me hungry, just thinking about it)! Milk before bed!
Of course, we start with milk. How do you feel about trying out some suji upma? Better to get the verdict now than when your little one is a toddler with a temper. Wait a while (about an hour) then go for the next formula/breast milk feeding. Lunch can be some good old fashioned curd rice with a side of boiled/mashed veggies. Evening snack - milk and some paneer cubes. Dinner can be a simple chapati with a vegetable dish. To ensure a night of sound sleep, breast milk/formula between dinner and bedtime.
Breastmilk/formula is the first order of the day. Why not start off the weekend with some scrambled eggs and toast? Mid-morning meals could include fruit slices along with the customary formula/breast milk. For lunch, why not try experimenting with some vegetable rice? If that doesn’t go down well, you can make up for it with some yummy veggie sticks with cheese and breast milk/formula. For dinner, play it safe with some fruit porridge (apple maybe?). Bedtime means milk time.
Start the day with some fresh milk or formula. For breakfast, go the healthy way with some ragi dosa. Fill her up with some breast milk/formula in the mid-morning. For Sunday lunch, why not go with some roti and chicken curry? Top it off with some yummy breadsticks with avocado spread along with the evening milk feeding. End the week with some yummy homemade pancakes or kheer for dinner. Always remember the last meal of the day - formula/breast milk. The perfect end to a perfect week.
A hack you might find useful is to try to keep it fresh every day. This doesn’t just refer to fresh fruits and veggies, it also refers to new things every day. This works to keep your baby from getting bored of any one food. Switching it up every day also helps your baby get exposed to different types of foods. This can help you identify the things your baby likes in order to plan out a balanced meal plan to have in place.