27 answers

Food Choices for 9 Month Old Without Teeth :)

Hi everyone,
My 9 month old son doesn't have teeth, and most of the books I read say to start giving them "anything" at this age, but without teeth should I just stick with the pureed, smoother baby food? I make most baby food anyway, but just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about that or any resources. He isn't really picking small pieces of food up yet, so I try small bites of something I give it to him by hand (like pieces of banana). Any thoughts? Thank you!!

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Featured Answers

Hi S.,
My friend's baby was the same way. They would feed him small pieces of cheese, pasta dishes made for babies, baby cereal like cheerios, baby crackers. They will chew on the food even though they do not have teeth. The food eventually gets soggy and breaks apart in their mouths so they can swallow.
Give it a try.
J.

S., My 9 month old daughter is also barely getting her bottom teeth. I have been giving her bananna and well cooked pasta. She also really enjoys Gerber fruit puffs, and the zweiback toast. It gets soggie and is easy for them to hold and dissolve by themselves.
I also give her frozen eggo waffles and she loves them. I put them on her tray and that is how she learned to pick up foods with her fingers, now she will pick-up anything you put in front of her. This is also a great time to introduce sip cups at mealtime. Try some things out and you will find what works!

I fund really good Feeding information in the book "Super Baby Food" they guide you month by month and have lots of tips and recepies.

More Answers

Hi S.,
Believe it or not, babies do not necessarily need teeth to chew. We use our molars to chew but babies don't even get molars until after they turn one and they are well into solids. My ped always said, as long as it is no bigger than a cheerio it is OK and they will use their gums to chew it down. My 11 month old son has been eating finger foods since about 8 months nad he chews with his gums. He has front teeth but doesn't really use them for chewing.
I started both my kids with Kix cereal - it melts really quick but give them the experience of it. Steamed or boiled fruit diced up really small, peas and small chunks of baked potato (no skin) worked well for me in the early stages. Graduates puffs are a quick and easy snack to help them learn the hand motion as well.
Good luck!

You'd be surprised what they can chew with just gums!

I often chop up carrots, broccoli, or apples and steam them in the microwave until they're soft enough for little gums.

But as everyone else is gonna tell you, follow his lead. Some kids like pureed food, some don't. Mine was an "I'll do it myself" finger-food fan from the first time I gave her solids.

Hi. My girls didn't get any teeth until 11 1/2 and 13 1/2 months. They have very strong gums so they can eat anything as long as it is cut into small pieces.... I don't remember them picking up food at 9 months, it seems to me like it was closer to a year.

You could try one of those things that the baby holds- has a mesh bag that encloses a soft piece of food/fruit... and they just chew on it and mash it up. I've had friends that cheerios- or the like- still works for

You'd be amazed at what a toothless kid can gum to bits... And what they don't "chew" completely, they will simply swallow and pass throughlike we pass corn and tomato seeds and other indigestibles (as long as it's not big enough to block their airway and you're watching them like a hawk!). I would give my daughter peas that were out of their shells and soft, noodles, big fat carrot sticks (big enough that she wouldn't gag and I watched to make sure she didn't break off a piece), strips of toast, strawberries, pieces of grapes, cut up raisins, green beans (raw or cooked- keep an eye on them), chunks of pears (ripe ones disintegrate easily), celery sticks, rice, potatoes, strips of bell peppers (my DD would suck on it until the fleshy part was easy to swallow), itty bitty chunks of meat, shredded cheese, anything that's either soft or cut up small or durable enough not to break off pieces. Lots of cereals work too, like rice chex, cheerios, rice krispies, special K, honeycombs, gerber puffs, zwieback toast, arrowroot cookies, oatmeal, anything that gets soggy in milk.

Oh, tofu is a great one too... there's so much you can give them, you just have to think outside the box and be nutritiously creative.

Think of stuff you don't like and always got teased for not liking... start them on liking it early! As long as it's healthy, of course.

Don't let the "no teeth" thing get in the way of feeding him. Gums are extremely strong (as strong as teeth) and can break up all the food (think of old people). If you keep giving him soft food - you'll end up with problems down the road. Turns out children that aren't introduced textures early on - will reject them later and you will have a bigger problem later with a very picky toddler with texture issues. My son didn't have any teeth for a long time - I was afraid to give him "food" but once I started ..he did great!

What I did, was I started making his baby food chunkier, not huge chuncks, but just enough for him to begin to learn that some food requires him to smoosh it in his mouth with his gums. As my son started exploring the new texture it encouraged him to start picking up food and eating it. He realized that if was fun and not to mention yummy. I wouldn't start with pieces of banana just yet because they are so slippery it may frustrate him when he can't pick them up. I started with these vege bit things they sell at the grocery store from gerber. They are in the shape of stars and come in all flavors, they dissolve really easily in the mouth so there isn't a chocking hazard if it take him a while to learn to gum his food. And as always....just be patient, your child will let you know when he is ready. :)

Hi S.,
As long as the pieces of food are not a choking hazard, he'll probably be okay because he's salivating enough to where the food will dissolve in his mouth. Babys can gum those little breadsticks to death. (My son loved those things and he chewed on it for what seemed like an hour.)
Also, you can find those food "nets" at baby stores to put adult food in. The handle looks like a ring and you put the food in the net and twist it onto the ring. I've put fruit, steak, and other yummy stuff in there, and the baby just sucks on the flavor! (They'll be getting more than just flavor though because the net acts like a sieve.)
Hope this helps, and if you're not sure, double check with your baby's pediatrician.
Mom from Westminster, CA,
A.

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