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.

When my son was 6 month old I wanted to start him on solids. But he refused to eat any of the recommended food like rice cereal and other pureed food. He would not take the bottle either (since he was breast fed up to then). I was desperate and finally started feeding him Cheerios, little pieces of cheese and toast (untoasted). His gums are strong enough to jew those kind of food up. Plus, while I was feeding him I also put little pieces of food onto his tray and he eventually learned to pick it up and feed himself (as long as it's not slippery). After two month or so I stopped cooking special stuff for him altogether and just started feeding him whatever we where having.

I hope this helps. M.

He should be able to gum anything that is well cooked except meat (which babies that age don't need)- I can relate because, while my daughter did have two teeth, she wouldn't eat baby food so I had to come up with finger foods. She ate a lot of cheerios (good source of iron), well steamed veggies cut to bite size (I steamed frozen ones), avacado, tofu (uncooked and cut into cubes), well cooked pasta, anything soft. She also loved whole wheat frozen waffles.

As a mom of 4 I would feed him anything the family is eating that can be mashed up, except spicy foods. Just make sure that the pieces are small enough to go down if he doesn't manage to mash it up. As long as he doesn't choke, you can feed him almost anything and he should be old enoungh to set him in his highchair and give him some finger food. Viena sausages is a good starter meat.

S.:

by all means start giving your baby table food! He needs to start getting used to textures. Our daughter only had 2 teeth around this age, but would gum her food with gusto. Just make sure that the pieces are still somewhat soft. Be sure to steer clear of anything sharp that could cut the gums or hard and can't be smashed up in his mouth(just use common sense). Have fun!

First, follow his lead. If he is interested in food, then soft foods only if he isn't then keep on breastfeeding/or bottle/cup etc.. feeding. Some great foods would be avocado, banana, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas - all of these can be mashed up. Then hand him a spoon and let him have a go at it! www.askdrsears.com has some great ideas for what to feed your child at different stages.
Have fun!
M.

I am an OT who works with special needs children with feeding issues. With that said, don't be afraid to give your child more "normal" foods at this age. Start with soft foods with texture. ie. soft cooked chiken, soft fruits and vegies. Those new steaming bags in the store really help this be convenient. It is also time to start giving these foods on his tray so that he will start to use his hands/fingers to feed himself. Also a good time to start a sippy cup. Try using your hand over his and teach him to pick up the food. Also, put a couple pieces on the tray and give him some time to try it. Good Luck!

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.

i would follow your motherly intuition. Does he have gag reflex still? you may be able to give him bananas or any soft fruit cut up small. I use to steam squash,, green beans or what ever vegetable and cut them small and cook them long so hey were soft (but not too soft i wanted her to be able to pick it up herself) so my daughter could gum it. She would loved doing it herself. Also Anabele Karmel (http://www.annabelkarmel.com/)has a great cook book. most of the foods are pureed. oh yeah also firm tofu cut small. I would wait on giving him chicken unless it is pureed that could be hard to chew up w no teeth, Best of luck

When my daughter was 6 months, she started eating food right off the table. It was Thanksgiving evening when she and I flew to where my husband was. He had prepared a turkey, potatoes, veggies, salad, etc. and she ate it all, except for the salad. We just clipped off little peaces with our clean fingernails and she gummed it down without teeth. From that day on, she didn't touch any babyfood anymore as she wanted to eat what Mom and Dad ate. Try it, you might be amazed, just make sure the pieces are tiny, so your 9 months old son can't choke on them.

Good luck,
D.

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.

My son is 18 months old and just got his first teeth 2 months ago. Up until that point he had been eating every thing from chicken to pasta and no more baby food after he was a year old. If his gums feel hard and firm he can handle things like bananas and cheerios and even well done pasta. And he may gag at first, but it's part of the learning process for them, learning how to chew. I think it's totally fine to start introducing easy to chew stuff. My son's been eating everything for months and months without teeth and he's done fine because his gums are so hard.

Hello S.!
Both of my children got their first teeth very late, ( 17months & 19months! ). So I know exactly what you mean. I was expecting teeth around 6 months or so! You'll be surprised to know they both were chewing meat with no teeth! At 9 months I think it's safe to feed them the normal stuff, (crackers, mashed potatoes, mashed avocado, your bananas...etc.) because those little gums are tough and they produce so much slobber stuff seems to get broken down just fine. My kids were able to eat the same as any of their playdates that did have teeth. As with any baby, teeth or not, you'll have to keep an eye out for choking since they sometimes are in a rush to swallow...
All the Best,
M.

I would suggest that you begin giving your baby regular table food which is "mashable", having only a few lumps. You could increase the lumpiness of the food gradually as your baby learns to swallow larger pieces. I had one (out of 5) child who did not have teeth until 11 months of age and was eating lots of table food by that time.

Dear S.,

My advice would be to "make" all your food from fresh, whole foods for your son. As the months pass and he gets a few teeth, you can go from puree to slightly lumpy until he gets the hang of chewing his food. These months pass quickly, so relax and enjoy him and his gummy smile! Take lots of pix!!

G.
p.s. the later they get their teeth, the stronger they are!!

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!

Dear S.,

You don't say if he is chewing (gumming) the bites you give him. I kind of assume he is. I wouldn't worry about the no teeth issue too much. I was giving my babies corn on the cob and whole (peeled) pears at eight months (these were big favorites) and they only had two teeth (they would scrape them with those two little teeth, and just suck the lie out of them!). I would say if he is "chewing" the bites you're giving him, to continue the way you're going. I would give him soft things like ripe pear - without teeth in front to bite, keep giving him small, cut up bites - or maybe canned peaches - stuff like Cherrios is good, and my mother-in-law was a big believer in Zweiback (sp?) Toast. (I personally wasn't fond of the Zweiback or the other baby-type crackers - they are awfully messy, but the babies like them.) Put a few pieces of banana, Cheerios, or whatever in front of him - he'll get curious and start picking them up and playing with them and eventually put them in his mouth to "investigate" them.

Good luck!
Have fun!
B.

Use the Baby Safe Feeder (see www.onestepahead.com). Also keep in mind anything you can swallow just using your tongue is what your baby can eat... just try "gumming" it yourself.

For protein my ped. doctor recommended smashed avacado and smashed hard boiled egg (the yoke only). I also tried Gerbers fruit puffs because they were good for picking up, like Cheerios, but they almost instantly dissolved in the mouth, which is good if your baby doesn't have any teeth yet.

try small pieces of pasta - the salad macaroni or elbows. I also gave tofu, cooked vegetables, peas, bread, cereals (they get mushy in his mouth). I had a 9 month old who rejected purees and was very interested in self feeding, so it was pretty easy. She did gag alot (like once each meal) but she was not dissuaded from trying everything and would grab stuff off her sister's plate. It really depends on how frieked out you are by gagging and how ambitious your son will be about trying stuff.

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