Needing Suggestions for Meal Plan for My 9 Month Old.

Updated on August 22, 2006
M.L. asks from Rock Hill, SC
18 answers

Hi!! I have a 9 month old little boy that loves to eat :) He is on the slender side, his weight being in the 50% while his height is in the 95%. My concern is about what kind of meals he should have during the day, how many bottles, what order they should come in, and how much I should be feeding him. His current meal plan is as follows:

7:30am ~ Wake up ~he has about 3oz of milk in sippy cup (not formula) with handful of cheerios and a biter biscuit

10:00am ~ about a cup of oatmeal with jar fruits mixed in and 2oz of juice
11:00am ~ nap

2:00pm ~ 8oz of formula

2pm-4pm ~ apple, plum or other fruit slices he scrapes bits off with his teeth, plus a little of anything I might be eating for lunch
4:00pm ~ nap

5:30pm ~ dinner: half jar of 3rd foods complete dinner (ex - spaghetti, chicken & veggies) half jar of 3rd foods fruit. 2oz of juice

6-8pm ~ a little of anything his father and I eat

8:30pm ~ 8oz bottle

9:00pm ~ bedtime

around 3am ~ 8oz bottle

I'm wondering if this is appropriate for him, and if anyone has any suggestions on how I could make his diet more complete. I want to be sure I am giving my son everything he needs to be healthy and happy. Any comments are much appreciated!!! :)

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So What Happened?

Just for everyone who is asking... a few months ago, Preston would not sleep through the night. He would wake about every 2 hours, and would scream if we didn't put him in the bed with us. I breastfed him till he was about 5 months old, and during this time, his night feedings would be in the bed with me. He became VERY used to this. We eventually got him sleeping in his crib all night, but he would wake up once. If I gave him a bottle, he'd eat it voraciously, then fall asleep, in his crib. So, when he wakes up during the night, I make him a bottle, so he'll fall back to sleep. If I don't, he'll keep us up all night. But, no, I do not wake him up. If we get lucky, and he sleeps all night, we ALL sleep all night :) :) :) Preston currently weighs 19lbs 2oz, and is 29 1/4 inches tall

P.S.~ Thank you all for the information and suggestions. I appreciate you taking the time to help us. This website is great!

Featured Answers



answers from Myrtle Beach on

Hi M..
I just wanted to tell you that it seems to me that you have Preston on a wonderful schedule and his eating habits sound great. I wish my one year old would eat like that. I would say that as long as he stays in the 50% for weight and doesn't seem like he is starving, I would continue on with what you are doing. And don't feel bad about the 3 am feeding. My son still wakes up at least once on most nights just to have a bottle and if I don't give it to him, then mommy isn't sleeping anymore! =)



answers from Spartanburg on

You might want to try more veggies. They have more nutrients to help in the growth process than fruit. the schedule sounds great, I would suggest for lunch doing squash, broccoli, and maybe greenbeans. But it seems like you are feeding him well and that he is on a good schedule.

More Answers



answers from Indianapolis on

First of all M., relax your meal plan is just fine. You are doing a great job!!!
However, if ya want to save yourself some money, then don't buy the jarred or canned baby foods. If you are having spaghetti for dinner, chop it up small enough for Preston, if you are having meat loaf or chicken, then cut it up and let him try it. Bottles usually are given every 2-4 hours.
You are doing fine, if he is happy and the doctor doesn't think he needs to eat more then keep allowing him to eat on the same schedule you have him on. It sounds like you have planned your day in a very organized way and as long as he is used to it then allow yourself to relax and enjoy being a mom, you are doing great!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from South Bend on

Hi M.,
I'm a new mom too so I don't know all the do's and don'ts but I thought I'd share some info that I got from our pediatrician when I bombarded him with feeding questions about my 8 month old. Most important he said we tend to over analyze what, how much, and when to feed our babies. But then he told me not to feed Marissa cow's milk until she's at least a year. That she never needs juice unless she is sick and dehydrated. He said otherwise juice has a lot of sugar and not much nutritional value. Marissa gets about a cup of oatmeal made with formula for breakfast, 1 to 2 jars of veggies plus 1/2 to 1 jar of fruit for lunch and dinner. I'm filling in the gaps with breastmilk - but if I weren't nursing I'd use formula. Marissa is in the 95% for height and 85% for weight and very, very active.
I hope this helps some,



answers from Louisville on

I have 2 kids one 2 1/2 and on 10 months old. Both eat like little chow hounds, but I've never been one to put them on a real strict schedule. They eat breakfast when they get up (cereal, poptarts, jar of babyfood, pancakes), then snack lightly until Lunch, then they have a snack between dinner. Usually the baby eats something light in the morning, a jar of food for lunch and dinner. Plus I give him the gerber puffs and fruit bites for snacks through out the day along with about 4-5 bottles. He usually takes the bottles at his discression. Plus he eats what ever we eat to finish filling his tummy. However, pretty much everything I have read (as well as heard from my pediatrician) says that you should not give them cows milk until they are one as it could cause liver problems. My 10 month old is very long and skinny to, but as long as he is eating it really isn't anything to worry about. If he isn't getting enough he will let you know.



answers from Charlotte on

I was referred to the book Super Baby Foods (it is available at the library also) and found it very helpful. It emphasizes making your own homemade babyfood and it is soooo easy to follow. My daughter is 8 months old and eats a great variety of foods. Vegetables and fruits that are not even offered in the jars. I have a section of my freezer designated to her food that I mass produced for easy selection. Though I recomend the book I do caution you to introducing nuts as the auther recomends.
Good luck,



answers from Charlotte on

It seems like you have received lots of good info. I would just second the suggestion to not give cow's milk until age one (and then give whole milk because they need the fat). I was wondering about the 3 am bottle. Are you waking him up because you are concerned he isn't getting enough during the day or is he waking? Maybe I have just been lucky, but I think he should be sleeping through the night without feeding. Talk to your Dr about that and see what they think.
Best of luck to you!



answers from Charlotte on

M. - my advice would be to check with your pediatrician for the proper dietary plan. If you go to your family doctor instead of a pediatrician, then check with him or her. That is absolutely the best thing so you get the proper MEDICAL advice for the needs of your son - every child is NOT the same in their dietary needs.



answers from Charlotte on

Hey there M.,
I believe what you are doing is great, if he likes it and if it works for you. I feed my son when he get up in the morning usually oatmeal and a fruit, jar or fresh, then a 6 oz bottle. If I have fruit around I will sometimes cut up a banana and give him some while I make his breakfast. Then at 10 or so, I give him an 8 oz bottle. Around 2 or so, I give him some puffs, if I have some avacodoes I'll cut that up and give it to him too. Then I give him a veggie. Then it's a 6 oz bottle. Then around 6 it's supper time. Again I give him fingers foods to eat while I make him supper. I'll give him a veggie and fruit, or meat and fruit. Then a 6 oz bottle. He sometimes eats everyting, sometimes he doesn't. I know he's ok, cuz his weight gain is good and the doctor said it sounded good. If he becomes hungry anytime between feedings, I will give him a snack. I like this schedule and I think he does too. But stick to something that feels right with you and for him.



answers from Charlotte on

Here are some good resources:

Age-by-age guide to feeding your baby and toddler
Reviewed by Nancy Showen, M.D.

Age: 8 to 10 months
Signs of readiness for solid and finger foods
• Same as 6 to 8 months, PLUS
• Picks up objects with thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp)
• Can transfer items from one hand to the other
• Puts everything in his mouth
• Moves jaw in a chewing motion

What to feed
• Breast milk or formula, PLUS
• Small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese (but no cows' milk until age 1)
• Iron-fortified cereals (rice, barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)
• Mashed fruits and vegetables (bananas, peaches, pears, avocados, cooked carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes)
• Finger foods (lightly toasted bagels, cut up; small pieces of ripe banana; well-cooked spiral pasta; teething crackers; low-sugar O-shaped cereal)
• Small amounts of protein (egg yolk, pureed meats and poultry; tofu; well-cooked and mashed beans with soft skins like lentils, split peas, pintos, black beans)
• Non-citrus juice (apple or pear) How much per day
• Ό to 1/3 cup dairy (or ½ oz. cheese)
• Ό to ½ cup iron-fortified cereal
• Ό to ½ cup fruit
• Ό to ½ cup vegetables
• 1/8 to Ό cup protein foods
• 3 to 4 oz. non-citrus juices

Feeding tip
• Introduce new foods one at a time, with at least three days in between to make sure your baby's not allergic.

By baby's first birthday, solid foods make up around fifty percent of her nutrition. Continue to feed most solid foods to your baby by spoon, since you are likely to get more food into baby's mouth than on the floor. Yet, if your baby is the "do it myself" type, finger foods may be the main fare by this time.

Here are some tips gleaned from the Sears, family-feeding experiences, as well as tips shared by patients in our pediatric practice.

Keep feeding times short. Remember, tiny babies still have tiny tummies. Small, frequent feedings are still the best. Also, give your baby small helpings. Most babies seldom take more than 1 or 2 tablespoons of a food at any one meal . Don't overwhelm baby with a whole pile of food on her plate. Begin with a small dollop and add more as baby wants more.

Give your baby a bone. Our babies have enjoyed a chicken leg bone with all the tiny bone slivers removed and a small amount of cooked meat remaining. Beginning around nine months, babies love to hold this bone like a rattle, gnaw on it, bang it, transfer it from hand to hand, teethe on it, and play with it. They even, occasionally, eat a little chicken.

Pressure tactics make feeding harder, not easier. Don't force-feed food, as this could create long-term unhealthy attitudes about eating. The parent's role is to select nutritious foods, prepare them well, and serve them creatively, matched to baby's individual capabilities and preferences. Baby's role is to eat the amount he wants at the time, according to his needs, moods, capabilities, and preferences. We have taught all of our children to swim, and we think of feeding similar to teaching swimming -- being neither over- protective nor over-restrictive. Allow a child to explore and experiment. Allow a certain amount of mess, but don't let it get out of control. Above all, teach your child that food is to be enjoyed.

Expect erratic feeding habits. There may be days when your baby eats solids six times, or she may refuse solids three days in a row and only want to breastfeed or take a bottle.

Understand that food fears are normal. To help your baby overcome these fears, take a bite of an unfamiliar food first and let your baby catch the spirit of your enjoyment. Expect baby to explore a new food before she eats it -- just like adults want to know what they're eating. One way to encourage the cautious feeder is to take a bite of the new food yourself. Then place some food on his index finger and guide his own fingerful of food into his mouth.

Gradually increase variety and texture. For the youngest eaters, fruits and vegetables should be strained. (If you wait until six months to start solids, you'll probably skip this stage.) As babies gain eating experience, they can advance to pureed foods, then foods that are finely minced. Most babies can begin to accept chopped foods by one year of age.

Settle the squirmer. Here is a toy trick that worked for one of our babies who would constantly windmill her arms during feeding. Use three plastic spoons – one spoon for each of her hands to occupy them and one for you to feed her. Also, try this toy trick. Put toys with suction cups on a highchair tray so she can play with them with her hands while you sneak food into her mouth. Sometimes when babies open their mouths to suck on toys, this primes them to open their mouths to receive food.

Use camouflage. Cover more nutritious, but less favorite foods with one of baby's favorites. We often place a thin layer of applesauce over the vegetables or meat. Get the applesauce (or other favorite) on baby's tongue first and then put a scoop of the more nutritious, but less liked food, on top of it.

Let baby eat off your plate. Sometimes babies just don't want to eat like a baby, neither baby food nor off baby plates. Around one year of age, babies enjoy sitting on parents' laps and picking food off their plate, especially mashed potatoes and cooked, soft vegetables. Or, put baby's food on your plate and trick the little gourmet into eating his own food.

Let baby enjoy the lap of luxury. If your child refuses to get in or stay in his high-chair, let him sit on your lap and eat off your plate. If baby begins messing with your food, place a few morsels of food on the table between baby and plate to direct his attention away from your dinner.

Overcome lip lock. To relax tight lips from refusing a feeding, back off and over-enjoy the food yourself. Model the excitement by replaying the old reliable "Mmmmmm goooood!" As your baby watches you open your mouth and savor the food, he may catch the spirit and relax his mouth and his attitude. Use one of your child's favorite foods as a teaser. As he opens his mouth for his favorite food, quickly follow with the food you wanted him to try.

Minimize the mess. Too much food on a baby's dish leads to two-fisted eating and major mess-making. Encourage neatness by scattering only a few morsels of finger foods on baby's tray at a time and refill as necessary.

Each new developing skill has its nutritional benefits and humorous nuisances. Baby's newly developing thumb and forefinger pincer grasp and finger pointing stimulates him to want to pick up tiny morsels of food and feed himself, yet it also creates an opportunity for more messes. Allow baby the luxury of messing around a bit with his newly-discovered utensils. Believe it or not, baby is actually learning from this mess, sort of like the conclusion that the author Ernest Hemmingway came to: "Oh, the joy of just messing around." While some food makes its way into the mouth, other pieces scatter. Food- flinging , dropping, and smearing is a usual mealtime antic parents can expect to deal with. To discourage flinging and give the food a fighting chance to make it into baby's mouth, put a few pieces of O-cereals, cooked carrots, pieces of rice cakes, and any other bite-size pieces of fruits and vegetables that baby likes on his plate. Then, refill as needed. Placing a whole pile of food in front of baby is inviting a mess. We have noticed that our babies are fascinated with a pile of cooked spaghetti placed within easy reach. The ability to pick up with the thumb and forefinger enables baby to pick up one strand at a time. Spaghetti-picking holds baby's mealtime attention longer than most foods. Expect food and utensils to become interesting objects to pick up, bang, drop, and fling, which is part of baby's natural desire to explore and find new uses for his hands.


Feeding Your 8- to 12-month-old
Wed Aug 9, 8:00 PM ET


By this age, breast milk or formula alone will probably no longer provide enough calories to meet your baby's nutritional needs. By her first birthday, she'll probably be eating a variety of foods, and will likely be joining the family at the table for three meals a day.

This is a good time to take a look at the quality of foods the family eats, as your baby will be sharing the same diet soon (if she doesn't already). Is it high in fat, sugar, and sodium? Is it rich in fresh fruits and vegetables? Is the bread whole grain? Try altering your own food choices so your baby will have the healthiest future possible.

By about 8 months old, most babies are pros at handling cereals and pureed vegetables and fruits. It may be time to step up to some new, coarser textures that require a little chewing. You can purchase "chunky" baby foods, or you can fork-mash, cut up, or grind your family's table food. Whatever you do, continue to give all new foods a trial run (a few days) to look for any allergic reactions.

You might persuade your baby to remain sitting a bit longer if you give her some finger foods to experiment with, or even provide her with a safe baby spoon to try. Putting small (pea-sized) pieces of cooked chicken and meat, chunks of banana, scrambled egg yolk, or strips of toast right on the highchair tray should help keep your baby interested in mealtime. Sit down and enjoy your meal with your child - try to make mealtime a fun social event.

Never leave your baby unattended while eating since she can easily choke, and never give round or hard foods that can get caught in her throat: grapes, hot dogs, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter, hard candies, chunks of carrots, and raisins are among the foods to be avoided. When in doubt, chop it up, or wait until your baby gets older.

Eight months is a good age to introduce your baby to a cup. Buy one with large handles and a lid (a "sippy cup"), and teach your baby how to maneuver and drink from it. (You might need to try a few different cups to find one that works for your child.) Use water at first to avoid messy clean-ups. Remember to limit the amount of juice your baby drinks to 8 total ounces a day - too much juice can fill a baby up, leaving little room for more nutritious foods. If your baby drinks from a bottle, do not let her sleep with it, as that can increase her risk of dental cavities and ear infections.

How Much Should My Baby Eat?
Some babies' appetites slow down around this age. This is normal - they are not growing as rapidly, and there seem to be so many more interesting things to do than eat. As long as your baby is still getting in some good breast-feeding or bottle-feeding each day (about 24 ounces is average) and is showing some curiosity about familiar foods and tasting new ones, don't be alarmed. Feed her right before family mealtimes, then give her some fun finger foods to play with while you eat. If you notice a significant weight change (gain or loss) or if your baby seems sluggish or listless, call your child's doctor.



answers from Indianapolis on

Sounds like he is getting plenty but I wouldn't give him milk yet, just formula. If you start babies on milk to young they can form allergies against milk and milk products. But if your doc is ok with his habbits, there is no reason to be concerned.



answers from Fort Wayne on

I think it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. I also have a 9 month old boy, and eating is an issue for us. He refuses his baby cereals, even with fruit mixed in, and won't eat any jar food either. He wants only grown up food. So I think it sounds like you're doing great. And you're lucky your son is taking naps. My baby wakes up as soon as I put him down, he only wants to sleep in mama's arms. Sigh.



answers from Charlotte on

Hi M.,
When my daughter's weight gain slowed a little, the doctor suggested cooking some of her foods with some butter and adding cheese to her foods. She already at cheddar cheese cut into small pieces and loved it. You might want to add some whole grain pasta and yogurt to his diet. Another thing that has been a big hit for us is whole milk yogurt. Oh, another thing is tofu, sliced into small bites. I think that a general rule of thumb for meals is: 2 fruit/vegetable, 1 meat or meat substitute (cheese, tofu, etc), 1 dairy PLUS milk/formula to drink. If you are interested, I've used the book, Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron as a guide. I make my daughter's food which is way simpler than it sounds---this book has a lot of good, practicle pointers about the baby's diet! It is fantastic that Preston is eating stuff from his parent's meals! It sounds like you are doing great!!



answers from Indianapolis on

At nine months, my son had already refused to eat any baby food at all. so we had to feed him what we were eating. we would give him cooked carrots, peas, green beans, any kind of beans that were soft enough, cooked potatoes, rice, mashed potatoes, and tiny pieces of meat. he refused to let us feed him, so we just put it all on his high chair tray and he feeds himself! we also give him little pineapple tidbits, pear and peach chunks, and bananas if he will eat them. about the only thing he will let us feed him is yogart. he does all the other by himself. for breakfast scrambled eggs and tiny pieces of toast are wonderful. snacks we give him organic cheese crackers or graham crackers. he still gets 4 to 5 four to six ounce bottles of formula per day.

after all of this food and the bottles each day, he is still very thin. the doctor said this is good, because he is not over weight. they just need lots of carbohydrates since they are so active.

i hope all of this helps you some.



answers from Raleigh on

Hi M. - I have a 9 month old daughter who enjoys eating as well:) She currently weighs 20 lbs and is 28 inches tall...

Her eating schedule seems large compared to your sons, but I thought I would share it with you. She is now crawling everywhere and her weight seems to have leveled out!

She wakes up around 7ish -- we usually have breakfast by 7:30

Breakfast - fruit(banana, nectarine, peach, etc.) cut up in small pieces that she feeds herself, oatmeal (usually we use 3TBSP of formula - I am not sure what that measures out to be once we add the oatmeal

between 9 and 10 -- 4 1/2oz bottle of formula

Lunch - 3rd foods meat with veggies (no more than half the jar usually), fruit that has been cut up that she feeds herself, and usually something else like some bread or a little bit of yogurt or extra veggies or baby fruit

between 3 and 4 -- 4 1/2oz bottle of formula

Dinner - Rice or Mixed cereal (measured same as before), fruit (same as before), and 3rd food veggies (I feed her as much as she will eat - I don't measure it out - sometimes it is the whole jar sometimes it is half, etc.

between 7 and 8 - 4 1/2 oz bottle of formula

We offer her juice at breakfast and dinner and water at lunch

I am no expert, but looking at his daily schedule - I would say if he would eat more during the day you might be able to do away with the night time feeding. I am sure you would love the sleep!

Hope this helps!



answers from Charleston on

Hi M. i would not give him milk until 12 months..As far as him waking up at 3am is he waking up or are you waking him up? You didn't say how much he weighted? What has your Dr. said about this? I hope this helps ..



answers from Davenport on

Hi, just reading your post, and I am by NO means an expert on nutrition or anything. My daughter is 12 months and we are having issues with trying to get her to eat more adult food. She still loves her baby food and is breastfed so our situation is a little different than yours. I'd say your best bet is to talk to your pediatrician and get a rough meal plan from her/him. There were just a few things I noticed with your post: not sure if there's an issue with the cow's milk, I know the AAP recommends waiting until they're 12 months for that. Is the oatmeal he's eating baby oatmeal? If I remember correctly, one serving is 1/4 cup- so you are feeding him 4 servings if you give him a whole cup. It looks like he eats plenty of fruit, the juice might not be necessary if you don't want to give him all that extra sugar. My daughter loves to drink water. I didn't see any veges listed, he should get 5 servings of fruit & veges a day which is 2.5 plastic cartons. Greens are very important. Looks like he's getting a variety of baby and adult food, which is great. That's our biggest struggle. My daughter prefers to throw her adult food on the floor and my husband and I don't always eat the healthiest foods ourselves. Their belly's are so small that they should only be eating the best- lean protein, fruit/veges and good carbs when they eat adult food. I have no idea if the 3 am bottle is still necessary at that age. My daughter still wakes up in the middle of the night for a quick sip but that's because I can't get her out of my bed. By 6-12 months I think most babies are sleeping through the night. But I haven't been following the rules on that one. Hope I helped. All-in-all I don't think there's an order you have to follow, he just needs good variety throughout the day of fruits and veges and lean protein. Looks like you're doing great on your schedule and he enjoys eating. Are you concerned about his weight? As long as he's gaining you shouldn't be worried. My daughter is over 30 inches and is not quite 20 lbs yet, your son just might be a tall slender kid which is fine. If you want him to gain more you could add healthy fats like baby yogurt and cheese.



answers from South Bend on

Dear M.,

First of all my name is K. and I am 30 years old and have a 20 month old daughter. She is my first. When Ashley was about the same age I noticed that she ate about the same basic stuff that you mentioned you were giving to your son. It seemed like she was eating all the time. I just wanted to tell you that in my own opinion you are doing great. From what you said it sounds to me like you are a great mom who is making sure that your son has all of his needs covered.
I think it's great!

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