What should you feed a 10 month old baby? How about food for a 9 month old baby? Is there anything specific or special that you need to know? A specific 9 or 10 month old baby food menu you should follow?
The best foods for 9 and 10 month olds
When it comes down to it, the specific food that you offer is nowhere near as important as the texture of the food you offer. By 9 or 10 months, babies need to be on textured foods and not just purees. If you are following a baby led weaning style feeding method, or even a combination style, then this is not something that you need to worry about.
But if you are following a more traditional weaning method and feeding your baby pureed foods, then this is something that is of vital importance! Research has shown ( ref 1, ref 2 ) that babies who aren’t exposed to different textures of food beyond purees by 9 or 10 months tend to have more feeding issues as they grow. From increased picky eating behaviors to aversions to textures later on, there can easily be issues that result if your baby is not exposed to textures during a certain window of time.
Purees are foods that are generally best to introduce and move on from within a few days or weeks at most, not something to stick with as your child progresses in their eating skills.
Food ideas for a 10 month old (or a 9 month old!)
Now that we’ve gotten the texture discussion out of the way, just what exactly should you be feeding your child? Whether they are 6 months or 9 months old, the goal is always going to be to have them eating as close to what you are as possible. Because one of the best ways that they can learn how to eat is to watch how you do it!
But with that said, often times we need to modify food for babies in one way or another, whether it’s for safe textures or to help them meet their nutritional needs.
Important nutrients for 9 and 10 month old babies
It can be hard to figure out just what to put on your 9 or 10 month old’s plate. Many resources out there emphasize the importance of veggies in those first few months, but from a nutritional standpoint they are actually at the bottom of the list!
In the early months of eating all the way through a year, the most important nutrient to focus on by far is iron. Iron is essential for proper development, and is one of the first nutrients that your baby can deplete. Iron stores are really one of the reasons that we recommend starting complementary foods when we do. It’s best to focus most of your effort on serving at least one iron-rich food at every eating opportunity for your baby.
Beyond iron, focus on high-calorie foods and fruits and veg. I recommend having 2-3 items on each plate, and getting in all 3 of these categories at all meals whenever possible.
Safe finger foods for 10 month old babies
By 9 and 10 months old, even if you haven’t started with baby led weaning, babies are developmentally capable of eating finger foods. You just want to make sure you are focusing on a few things to keep them safe.
At this age, babies still need foods that are soft and smooshable. You want to be able to squish them easily between your thumb and forefinger. As your baby progresses in their eating skills, you will be able to make the food slightly more al dente, but it is important not to serve chunks of things like raw vegetables to your baby as they are choking hazards.
Once your baby has developed the pincer grasp (picking things up with their thumb and forefinger) then switch from bigger finger-sized sticks to smaller bite-sized pieces. The general rule of thumb for these is cut them less than ½ an inch big. It is still safe to serve things in bigger pieces, especially things like bread. We want them to still be practicing their bite and chew movements! But as they become more adept at eating, many babies will become impatient at having to bite things off and they will just want to get the food in their mouth.
10 month old baby food menu
Many parents want more help than just knowing the three categories, and want some more ideas about exactly what to serve. If you are in that camp, make sure you check out the Baby & Me meal plan. It’s a 2 week meal plan designed for everyone from newly eating 6 month olds all the way up to adults.
The meal plan includes easy meal ideas for all meals of the day, as well as specific descriptions and pictures of exactly how you can adapt each meal to the specific age group of your child. It’s a way for you to figure out exactly how to serve many common foods to your baby, while at the same time getting in nutrient dense meals for the whole family.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, the most important things to remember are that eating similar food as your child whenever you can is one of the best things you can do. Making sure you aren’t serving purees beyond a couple days or weeks at most before introducing more advanced textures is vitally important. And ensuring that you are focusing on iron-rich foods, high-calorie foods, and fruits or veggies at each meal is the best way to build a plate and help your baby get all the nutrients that they need.
Get the Baby & Me meal plan!
A meal plan designed specifically for families with babies and toddlers, it guides you through two weeks of meals for the whole family. With photos that show you exactly how to serve each meal to every member of the family, and meals that have been optimized for all ages, it will help you get meals on the table with a lot less stress!