There’s no doubt that your once all milk-fed baby will eventually start taking an interest in solid foods and you may be wondering what are the best baby foods for 9 months and older. In this post (the third in this series), we’re going to look at this stage (stage 2) and the best foods for your growing (in appetite) baby.
What is Stage 2?
From the time of conception, your baby will move through a variety of “stages.” In fact, these so-called stages will actually follow them throughout their entire lives. Depending on your age, you’re considered to be in a certain age, too, even as an adult.
But when it comes to your baby, there are also stages for foods and eating. Stage 2 has been labeled and identified for babies that are ready for food that is a bit more solid and also combined. The biggest difference between stage 1 and 2 is the texture.
If you have started your baby on pureed solids before this stage, then they are most likely familiar with the tastes introduced to them. However, as they get older, they will need practice with how the texture of foods change. Smashed bananas tastes the same as pureed but the feel of it is will be new to them.
When should you start Stage 2 baby foods?
I always recommend that parents pay attention to their baby’s cues and respond accordingly. For example, if your baby doesn’t show allergic reactions, does well with the chewing motion and swallowing, as well as finishes food and shows an interest in wanting more, they may be ready for Stage 2 foods.
This is the perfect time to diversify in the foods you choose in both texture and taste. And while this is the focus, continue to stay clear from choking hazard foods such as popcorn, nuts and seeds, whole berries, and other large chunks of foods. It is also advised to continue waiting to give your baby fruit juices and honey until they are at least 1 year of age or older (that’s just a stage away!).
Best baby Foods for Stage 2 (9-12 months)
As your child gets closer and closer to depending less on breastmilk and/or formula, you’ll still want to ensure they keep a well-balanced diet. At this stage, you can safely stick with purees as you introduce finely mashed solids. It’s also important to continue feeding with breastmilk or formula.
Chances are foods from the fruit food group are some of the first ones your baby has tried. As they move into more solids, here are some fruit to add to his or her meal plan:
These are often soem of the last foods introduced because most babies show a dislike for the taste of them. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t introduce the flavors to them. Below are a few vegetables for your Stage 2 baby to eat:
- Sweet potatoes
- (Smashed) hummus
- Green Beans
Meat & Poultry
Believe it or not, your little eater is ready for meat and poultry; however, it’s best to know where it is sourced from and how it is cooked. Some parents prefer not to give their babies processed meats like lunchmeat and instead purchase their meat and prepare it themselves. The foods you can start feeding your baby from this category are:
When it comes to serving the meat you can choose to serve it on the bone, made into meatballs, ground, shredded, or pureed.
Most parents don’t think to include a variety of spices when making their baby’s food, but you can! Your baby can begin enjoying a variety of herbs and spices, like the ones listed below:
When preparing your baby’s food, start with a simple dash so it doesn’t overpower the food. Build on different flavors and take note of what your baby likes and dislikes.
At this stage, your baby has already met a lot of milestones. From developing the reflexes for eating solid foods to experimenting with the options you’ve given them, they are well on their way to becoming full solid food eaters. Congrats! Be sure to check out all of the posts in this series (Intro to baby food, Stage 1) as your guide for the ins and outs of introducing your baby to solids and making your baby’s first foods.