Feeding Your Infant: Ages 9 to 12 Months

Is your baby pointing and grabbing for the food you are eating? Are you wondering if it is okay to share some of your meal? As children get close to one year old, they are getting ready to expand their tastes.

When your baby reaches 9-12 months, they may be ready to:

  • Use fingers to eat
  • Reach for a spoon
  • Hold a cup
  • Eat soft table food

Helpful Tips

To help your child get accustomed to eating table foods, remember the following:

  • When your baby is eating, have a quiet and calm atmosphere. Be patient and relax if meal time gets messy.
  • When you give your baby finger foods, be sure that the pieces are small and it is easy to chew, since most infants this age do not have molars.
  • Avoid foods that can cause choking.
  • Constantly supervise your baby when eating.
  • Give your baby healthy foods. Your baby has a small stomach, so it is easy for them to become full, especially on junk food.
  • Encourage your baby to drink water. Avoid giving your baby soda, fruit punch, and other sugary drinks, tea, or coffee.

Feeding Schedule: 9-12 Months

Food 9-10 Months 11-12 Months

Breast milk or iron-fortified formula

Note: Do not give cow's milk until age one.

  • 3-4 feedings or on demand
  • 24-32 ounces total per day
  • 3-4 feedings or on demand
  • 24-32 ounces total per day

Infant cereal

4-6 tablespoons

4-6 tablespoons

Infant juice (100% fruit juice)

4 ounces

4 ounces


6-8 tablespoons

8 tablespoons or ½ cup


6-8 tablespoons

8 tablespoons or ½ cup


4-6 tablespoons

8 tablespoons or 2 ounces or ½ cup

Suggestions When Using Solid Foods

Grain Products

  • Continue to give infant cereal until your baby is aged 12 months old. Small amounts of other types of food like fruit can be mixed in with the cereal.
  • For finger foods, give your baby dry cereal, crackers, or cooked macaroni.
  • Do not add sugar or syrups to your baby's food.


You can give your baby tender or finely chopped meat, but red meat should be limited. Other options include cooked egg, cheese, yogurt, or mashed beans.

Avoid giving your baby:

  • Fried meats, gravies, and sauces
  • Processed meats such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, bacon, and sausage

Fruits and Vegetables

Choose plain fruits and vegetables. You do not have to add any seasonings or sugar to your baby's food. When serving vegetables, cook them until they are soft and offer bite-sized pieces. Cut the fruit as well, and take out the seeds and pits.

Remember not to give your baby honey. It can contain botulism spores.


Serve liquids in a cup rather than a bottle. Your baby should still be drinking breast milk or iron fortified formula. Water is a healthy drink for your baby at this age. Do not give your baby cola, fruit punch, or other sugary drinks. Also avoid from giving your baby coffee and tea. Limit 100% fruit juice to less than 4 ounces daily.

Prevent Choking

Choking is a major cause of fatal injury in infants. It can occur anytime, anywhere.

Follow these guidelines to prevent choking:

  • Wait until your baby is ready before giving solid food.
  • Give small portions.
  • Encourage your baby to eat slowly.
  • Be aware of the atmosphere during mealtime. It should be calm and quiet.
  • Always be with your baby when during feedings. Supervise closely.
  • Avoid propping up your baby's bottle.
  • Check the hole in the bottle nipple. The hole should not be too large.
  • Feed your baby when your baby is interested in eating. Feeding when your baby is not interested may result in overeating and increase the risk of obesity. If your baby is moving around, crying, lying down, or playing, wait before offering food.
  • Make sure that the food you are giving your baby is the right size and shape. For example, the food should not be too large, too slippery, or too tough to chew.

Be aware of foods that can cause choking, such as:

  • Tough meat
  • Hard candy
  • Popcorn, nuts, or seeds
  • Hot dogs or sausages
  • Marshmallows
  • Potato chips, corn chips, and other types of chips
  • Large chunks of cheese
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Chewing gum
  • Raisins or other dried fruits
  • Fruit pieces that are hard or have pits
  • Whole fruits that are round, like grapes
  • Cherries, berries
  • Whole canned fruit
  • Raw vegetable pieces
  • Fish or meat with bones

Learn how to give CPR to babies.


Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians


Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society

Dietitians of Canada


NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Nutrition (pediatric preventive care). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 27, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Sample menu for an 8-12 month old. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: https://healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Sample-One-Day-Menu-for-an-8-to-12-Month-Old.aspx. Updated December 8, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Self-feeding. Vermont Department of Health website. Available at: http://healthvermont.gov/wic/food-feeding/months0-12/selffeeding.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2016.

Last reviewed March 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 3/2/2016