Baby/Toddler Help Myself (9-12 Months)

On September 18, 2014 by Tricia

Somewhere in the 9 to 12 month range your babe will likely progress from a puree dabbler to an avid consumer eating up to two tablespoons of food per feeding. However, their eating habits may still look a bit erratic from day to day. Your baby may insist on eating five or six times in a day while on others they may refuse everything but the breast or bottle. While these are the more extreme ends of the spectrum, don’t feel discouraged. You and your baby are still learning to navigate this new territory together.

Don’t let frustration get the best of you both

As you continue to explore new blends and flavors of food, you may encounter some hesitancy with the new and unfamiliar. If this is the case, it is often reassuring for baby to see you try and enjoy this new food as well. Afterward you can put a bit of the food on their finger for them to try if they still seem skeptical. If it still doesn’t go over well the first time, feel free to try again later. It can take up to 15 times for a baby to accept a new food. You can also mix in foods you already know they love to introduce newer flavors and gradually reduce the amount of the familiar food to allow the newer taste to shine through. Squooshi Assorted 6 Pack

Make eating fun

With new skills developing, this can also be a fun time to let your baby attempt some self feeding with the aid of a reusable Squooshi pouch. These pouches are like the ones some brands of prepackaged baby food come in, only they have a zip-lock style seal on the bottom of the pouch allowing you to wash and refill it many times. Depending on the size, you can slip 2 – 4 ice cubes of baby food into the pouch, allow it to thaw in the fridge or in a hot water bath and you are all set.

The Squooshi pouches are also great for days on the go since you don’t even need a spoon. You may have to help your baby prevent accidental spills, though. While overall these pouches are great at keeping messes at bay, one intense squeeze of delight and there may be more in your baby’s lap than in his or her mouth.

Let them eat with their hands

Toddler self eating finger foodOnce your little one’s first birthday is near, they may be ready to try feeding themselves bits of finger foods. If you notice them using their forefinger and thumb to pick things up while playing, this comes in handy during meal times, too, so they can get little morsels to their mouths from the high chair tray. Small chunks of ripe peeled fruits, well cooked vegetables or pea sized chunks of chicken, ground beef, egg or other soft meats are all good choices at this age.

If you don’t feel your child is ready for finger foods, there is certainly no need to rush things. You know what is best for your baby and when they are ready. There is no rigid timeline you have to follow, so go with your intuition as you encourage your little one’s growing tastes and abilities.

Help Myself (9-12 months) Menus

As your baby grows and begins to notice the seasons changing all around you can allow them to experience the different tastes that come with these changes too!

More questions or ready to move on to the next stage?

To see what we’ve covered in the series already and what’s ahead check the links below!

12 Comments

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  1. This is a great post and the food looks tasty enough for us, adults. Keep up the great work.
    with bebe love,
    Bebe Oh La La

  2. Just curious as to why the recipes above do not match up with the printouts. I have made 9 out of 15 recipes so far and just realized they are not what I originally thought I was making. LOL. Everything is tasting great, but I really do wish all the printouts matched the above list. This is soooo much work and I thank you for putting everything together.

    1. Nicole –
      The links to the recipes on the main menu post are to the original recipe links. When you download the recipe cards, that is where you will get the OAMM freezing directions. Does that make sense?

  3. Where are the recent menus? Nothing since 2013 and nothing at all for “Happy, Healthy Handhelds (12-18 months)”…I just signed up and am now regretting purchasing the membership!

    1. Hi Emily, welcome! Our baby menus ended in 2012 but there is one for each age range in each season and are still accessible. We are now updating some of the resources as well as adding some information. The Happy Healthy Handhelds update should be available in a week or two but the menus for that age range are available here- http://onceamonthmeals.com/men…. If you are looking for the recent other menus, you can see everything here- http://onceamonthmeals.com/men…. Hope that helps!

  4. Will you be having the toddler gluten free dairy free up soon? My LO can’t have dairy and I was looking for this mainly.

  5. I still cant seem to find the link to any of the menus on this page. Everytime I click on the links for the different menus i just get in to this site.. 🙁 i would like the link for spring menus

    1. Hi there! You’ll need to be logged into an OAMM account to access the menu options. Once you log in, come back to this page and you will see options for spring, summer, fall and winter.

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