In the past month Arya has become more interested in eating the same food as her parents.
She used to be content with eating her own baby food or formula while we ate our meal. Now she wants to eat whatever we are eating.
That leaves me concerned about the answer to: what foods can babies eat at 9 months?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (the organization for pediatricians across the United States) notes that nine-month old babies can eat almost all foods that adults can eat. The AAP used to caution against giving 9-month old babies foods that are likely to cause allergies such as peanuts, eggs, wheat, or fish. Now the AAP only cautions against potential allergens if there is a family history or other reason to believe that a baby would be particularly susceptible.
Parents should still avoid giving nine-month old babies honey or cow milk. Honey can cause a fatal illness called infant botulism. Cow milk is not appropriate for babies under one-year old.
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture provides a detailed pamphlet [pdf in new window] with additional recommendations. UK suggests that parents avoid small, hard pieces of food like nuts, seeds, grapes, raw vegetables, popcorn, or hot dogs. Such food presents a choking hazard to nine-month old babies even if they have both their top and bottom front teeth.
Otherwise nine-month old babies can eat the same foods as the rest of the family. Pediatricians caution against seasoning food for babies and suggest setting aside a baby’s portion of the family meal before using salt, pepper, or spices.
The American Dietetic Association produces a detailed food guide which includes meal planning and food recommendations for feeding nine-month old babies and the rest of the family. But since 9-month old babies can eat almost all the same foods as adults, it has been much easier for us to simply feed Arya an unseasoned version of whatever food we are eating.
Not only is it much easier to give baby the same food that we eat, but Arya loves to eat the same food as us. She gets excited whenever she sees us eating and she always crawls over to make sure we remember to give her some as well.