Resources for New Moms

Finger Feeding


My baby feeds himself now. I don't want to make more than one meal a night. Can he eat the same foods as the family at 9 months?



Yes! Many meals can be adapted so baby can eat it too.



Actually, many meals can be adapted so baby can eat it too.

A few changes can make your meal one your baby can also enjoy. For example, your little one can have some of the zucchini youre making for dinner if you cook that portion just a bit longer until its soft. Cut it into pieces that are small enough for the baby to pick up and eat. Pieces of ripe banana, well-cooked pasta, and small pieces of chicken are other good choices. 

By the time your baby is 9 months old, they should be able to feed themself with their fingers. Let your baby self-feed as much as possible. 

Before giving your baby food, try a bite first and ask yourself: 

  • Does it melt in the mouth? Some dry cereals and crackers that are light and flaky will melt in the mouth. 
  • Is it cooked enough so that it mushes easily? Well-cooked veggies and fruits will mush easily, as will canned fruit and vegetables (choose ones without added sugar or salt). 
  • Is it naturally soft? Cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and small pieces of tofu are good examples. 
  • Can it be gummed? Pieces of ripe banana and well-cooked pasta can be chewed with gums. 
  • Is it small enough? Food should be cut into small pieces. The sizes will vary depending on the food’s texture. A piece of chicken, for instance, needs to be smaller than a piece of watermelon, which a baby can quickly mash with her gums. 

Always watch baby while she eats, to ensure the food is going down right.  

Here are some foods that are choking hazards: 

  • Pieces of raw vegetables or hard fruits. 
  • Whole grapes, berries, cherry or grape tomatoes (instead, peel and slice or cut in quarters). 
  • Raisins and other dried fruit. 
  • Peanuts, nuts, and seeds. 
  • Peanut butter and other nut or seed butters. 
  • Whole hot dogs and kiddie sausages (peel and cut these into very small pieces). 
  • Untoasted bread, especially white bread that sticks together. 
  • Chunks of cheese or meat. 
  • Candy (hard candy, jelly beans, gummies, chewing gum). 
  • Popcorn, pretzels, corn chips, and other snack foods. 
  • Marshmallows.