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? When children get close to one year old, they are getting ready to expand their tastes.

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

  • Use his fingers to eat
  • Reach for a spoon
  • Hold a cup
  • Eat 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.
  • When you give your baby table food, be sure that it is easy for him to chew.
  • Constantly supervise your baby when he is eating.
  • Give your baby healthy foods. Your baby has a small stomach, so it is easy for him to become full on junk food.
  • Avoid giving your baby soda, fruit punch and other sugary drinks, tea, or coffee.

Feeding Schedule: 9-12 Months

The South Dakota Department of Public Health offers these guidelines:

Food9-10 Months11-12 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


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 can be mixed in with the cereal.
  • For finger foods, try giving your baby crackers, dry cereal, and bread.
  • Do not add sugar or syrups to your baby's food.


You can give your baby pureed meat or finely chopped meat. Other options include cooked egg, cheese, yogurt, or mashed beans. Avoid giving your baby:

  • Fried meats, gravies, and sauces
  • Processed meats (eg, hot dogs, luncheon meats, bacon, 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 veggies, cook them until they are soft and offer bite-sized pieces. Cut the fruit, as well, and take out the seeds and pits.

Remember, too, not to give your baby honey. It can contain ]]>botulism]]> spores.


Serve liquids in a cup rather than a bottle. Do not give your baby cola, fruit punch, or other sugary drinks. Also avoid from giving your baby coffee and tea.

Prevent Choking

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

The South Dakota Department of Public Health offers these guidelines to prevent choking:

  • Wait until your baby is ready before giving him 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 he eats. Keep a close watch on him.
  • 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 he is interested in eating. If your baby is moving around, crying, lying down, or playing, wait before giving him food.
  • Make sure that the food you are giving your baby is the right size and shape for him. 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
  • Uncooked 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

In case of emergency, learn how to give ]]>CPR]]> to babies.

Bottles and Storage

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in a many products, including plastic containers or bottles (with recycling number 7), as well as canned goods. While BPA's effects in humans is still being studied, some experts recommend that you limit your baby's exposure to this chemical. To learn more, read the article ]]>BPA Raising Concerns]]>.