Eat: Baby and Toddler Meal Ideas – 9 to 12 Months (‘Stage 3’ Foods)

Eat: Baby and Toddler Meal Ideas – 9 to 12 Months (‘Stage 3’ Foods)

Tired of Purees, but Not Quite Ready for Big Kid Meals?

Once your baby is around 9 or 10 months old, she should be ready for what commercial manufacturers and retailers refer to as ‘Stage 3’ baby foods. These foods have more texture and small chunks to encourage chewing. At around 11 or 12 months, your little one should have been introduced to everything that older members of the family eat (aside from honey) more or less, but in the meantime, feel free stick to those that have already been introduced and just start making the meals with more texture.


This is the final stepping stone to eating regular table foods, as we do.
Here are some foods that she should have been introduced to in the last while (or now can be), in addition to ‘first foods’. While this doesn’t list every single option available, it does give you a really solid starting point!


  • Dairy: Cottage Cheese, Yogurt, Colby, Jack, Swiss and Cheddar Cheeses, Sour Cream, Cream cheese
  • Grains/Seeds: ALL (Barley, Buckwheat, Flax, Kamut, Millet, Oats, Pasta, Quinoa, Rice, Wheat, Wheat Germ, Sesame, Spelt)
  • Fruits/Vegetables: Apples, Acorn Squash, Artichokes, Asparagus Avocado, Apricots, Bananas, Blueberries, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Eggplant, Fennel, Figs, Grapes, Kiwi, Leeks, Mushrooms, Mangoes, Nectarines, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Papaya, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Prunes, Pumpkin, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini
  • Proteins: Beef, Pork, Chicken, Whole Egg, Natural Ham, All Fish,Tofu, and Turkey.

*Please remember to introduce only one new food at a time and wait a couple of days before introducing another. It is also important to familiarize yourself with foods high in allergens and keep in mind family allergies, so that you can be extra cautious!
If you haven’t already, start to incorporate some herbs and spices into foods as well, to help in developing a varied palate. It’s a good idea so as to avoid a 4-year-old refusing to eat an omelette because she can see a “speck” of pepper in it.

Meal ideas for Older Babies and Toddlers


  • Eggs, with cheddar and steamed red peppers, scrambled with breast milk or formula.
  • Oatmeal cooked with apples, prunes, and cinnamon.
  • Cottage cheese with pureed pineapple and steamed, diced peaches.
  • Mini oatmeal or bran muffins made with shredded apple, and dates, blueberries, or dried cherries.
  • Yogurt mixed with ground kiwi, flax, and baby cereal.
  • Wholegrain waffles are perfect for little hands!


  • Ground chicken, quinoa, and steamed apple dice, mixed with a little blueberry yogurt.
  • Lentils, carrots and green beans with home-made chicken broth to smooth out.
  • Beef and barley soup, thickened with mashed sweet potatoes (to consistency easy for toddlers to spoon up).
  • Vegetable pasta alphabets in roasted tomato and vegetable sauce.
  • Cream of potato and fennel soup, thickened with rice to desired consistency.
  • Grilled chicken tenders (shreds or bite size pieces) with sweet potato string fries and asparagus.


  • Beef stew pulsed in food processor to desired consistency.
  • Chicken sausage with cheddar and potato perogies (finely diced) held together with green pea puree/mash.
  • Butternut squash risotto.
  • Whole grain pasta shells with flaked ham in a broccoli/cream sauce.
  • Ground beef, corn, mushroom and &  sweet potato ‘shepherd’s pie mash-up’ (can replace beef with barley cooked in beef broth).
  • Flaked white fish, with carrots, peas and mashed potatoes.

 Stay tuned to the blog later this week, for some inventive snack ideas…and LIVE WELL!