Stage 3 Baby Food Recipes (9-11 Months after Birth)

Training the child how to eat baby food as its main diet is the most important thing during stage 3. Breast milk or formula milk has become supplementary food by now. Therefore, while preparing baby food now, you should use various ingredients to let the child enjoy balanced diet as much as possible. To let the child have lots of opportunity to get used to chewing, stage 3 baby food at this stage should be prepared in soft cubes.

When should Stage 3 Baby Food Start? How much Food should be given?

Stage 3 baby food may start nine months after birth

Nine months after birth, breast milk or formula milk can no longer provide sufficient nutrition. Moreover, the child has also grown a few teeth and it's quite adept and interested in chewing food. The child will wiggle its mouth to feel its chewing of food. If it can finish two-thirds of a bowl of baby food, it has no problem proceeding to stage 3.

Baby food as main food, breast milk and formula milk as supplementary food

stage 3

In the past, breast milk and formula milk have been the main sources of nutrition for the child. Now, baby food has to be the main source of nutrition while breast milk and formula milk have become supplementary. When you increase the amount of baby food, the amount of breast milk should be reduced. However, the calories from fats still maintains at 40-50% of the total calories intake, so the child should still drink 700-800c.c. of breast milk or formula milk four or five times daily.

If baby progress has been slow, reducing the amount of formula milk and increasing baby food regardless of the child's condition after it turns one year old isn't advisable. Should you want to finish baby food one or two months after the child turns one year old, you've to adjust the amount of weaning food and milk powder accordingly.

Let child eat baby food three times daily at the same time when adults dine

During stage 3, you may coordinate the child's three meals with the adult’s dining time. Slightly increase the volume of baby food and every meal should be 120c.c and above, the equivalent of half a kid's bowl of food. Only let the child suckle one or two hours after finishing its baby food. This way, the child will be led to think that breast milk is a snack.

What should the Child Eat?

Grains, vegetables, eggs, fish, meat and fruits

If the child doesn't have any allergies or other health issues, apart from grains and vegetables, you may also give the child eggs, fish, meat and fruits which you've been cautious of previously. You may also feed the child with most of the natural food which adults eat. However, avoid oily fish or meat for the time being.

Every meal should consist of more than two nutrient groups

During stage 3, every baby food meal must contain nutrients from more than two nutrient groups. Generally, there are quality nutrients if you prepare baby food using two types of food whose colors are vastly different from each other. For example, tofu from the protein group and vegetables from the vitamins group which helps in the absorption of protein; iron-rich beef or vitamins C-rich potatoes. Combining them into a baby meal is a good idea.

Don't eat adult food directly

It's crucial to have balanced nutrition from the five major food groups of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. However, even if adult food is very mild-flavored, they've condiments added, so they're not suitable for children. Soaking the rice which adults eat in water or soup for the child is also not ideal. If you must feed your child with adult food, it's better to scoop up the child's portion before adding any condiments. Then process the food into something suitable for the child.

How should Eating be done?

Make rice, vegetables and fish into soft cubes

The child will also enjoy dishes and rice like the adults. The rice should be soft enough for the child to chew with its gums or front teeth. However, early feeding of rice which adults eat will cause indigestion in the child and its food intake will not increase. If children start eating rice too early, it's unlikely that they're able to smoothly adapt to eating meat and vegetables. It's better to give the child grainy porridge or soft rice after it's one year old.

Vegetables and fish should be cut into 0.5cm cubes and cooked until very soft. Finely chop vegetables which are rich in fiber. After cooking, the fish will expand in size and the meat will become tough. So cooked fish meat should be chopped up even more finely.

Let the child use a spoon to feed itself as much as possible

Try letting the child hold a spoon to eat baby food on its own. However, it may not be able to smoothly send food into its mouth, play with its spoon like a toy and even splatter food around. However, you've to put up with the splatter. Frequently taking over the feeding will rob the child of the opportunities to learn to feed its self. Even if the child makes a horrible mess of its food, refrain from feeding it. Be patient and insist on not taking over the feeding.

The reason for emphasizing on the usage of spoon is that the earlier the child knows how to use a spoon, the better it is. Firstly, the spoon-using child will have better eating habits and will not develop the bad habit of picking on its food than a milk-bottle-using child. Moreover, as the child has greater opportunity to exercise its fingers, there's more stimulation for the brain. Brain development is subsequently enhanced.

Don't include condiments in baby food before the age of one

Some mothers may think their children have good appetites and feed them with adult food washed in water. This is not advisable. Before the child is one year old, don't add salt, soya sauce or sugar into its food. This is something you must remember. Soya sauce is made from soya beans which may trigger allergies in the child. Moreover, foods that are too salty shouldn't be given to the child.

Tip: What the Child should Eat after One Year Old

Fresh milk

If the child drinks fresh milk before the age of one, it may trigger allergies, iron deficiency and infantile anemia. Fresh milk lacks iron and will prohibit the absorption of iron from other food. Moreover, fresh milk will also lead to stomach bloating, a loss of appetite and cause iron deficiency.


Eggs are very likely to give rise to allergies. Pediatricians recommend that children should only eat egg yolks eight months after birth and egg whites one year after birth. You must clean the eggshell and cook the whole egg thoroughly. There's a danger of food poisoning should the child eats half-cooked eggs.


Honey containsPasteurellaceae (a type of bacteria) which causes food poisoning. Hence, if honey is ingested, the bacteria will produce toxins in the intestines.Pasteurellaceae will only die when heated in a pressure cooker after 30 minutes. So you should avoid putting honey in baby food.

Allergy-triggering food

Clams, prawns, strawberries, tomatoes, chocolates (until two years old), peanut butter, peanuts (until three years old), flour, orange juices, lemons and corn are allergy-triggering food. If possible, only let the child eat these after it turns one year old. For children with allergies, these foods must not be eaten before one year old, especially peanut butter and peanuts. Avoid eating them until three years old.

Knowledge in a Box: Let the Child Snack after One Year Old

Snacks may be given during stage 3

The child may start requiring snacks during stage 3. As it's already having sufficient quality fats from breast milk or formula milk, it only needs small quantities of snacks such as cheese slices or a slice of toast. Snacks can be eaten in between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner.

Use various ingredients to make nutritious baby food

Having snacks is only to replenish insufficient calories and nutrition. You may make snacks using apples, vegetables, diary produce, potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn. Carbohydrates besides grains, such as meat and fish, may also be included.

Don't only drink milk during snack time

It's not advisable to let the child only drink a glass of milk during snack time. Besides three square meals a day and snacks, the child should also drink two or three glasses of milk daily. However, don't over drink. If you give the child too much milk, it wouldn't be able to eat much baby food. This will trigger anemia and constipation.

Give snacks which the child can chew on

To dispel the feeling of an empty stomach, give the child food it can chew on slowly. A glass of fruit juice or milk will stimulate intestinal activity instead and the child will often cry and want food as it doesn't feel satiated. It's better to let the child drink fruit juice or milk together with food that it can nibble on.

Snack two hours before meal time

Snacks should be eaten two hours before meal times so that the child will have enough time to digest the snacks before going on to eat baby food at meal times. If the child cries because it's hungry before meal times, you may pacify it with a slice of apple or two slices of biscuits. Let these snacks fill up its tummy so that it wouldn't be so empty. Don't let the child snack especially when it wakes up from a nap or before its bedtime. That's because it'll cause tooth decay, gastrointestinal problems and cause the child to develop the bad habit of picking on its food.

Eight Dishes Best for Stage 3

Use various ingredients and cooking methods to prepare baby food during stage 3. Don't include condiments and the food must be cooked until very soft for the child to chew with its gums.

Tofu Rice Cakes

Ingredients: 20g tofu, 10g carrot, 10g potato, 10g pumpkin, 1/3 egg yolk, 1/3 bowl of rice, 70c.c. breast milk or formula milk and 1 small spoonful oil

Cooking method:

1. Cook tofu in boiling water for about one minute. Drain and mash.

2. Wash carrot, potato and pumpkin and cook in boiling water until soft.

3. Mix #1, #2, rice and egg yolk in a bowl evenly.

4. Add breast milk or formula milk into mixture and blend until it has a consistency which can be fried.

5. Lightly oil the bottom of pan and use medium heat to fry patty until golden brown.

Chicken and Peas Porridge

Ingredients: 10g peas, 20g chicken meat, 10g white mushrooms, 80g white rice and 150c.c. water

Cooking method:

1. Wash peas and blanch in boiling water. Then drain.

2. Remove oil and tendons in chicken meat and finely mince.

3. Remove mushroom stalks and wash under running water. Then cut into cubes about 1cm.

4. Fry half of #2 till it's half-cooked. Then add sufficient rice and mix well.

5. Add peas into minced chicken rice and add sufficient water. Bring to a boil.

6. When porridge becomes soft, add mushrooms and bring to a boil.

Steamed Cake

Ingredients: 3 cups rice powder, 1 small spoonful of cocoa powder, 2 big spoonfuls of sugar and a little salt

Cooking method:

1. Grind rice powder finely and add some sugar and salt.

2. Divide 1/3 of flour and mix well with cocoa powder.

3. Slightly oil a heat-resistant container. Create a layer using half the rice powder and then with cocoa mixture. Then top with remaining rice powder.

4. Put a piece of wet cloth over steamer on medium heat, and then put in cake mixture when steam starts to rise.

5. Poke cake with a chopstick. If it comes out clean, this means the cake is cooked.

Dried Fish Soft Rice

Ingredients: 30g soaked rice, 20g dried fish, 10g small cucumber, 5g carrot, 5g onion, 10g nori, ¾ cup water and ½ small spoonful oil

Cooking method:

1. Cut dried fish into 0.5cm wide.

2. Cut small cucumber, carrot and onion into 0.5cm wide.

3. Add oil into pot and quickly fry onion, carrot and small cucumber. Include soaked rice and stir-fry again.

4. After ingredients are cooked, add dried fish and adequate water. Close pot lid and braise.

5. When it boils, switch to low heat and braise for a while more. Shred nori and mix evenly.

Clear Beef Soup and Noodles

Ingredients: 20g beef, 10g spinach, 10g carrot, 30g thin noodles, 200c.c. water, 1 big spoonful cornstarch

Cooking method:

1. Immerse beef in cold water to get rid of blood. Dry and cut into small pieces.

2. Cut spinach into sections and carrot into 1.5cm cubes. Cook noodles and set aside.

3. Pour adequate water into pot and bring to boil. Put beef into water and boil.

4. Put spinach and carrots into pot before adding noodles. Bring to a boil.

5. Thicken with cornstarch and stir evenly.

Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients: 40g beef, 10g onion, 10g carrot, 1 leaf of cabbage, 1/3 egg yolk, ½ big spoonful bread crumbs and ½ big spoonful of breast milk or formula milk

Cooking method:

1. Finely mince beef and onion.

2. Cut carrot into cubes of 1cm. Blanch leaf of cabbage.

3. Put beef, onion, carrot, egg yolk, bread crumbs and breast milk or formula milk into pot and mix evenly. Use as fillings later.

4. Use blanched cabbage leaf to wrap the fillings.

5. Add 100c.c. of water into an electric boiler and steam cabbage rolls until they're cooked.

Cheese and Potato Mash

Ingredients: ½ potato (medium), 2 big spoonfuls of breast milk and formula milk and 1/3 slice of cheese

Cooking method:

1. Wash potato and cut into cubes.

2. Cook potato until soft and mash.

3. Add breast milk or formula milk to mashed potato and mix well.

4. Cut cheese into width of 0.5cm.

5. Put cheese into potato and mix well.

6. Put potato mash into the child's favorite container and press into various cute shapes.

Deep-fried White Fish

Ingredients: 40g white fish meat, 100c.c. milk, 1 small spoonful cornstarch and a little bread crumbs

Batter 1/3 egg yolk, ½ small spoonful of flour, and 1 big spoonful breast milk or formula milk. Stir well into batter.

Cooking method:

1. Cut fish meat into strips of 1cm by 6cm.

2. Soak fish strips in 100c.c. of milk to get rid of fishy smell.

3. Coat fish strips evenly in cornstarch, batter and bread crumbs (following this order).

4. Heat oil until 170°C and deep fry fish strips until golden brown.

Those are the information and some recipes that you can use for stage 3 around 9 to 11 months after birth.

Sandra Henderson

Editor-in-chief at Babiology and a proud mother of four passionate about sharing pregnancy and baby growth knowledges

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