Between 9 and 12 months of age, the list of baby-safe ingredients expands with the texture changing to allow for even more freedom, compared to stage 2!
That said, if you are anything like me – a curious mom in the kitchen experimenting with food combinations, you might need a bit of inspiration to learn how to combine the ingredients to make well-rounded, filling and healthy meals.
Let’s talk more about age-appropriate foods for babies. Plus, just between you and me, I’ll share my favorite stage 3 baby food recipes with you, as fellow moms!
Stage 3 baby food is a thicker and more textured food appropriate for babies above nine months. It also serves to prepare babies for table food and support healthy development.
Babies older than nine months can eat textured food, and you don’t have to focus only on purees as you did in stage 2.
Here are the healthiest and yummiest stage 3 foods (according to my own experience) to mix and match in soft foods for toddlers. Of course, you can slowly transition to finger foods for baby food recipes 12-18 months later on. 
- Soft beans
- Lean meats
- English peas
- Rolled oats
- Green beans
- Bite-size pasta
The 3rd stage baby food is often considered a transition stage.
Babies older than nine months develop motoric capabilities to feed themself,  and you can aid the process by offering suitable food. I loved stage 3 because you can start serving the same thing to the baby and the rest of the family!
Babies in stage 3 baby food age can chew small chunks of food, so you don’t have to puree everything. For example, cut small bites of the food, such as potato or carrot into three-eighths of an inch, and leave smaller foods, such as peas, in their original form to prevent choking.
As the baby grows, encourage self-feeding and serve the food that is easy to pick with the baby’s little hands.
Here are the best 9 month old baby food ideas and recipes for toddlers.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 egg
The procedure is very simple – blend egg with ripe banana to get a pancake batter. Cook for a couple of minutes as you would cook normal pancakes, and serve!
You can switch bananas with sweet potatoes, pumpkin and spinach. A drizzle of maple syrup will do the trick to elevate the dish for any sweet tooth out there!
- 1-pound bite-size pasta
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups peas
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- olive oil, lemon juice
Cook pasta, drain it and mix it with frozen peas. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, sunflower seeds, spinach and parmesan cheese in a food processor and process until smooth. Mix with noodles and peas then serve!
One thing to keep in mind though, is that peas are one of the many baby foods that cause gas, so this recipe shouldn’t be served on a habitual basis!
- 1 peach
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Pinch of cinnamon
Peel the peach and mix it with coconut rice in the blender. Process until you get the desired texture, mushy baby food for 9-months old, and chunky for older babies. Mix with cooked rice and add a pinch of cinnamon for a beautiful smell and taste!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 apple
If you are looking for a baby food recipe 9 months age, use apples and rolled oats to prepare a delicious meal.
Simply cook the oats with a mixture of milk, water and cinnamon on medium heat. Let the mixture simmer for five minutes and mix in peeled and sliced apples. Let it cool and serve with optional toppings, such as crushed almonds and cinnamon!
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
- 1 onion
- 1 cup alphabet pasta
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Olive oil, salt
Cut vegetables and chicken into small chunks. Brown the meat on medium heat on olive oil, add vegetables and stir. Let it cook until vegetables get soft. Add water and chicken broth, bring to a boil and add pasta.
Cook for seven or eight minutes. Turn off the heat and put in the peas, and let it cook for an additional minute or two.
- 10-ounce macaroni pasta
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 grated cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon bread crumbs
Prepare pasta according to the instructions. Then, cook cauliflower in a saucepan on medium heat for five to seven minutes. Blend it until you get a smooth texture, and mix it with the rest of the ingredients in a baking pan.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Bake in the oven for ten to 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 1 full boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup vegetable broth
This is one of my favorite baby foods recipes for 1 year old, because it includes superfoods, tastes delicious and is easy to make.
Bake chicken breasts in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it gets brown and crispy. Cook green beans and process them in the food processor with avocado and vegetable broth. I love the GROWNSY baby food maker for blending as you can also use the same device to steam veggies. How cool is that?
If your baby has been eating whole baby foods, cut the chicken into small pieces and serve. If not, blend the pieces of chicken with the rest of the ingredients in the food processor.
- 3 ripe pears
- 5 dates
- 1 orange
If you don’t have too much time for homemade baby food recipes for 1 year old, use ripe pears and dates! Peel and chop pears and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Take pits from dates, and pre-soak them in hot water for ten minutes.
Drain dates and mix them with orange juice in the blender. Process until smooth and add roasted pears. Blend for ten seconds to get a chunky texture, then boom – there you go with an excellent 9 month old food idea.
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 1 mango
- 1 avocado
- Water/breast milk
This is one of the easiest 9 or 10 month old baby food recipes. Chop and peel avocado and mango, blend it with blueberries in a food processor and add water, breast milk or formula to thin the structure.
- 5 medium-size carrots
- 1/2 cup star pasta
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander
- 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
If you cannot get toddler to eat veggies, try the carrot pasta recipe. Cook carrots in boiling water for seven minutes, and transfer them to a blender.
Cook pasta in the same water following the instructions on the box. Add orange zest and coriander to the carrots in the blender and process them. Drain the pasta and mix it with carrots!
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
- 4 cup of vegetable stock
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
Use organic ingredients if you prefer organic baby food stage 3 for this recipe. Brown sliced carrots, onion and crushed garlic in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin at this point.
Pre-soak lentils overnight, and add them to the pan with almond milk and water. Bring everything to a simmer and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes until lentils are soft. Use a hand mixer to get the desired consistency.
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
Gently mix all ingredients together and shape a turkey or beef meatloaf out of it. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour until the meatloaf is brown and fully cooked.
One good thing I love about this protein-packed recipe is that you can refrigerate leftovers in your freezer and simply defrost to re-bake it in the oven!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated broccoli
- 10 eggs
- ½ teaspoon of cumin, turmeric, pepper
Grate cooked or steamed broccoli or chop it into small pieces. Mix it with egg, cheese and quinoa and pour into a 24-piece muffin pan. Add a pinch of spices for the taste and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- 2 cup chopped sweet potato
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 110 g cod fillet
- 1/2 can of sweet corn
- Thyme (optional)
For this and similar baby food recipes 11 months of age, use cod with no spices. Do the same for other baby fish recipes. Boil the potato for 10 minutes until you get a tender texture.
To prepare cod, sear it in milk and thyme for eight to ten minutes. Add it to boiled sweet potatoes with sweet corn. Blend with a hand mixer to make the consistency you want.
- 100 g boneless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup sliced butternut squash
- 1/2 chopped carrot
- 1/2 onion
- 1/5 cup brown rice
- 1/5 cup lentils
- Sage (optional)
Cook rice and lentils in boiling water for 30 minutes. Chop veggies and saute them in the pan for ten minutes. Add lentils and rice, water, sage and close the lid, lower the heat and stir the mixture every couple of minutes until vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked.
Use a fork to mash the puree.
- 1 peach
- 1/2 cup of raspberries
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon of chia seed
- 1/2 cup soy milk
Rather than stopping at Walmart to get gerber stage 3 foods, you can make delicious quick treats for your toddler.
Peel and chop peach, and blend it with cooked oats, chia seeds, and soy milk. Process in a blender to smooth the texture out, and add a couple of raspberries to the mixture for a sweet and savory taste.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
If you only have five minutes to prepare the food for your little one, make chia pudding. Mash the banana with a fork and add milk.
Then, slowly incorporate chia seeds and stir well to make sure the seeds aren’t lumped together. Add more milk if the consistency is too thick and let the pudding sit for a couple of minutes.
- 6 cups presoaked black beans
- 1 onion
- 1 potato
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups rice
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Add black beans, sliced onion and potato, tomato juice, stock and spice to the slow cooker. Let it cook the ingredients overnight on a low setting. Once it is done, use a hand mixer to smooth the texture. Stir in cooked rice with puree and serve!
- 1/2 onion
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup tomatoes
- 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
Rinse the rice, chop onion, butternut squash, tomato and grate cheese. Saute onion on medium heat, and add butternut squash. Put the rice in, stir well and add water. Bring to a boil, let it simmer for 12 minutes and lower the heat.
Saute tomato in the second pan, blend it with grated cheese and coat the rice with it!
When you get creative in the kitchen with stage 3 baby food recipes, you may occasionally come up with unique flavor combinations your child will love. Most of the time, you’ll want to use fresh ingredients, which are packed with more beneficial nutrients than jar food.
In fact, Cleveland Clinic suggests that jar food goes under strict safety checks unlike the food you prepare at home.
There is nothing wrong with serving jar food to your baby. Mixing it with baby food you’ve made ensures balance and exposure to different flavors. You can try my stage 3 baby food recipes for dinner time or during the weekend when you have time for cooking, and serve jar food when you’re in a hurry.
To sum up, here are several reasons why you should prepare your own stage 3 baby food:
- You get to use quality-assured fresh ingredients
- You can prepare meals that are less processed which keep the nutrient value higher
- You have better control of the ingredients, their quality, freshness, ripeness – all of which affect the flavors
- You can explore different flavor combinations to boost the vitamin or calorie intake and even specifically make baby foods that help with constipation or similar catered issue
- You get to cook baby food and finger foods at home which is cheaper
Check the following section to sort everything out about the most common dilemma and questions about stage 3 baby food!
Stage 3 is important to help the baby discover different flavors and develop abilities to feed independently.
You may process the ingredients in a food processor, but the texture doesn’t have to be as smooth as in some previous phases such as stage 2 and 1 baby food puree recipes. Small, chewable chunks are okay in a stage 3 puree.
Some parents gradually thicken the purees they serve to the baby, so the baby can get used to food chunks and slowly adapt to eating the food that adults eat.
However, if you’re just getting started with the stage 3 milestone, it is recommended that you start by serving soft foods that have been cooked longer to prevent choking! 
Stage 3 begins from nine months of age and may last three or more months. This is something closely tied to the answer of when to start stage 3 baby food.
Most commonly, 7-month old babies aren’t suitable to eat chunks like the older ones. If you have any concerns about the type and size of the baby food, you can talk with your pediatrician as doing so will ensure a peace of mind.
Yes, they are. In fact, finger foods are a great way to encourage babies to eat by themself, and you can introduce finger food before ten months.
Once the baby reaches ten months, he or she should start eating three full meals every day, in addition to milk feeds.
In certain cases where your baby is spitting out food instead of eating them, you may want to consider the possibilities of underlying issues such as teething, poor digestive systems and even medical related issues.
Always consult a pediatrician should you have any troubling concerns.
Learning is a joy and I cannot decide between raspberries oatmeal with chicken and butternut squash combo! I hope you can!
Did you enjoy my recipes?
You can, too, share with us your favorite recipe for babies between 9 and 12 months in the comment section or on Pinterest @babyjourney0183! It can serve as an additional inspiration to other parents!