What to feed baby for lunch

Baby Meal Plan: 6 to 9 Month Old

What should you know about feeding your 6- to 9-month-old?
  • Learn about how to introduce solid foods to your baby

  • Know that what foods you introduce now help influence baby’s preferences in the future

  • Explore menus that help you understand the transition from purees to soft solids

Starting solid foods is an exciting time for you and your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend introducing solid foods around 6 months of age.1, 2  Check out our signs of readiness article and speak with your baby’s pediatrician to help determine when your little one is ready to start solids.  

While starting solids, you will continue to provide most of the essential nutrition and hydration your baby needs from breast milk or formula, while also exposing your baby to a new world of diverse flavors and nutrients. In fact, this is one of the most influential periods in your baby’s taste development. 3, 4 Your baby will most readily try and accept all kinds of foods at this age so it’s important to offer a variety of different flavors from meal to meal.

There are two meal plans below: One for starting solids with purees, and one for when your little one starts to advance textures. Both have snack and recipe ideas to help you get started. They also have plenty of flavor variety to help maximize your baby’s taste

Read more: Learning to Love Healthy Foods

Pro tips for 6- to 9-month-old baby meal plans:

Eating solids at this age is mostly about letting your baby explore new flavors and textures. Breast milk or formula will remain your baby’s primary nutrition source during their first year, so continue to give breast milk and/or formula just as you were before starting solids. Your little one will begin to reduce how much formula or breastmilk they take as they get closer to 1 year.5, 6, 7  

For breastfed babies, introduction of solids at 6 months helps your little one get enough of certain nutrients. For example, at 6 months stored iron begins to diminish. Since breast milk is not a good source of iron, including some iron-rich foods, such as fortified cereals and pureed meats, will help your little one get enough.8 For more information, chat with baby’s health care provider for their recommendations.

For more information on the nutrient needs of your older baby, check out: Nutrients to Look for at 6-12 Months

How much should I feed my baby?

At around 6 months old, you can start by offering 1 to 2 tablespoons of food once or twice per day. Once your little one gets the hang of eating and shows more interest, slowly begin offering foods 2 to 3 times per day and ¼ to ½ cup at a time.9, 10

Remember to listen to your baby’s hunger and fullness cues throughout their feeding journey, rather than go by specific portions. Your little may take more or less each day; by responding to their feeding cues you’ll be providing them with just what they need.11

It’s important to advance texture once your baby is comfortable. Start with thin, pureed foods, thickening them a bit as baby gets used to eating. Next, move to lumpy, mashed foods; followed by finely chopped, soft foods.12

Read more: Introducing Solids: First Foods & Textures

Introduce one single-ingredient new food at a time

Allow for 2 to 3 days before introducing another new food to make sure your baby is not allergic or intolerant to these foods. Foods most often associated with allergies are eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and seeds, wheat, fish, shellfish, and cow’s milk (drinking cow’s milk is not recommended before 12 months, but milk can be used in small amounts in baked or cooked foods, and baby can also eat yogurt and cheese as long as there is no allergy or intolerance).13

Read more: Introducing Major Food Allergens to your Infant

By 9 months of age, your baby should be eating foods from all food groups and be able to handle small, soft pieces of finger foods. Pay attention to your baby’s cues, have fun, and let your baby set the pace while offering your baby healthy foods that contain important nutrients to set the standard for healthy eating patterns.

Baby doesn’t like a food? Try, try again!

Your baby may grimace, wrinkle their nose, or make other faces when they try new foods and textures. Know that this is completely normal and doesn’t mean your little one dislikes the food or is being picky. Babies may need to taste a food up to 10 or more times before they start to accept it, so just keep offering (though not forcing) that food.14

Remember, starting solids is mostly about introducing a variety of flavors and textures – and keeping it fun and stress-free!

If you have questions about introducing solids or advancing textures, reach out to our team of registered dietitians for free! They are here to help on our free live chat from Monday through Friday, from 8am–6pm ET. Chat now!

Around 6-month old meal plan: First foods and purees


  • Option 1: Whole Ancient Grain Baby Cereal

  • Option 2: Mashed avocado

  • Option 3: Avocado and Pea Puree

  • Option 4: Apple and acorn squash mash (pureed apples and squash mixed)

  • Option 5: Pureed peaches or soft cooked pears


  • Option 1: Root Vegetable Puree

  • Option 2: Unsweetened whole milk yogurt

  • Option 3: Avocado and Pea Puree

  • Option 4: Pureed apples

  • Option 5: Quinoa cereal


  • Option 1: Mashed “Banacado” (banana and avocado mashed together)

  • Option 2: Baby Muesli with Peach Yogurt

  • Option 3: Tropical medley (mashed papaya and mango)

  • Option 4: Garden veggie and fruit combo (mix mashed/pureed apples, spinach and peas)

  • Option 5: Beet and Cantaloupe Puree

7-9 months-old-menu: Advancing Textures


  • Option 1: Unsweetened yogurt with mashed peaches

  • Option 2: Oatmeal cereal

  • Option 3: Whole grain waffle strips

  • Option 4: Orange Sunny Soup

  • Option 5: Soft scrambled egg


  • Option 1: Soft cooked whole grain pasta with olive oil and parmesan cheese

  • Option 2: Slivers of turkey with peas

  • Option 3: Unsweetened applesauce and shredded or cubed cheese

  • Option 4: Chickpea and Carrot Spread

  • Option 5: Cottage Cheese with Cinnamon and Diced Strawberries


  • Option 1: Soft cooked slivers of chicken, with steamed carrots

  • Option 2: Ginger Carrot & Sweet Potato Mash + Lean Beef

  • Option 3: Small chunks of low mercury fish, like cod

  • Option 4: Soft steamed chunks of broccoli or green beans

  • Option 5: Lumpy, mashed kidney or black beans

Let's Chat!

We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond.

Our Happy Baby Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitians certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too, which means they’ve been there and seen that. They’re here to help on our free, live chat platform Monday - Friday 8am-6pm (ET). Chat Now!

Read more about the experts that help write our content!

For more on this topic, check out the following articles and recipes:

Starting Solids: Purees versus Baby Led Weaning

Starting Solids: Baby Led Weaning

The Division of Responsibility: Helping Avoid Picky Eating

Feeding Tips for Healthy Weight Gain in Babies and Toddlers

Our meal plans offer recipe and meal suggestions for your child. They are not designed to replace your doctor’s recommendations, nor do they take into account special nutritional needs, including allergies and intolerances. The meal plans suggest serving sizes that may or may not be appropriate for your child. Please consult your doctor to determine what is best for your child.

Baby and toddler meal ideas

If you need some inspiration to help you cook healthy and tasty food for your kids, try these meal ideas.

They are not suitable as first foods, but fine once your baby is used to eating a wide range of solid foods. Read more about your baby's first solid foods.

When preparing food for babies, do not add sugar or salt (including stock cubes and gravy) directly to the food or to the cooking water.

You can find more meal ideas and recipes on the Start4Life website.

Breakfast ideas for babies and young children
  • unsweetened porridge or lower-sugar cereal mixed with whole milk and topped with fruit, such as mashed ripe pear or banana
  • wholewheat biscuit cereal (choose lower-sugar options) with whole milk and fruit
  • lower-sugar breakfast cereal and unsweetened stewed apple with plain, unsweetened yoghurt
  • toast fingers with mashed banana and smooth peanut butter (if possible, choose unsalted and no added sugar varieties)
  • toast fingers with a hard-boiled egg and slices of tomato, banana or ripe peach
  • toast or muffin fingers with scrambled egg and slices of tomato

Lunch ideas for babies and young children
  • lamb curry with rice
  • cauliflower cheese with cooked pasta pieces
  • baked beans (reduced salt and sugar) with toast
  • scrambled egg with toast, chapatti or pitta bread served with vegetable finger foods
  • cottage cheese (full-fat) dip with pitta bread, cucumber and carrot sticks

Dinner ideas for babies and young children
  • mashed sweet potato with chickpeas and cauliflower
  • shepherd's pie (made with beef or lamb and/or lentils or vegetarian mince) with green vegetables
  • rice and mashed peas with courgette sticks
  • minced chicken and vegetable casserole with mashed potato
  • mashed canned salmon with couscous and peas
  • fish poached in milk with potato, broccoli and carrot

Finger foods for babies and young children

Finger food is food that's cut up into pieces big enough for your child to hold in their fist with a bit sticking out. Pieces about the size of your own finger work well.

Examples of finger foods:

  • soft-cooked vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, parsnip and sweet potato
  • carrot or cucumber sticks and avocado
  • fresh fruits, such as apple (soft-cooked if needed), banana or soft, ripe peeled pear or peach
  • toast, pitta or chapatti fingers
  • unsalted and unsweetened rice or corn cakes
  • strips of meat without bones, such as chicken and lamb
  • cheesy (full-fat) toast fingers and cucumber
  • hard boiled eggs
  • omelette fingers

Healthy snacks for young children

Babies under 12 months do not need snacks; if you think your baby is hungry in between meals, offer extra milk feeds instead.

Once your baby is 1 year old, you can introduce 2 healthy snacks in between meals:

  • vegetables such as broccoli florets, carrot sticks or cucumber sticks
  • slices of fruit, such as apple, banana or soft, ripe peeled pear or peach
  • pasteurised, plain, unsweetened full-fat yoghurt
  • toast, pitta or chapatti fingers
  • unsalted and unsweetened rice or corn cakes
  • small strips of cheese

Getting your child to eat fruit and vegetables

It may take up to 10 tries, or even more, for your child to get used to new foods, flavour and textures.

Be patient and keep offering a variety of fruits and vegetables, including ones with bitter flavours such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and cabbage.

Try to make sure fruits and vegetables are included in every meal.

Try these ways to help your child eat more fruit and vegetables:

  • give carrot sticks, cucumber stick or slices of pepper with hummus as a snack
  • give apple slices with smooth peanut butter as a snack
  • mix chopped or mashed vegetables with rice, mashed potatoes, meat sauces or dhal
  • add vegetables to classic savoury dishes such as cottage or shepherd's pie, spaghetti bolognese or casseroles
  • chop prunes or dried apricots into cereal or plain, unsweetened yoghurt, or add them to a stew
  • for a tasty dessert, try mixing fruit (fresh, canned or stewed) with plain, unsweetened yoghurt.

Read more about how to help your baby enjoy new foods and fussy eaters.

Drinks for babies and young children

From around 6 months, breast milk and first infant formula should continue to be your baby's main drink.

Whole cows' milk can be used in cooking or mixed with food from around 6 months but shouldn't be given as a drink until they are 12 months old. Whole milk should be given to children until they are 2 years old, as they need the extra energy and vitamins it contains.

Semi-skimmed milk can be introduced once your child is 2 years old, as long as they are a good eater and they have a varied diet.

Skimmed and 1% milk are not suitable for children under 5 years old, as they do not contain enough calories.

Sugary squashes, flavoured milk, "fruit" or "juice" drinks and sugary fizzy drinks can cause tooth decay, even when diluted. These drinks can also fill your child up so they're not hungry for healthier food. Instead, offer sips of water from a cup with meals.

Read more about drinks and cups for babies and young children.

Further information
  • Foods to avoid giving babies and young children
  • Food allergies in children
  • What to feed young children
  • Toodler food: common questions
  • Children's food: safety and hygiene

Children's meals for lunch - recipes with photos on Povar.ru (345 lunch recipes)

Sunflower salad 4.6

Delicious salad with chicken meat, champignons and olives, beautifully decorated in the shape of a sunflower. It can be served at the New Year's holiday table, at any family celebration and just on a weekday. ...more

Added by: Evgeniy Lem 4.5

Light, dietary and easy-to-cook soup without meat. Suitable for children and adults, you can offer this soup to kids from a year old. ...more

Added by: Vikulia 05/18/2015

Accordion potato with cheese crust 4.5

In Russia, this wonderful dish was called accordion potato because of its resemblance to a famous musical instrument. I suggest you try the "accordion" option with sausage and cheese crust. Delicious! ...more

Added by: Natalie 08/08/2018


"Hedgehogs" are the same meatballs. But if rice is boiled in minced meat for meatballs until half cooked, rice is put raw in minced meat for hedgehogs. Oven-baked hedgehogs release rice "thorns" out. ...more

Added by: Erich 09/24/2013

Buckwheat with vegetables in the oven 4.5

Cook buckwheat in the oven, you will love it! The main thing is that the porridge is tender and tasty, follow a few rules, I will talk about them in the recipe, look! ...more

Added by: Vika Vasilenko 11/30/2018


Is it possible to surprise someone else with cutlets? If you have a waffle iron at home, then yes! Cutlets in it are unusually tasty! With a crispy crust, tender, juicy! Just a fairy tale! . ..more

Added by: Natalie 01/06/2019

Pelmeni "Irkutsk" 5.0

Based on the recipes of Siberians, I will tell you one of the simple and delicious options for making Irkutsk dumplings. Hearty, homemade and insanely appetizing! I want to eat more and more! ...more

Added by: Natalie 01/29/2019


Chicken legs in a slow cooker are prepared very simply - in five steps. This simple recipe with a photo offers a variant of delicious chicken legs with stewed vegetables - potatoes, onions and carrots. ...more

Added by: Gertruda 03/28/2013

Upside down pizza in a glass 5.0

Do you want an original and unusual pizza recipe? He is in front of you! You will learn how to cook upside-down pizza in a glass, and very quickly and easily! Look! ...more

Added by: Vika Vasilenko 01/03/2018


I present the recipe for the popular Russian soup with meatballs. Homemade soup with meatballs is a favorite children's dish. Meatballs can be made from any minced meat and any shape. ...more

Added by: Janna 10/07/2013

Meat loaves with surprise 5.0

Today I will tell you how to make meat loaves with a surprise. Inside which are boiled carrots, and minced meat - corn. Everything turned out beautiful and delicious! Look! ...more

Added by: Vika Vasilenko 08/03/2018


This is one of the favorite dishes of all children. And at the same time, it is not only tasty, but also dietary and healthy. And with the help of a multicooker, everything is prepared easily and quickly. ...more

Added by: Liuka 04/14/2013

Cut "Vegetable Train" 4.7

Do you want to serve snacks in an original way, even if they are ordinary vegetables? Then I suggest you make an original vegetable train with sweet pepper trailers filled with fresh vegetables. ...more

Added by Marina Sofyanchuk 4.8

Who likes healthy meals? That way! Very bright and tasty vegetable casserole, which can be prepared in the post! . ..more

Added by: Natalie 06/17/2018

Steamed pink salmon 4.7

I don't think it's worth saying that steamed fish is very healthy, dietary and also tasty! I will cook it in a slow cooker, but according to the recipe, you can cook pink salmon in a double boiler.


Almost every housewife knows the recipe for meatballs. I want to tell you how to cook meatballs in tomato cream sauce. An appetizing and tender dish will appeal to both children and adults. ...more

Added by: Oksana Ch. 03/19/2019

Red bean soup 3.6

Red bean soup is a very tasty dish. The beautiful and bright color of the soup whets the appetite. In addition, it has a lot of vitamins and fiber, which gives the body useful substances. You will definitely like it! ...more 4.2

Everyone knows rice as a side dish. But in the spring you really want something bright and vitamin. Try cooking rice with vegetables in a slow cooker. An old dish in a new spring way! . ..more

Added by: Liuka 04/07/2013

Meat casserole for children 4.5

It is always difficult to feed children, but this casserole recipe is the most successful and they love it. ...more 4.1

For those who are trying to limit the consumption of fried foods, I offer an excellent alternative - a recipe for cauliflower in batter in the oven. Crispy, appetizing and very tasty. ...more

Added by: Marina Zolottseva 06/17/2015

Turkey meatballs for children 4.3

Turkey is a dietary meat that is ideal for the first feeding of a baby. You can cook such meatballs for a baby from 8 months. Turkey meatballs for children are a great option for a hearty lunch. ...more

Added by: Marina Sofyanchuk 06/29/2016

Meatballs "Nostalgia" with rice in tomato sauce 4.2

Agree that many recipes developed in the Soviet era are excellent! They have been tested over the years and remain on our menu forever. One of them is meatballs with rice in tomato sauce. ...more

Added by: Daria Vakulova 11/13/2017

Fish in a potato coat 4.9

An excellent tender dish: fish plus a side dish of potatoes. Moms will especially like it, because. a fish is hiding under a crispy potato coat (which not all children like). Children eat a fur coat and a fish! ...more

Added by: Tsibulskaya Natalya 12/29/2017

Cheeseburger sticks with mozzarella 5.0

Very crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Children will definitely love it! It is minced meat cutlets with cheese inside in crispy breading and deep fried. ...more

Added by: Tsibulskaya Natalia 4.4

Beef patties according to this recipe are prepared simply, but they turn out very tender, juicy and tasty! They can be safely included in the diet not only for adults, but also for children. Try it! ...more

Added by: Oksana Ch. 11/30/2018

School pizza 5.0

School pizza is one of the favorite dishes of children. It differs from the usual one only in size. Otherwise, everything is the same: both the dough and the filling, which you can choose yourself. ...more

Added by: Zoya Shunina 03.12.2018

Pasta and meat soup 4.4

There are a lot of soups. It happens like this. Very successful and delicious. Try the soup with pasta and meat. ...more

Added by: Evdokia Antonova 03/28/2015

Fish soup for children 4.8

To prepare fish soup for children, you need to take lean fish without bones. Hake or pollock perfectly copes with this task. Available, inexpensive and delicious. ...more

Added by: Vikulia 05/18/2015


Combining chicken with vegetables has been a tradition since the last century. The pleasant taste of chicken breast stewed with slices of cauliflower will impress even the pickiest guest. ...more

Added by: Marina Sofyanchuk 05/25/2016

Lazy dumplings with cottage cheese 4.5

Lazy dumplings are a great option for a hearty breakfast or a quick lunch. These dumplings can be given to the smallest children. It is both tasty and healthy, because calcium is very important for a growing organism. ...more

Added by: Marina Sofyanchuk 06/29/2016

Children's soup from 1 year 3.7

Do you have a small child who can already be fed with soups? Then I will tell you how to cook a healthy and tasty children's soup! This time I will cook soup with tomatoes and broth! ...more

Added by: Dasha Petrova 01/23/2019

Vegetable garnish 4.5

A simple but delicious side dish of vegetables, the perfect addition to a hearty lunch or dinner. It goes well with meat and fish dishes. You can also serve it on its own with bread. ...more

Added by: Daria Vakulova 01/06/2018

White sausage 5.0

Chicken fillet, pork, onion and milk sausages are suitable for a meal at any time of the day. Juicy, tender and very tasty! ...more

Added by: Zoya Shunina 10/24/2018

Homemade noodles 4. 8

A simple recipe for homemade noodles. Homemade noodles are much tastier than store-bought - personally verified! ...more

Added by: Deemmaq 04/26/2013


Multicooker chicken soup is the best solution for a light, nutritious and healthy lunch. Read the recipe for making chicken soup in a slow cooker. ...more

Added by: Glasha 04/06/2013

Milk soup with pasta 4.5

Every mother should definitely take note of this simple recipe. Milk soup with pasta is prepared quickly and easily. ...more


In this recipe, I want to offer you a very good version of a tender and soft dough for kefir dumplings. With this dough, you can use absolutely any filling, both sweet and salty. ...more

Added by: Dashuta 01/23/2015

Barley cutlets 4.3

Such cutlets can be offered on fast days. They do not taste like meat, but they are no worse. Top them with sour cream sauce or spicy tomato adjika. ...more

Added by: Vikulia 02/23/2015

4. 4

Excellent cottage cheese pancakes. They are light and tasty. They are loved by children and adults. Let's see the recipe. ...more

Added by: Evdokia Antonova 04/07/2015

Pancakes with ham and cheese 4.8

I have loved such pancakes since childhood. They are easy to make and quick to eat. ...more


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Recipes in this category : 345

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The right lunch: what to feed your baby after a year - Parents.


About nutrition

Getty Images/E+

nutritionist year. By this age, he will already get acquainted with vegetables, meat, dairy products and cereals, the first teeth will appear, and the child will be able to cope with a piece of bread or a meatball. If you offer such a complex meal to the crumbs earlier, the body will not cope with the load, which may cause digestive problems, such as gastritis. But it’s also not worth postponing the introduction of a real dinner into the daily menu for a long time either: the diet becomes monotonous and does not correspond to age requirements, which can adversely affect the overall development of the little one.

General principles

Since the total amount of food for a one-year-old child should not exceed 250 ml, you can serve only soup, salad and meat for lunch, or soup and meat with a side dish, complementing the meal with a warm drink. Meals should be warm and ideally freshly prepared.

During the daytime meal, the child should receive about 40% of the daily calorie intake. Time for her is selected in the range from 12 to 15 hours. If you are planning to send your baby to kindergarten soon, it is better to feed him, as is customary in preschool institutions, for about 12 hours.

Graham Oliver/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Set of dishes

Until 2-3 years of age, the soup must be vegetarian: weak fish and meat broths are allowed only after this age. Up to 3 years, it is not recommended to add beans and pearl barley to the first dish, which are difficult to digest. The second must be a protein dish: meat or fish, which is given 2 times a week. Boiled, stewed or steamed vegetables or cereals are good as a side dish: buckwheat, rice, oatmeal. From salads, vegetables are recommended with dressing in the form of vegetable oil and low-fat sour cream. On the third, you can offer compote, jelly or tea. It is desirable to serve the drink hot, so it is better to serve juice for an afternoon snack or breakfast.

How many grams to hang?

Parents are always concerned about the size of portions for meals that are offered to the child. Nutritionists have a very definite opinion on this matter.

There should be very little salad to leave room for other dishes. A serving of soup at 1-2 years old is 70-100 ml, after 2-3 years - 150-200 ml. If the baby is small, it must be reduced so that, due to excess fluid, the baby does not refuse a more satisfying second course. Meat for a child aged 1-3 years is given 70 g, after 3 years - 100 g. As for drinks, 100-150 g is enough.

If potato soup is cooked first, it is better to make a side dish with vegetables. It should be about the same or slightly more than meat or fish.

Learn more