Just like with adults, every child is slightly different and thus has a unique appetite. Babies are born with the innate ability to self-regulate feeding capacity. In other words, they know when they are finished or full.
You’ve probably already taken note of this during breastfeeding. They’ll latch on when they’re hungry and stop when they’re satisfied. If you’ve had trouble with this, consider looking into how to use a nipple shield while breastfeeding to address latching issues.
You’ll likely be able to tell when your baby is ready for solid food, since they’ll show obvious signs of agitation and hunger after breastfeeding. Usually, this happens at about the 6-month mark, and baby food for a 7-month-old frequently starts to consist of more solid foods. The signs of readiness for solid foods include hand-to-mouth coordination, decreased tongue protrusion reflex, sitting without support, and opening mouth to spoon. You may continue breastfeeding, as well, until you decide an appropriate time to stop.
Perhaps you’ve already been feeding your baby solids for a month or so, but you want to make sure you have your information straight, or maybe you’ve been wondering how many jars of baby food for a 7-month-old is appropriate. You’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look.
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When you’re ready to start feeding your baby solid food, you’ve got an array of options to choose from. These foods help ensure that your baby gets sufficient amounts of the nutrients and vitamins they need to continue down the road of healthy development.
Before you dive into the list, make sure you only introduce a little bit of one food at a time — about 1–2 tablespoons to start is good. New foods should be introduced individually and about a week apart in order to identify any allergies and intolerance the baby may have. It’s best to introduce foods from most bland to sweetest.
If you haven’t already started feeding your child solids, start with the following baby food for your 7-month-old:
- Pea puree: Peas have iron, protein, calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, which are all important for encouraging and promoting the healthy development of your child.
- Baby brown rice cereal: This cereal is easy to digest and it’s unlikely that your child will suffer an allergic reaction to it.
- Baked sweet potato puree: Adults benefits from sweet potatoes, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your baby will benefit from this antioxidant, nutrient, and vitamin blend.
- Banana Puree: Bananas are easy to digest and won’t upset the stomach. However, avoid feeding your child too much, as a lot of banana can result in constipation, which isn’t fun for you or your baby.
- Carrot Puree: Babies usually love carrot puree because of the sweet taste. It’s also packed full of antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals.
- Avocado Puree: This can provide a pleasant texture and introduce good fats into your child’s diet.
If you’ve already introduced solid baby food for your 7-month-old, you may begin slowly presenting more thick purees and foods to your child’s diet, including:
- Pumpkin thyme puree: It’s loaded with iron, potassium, and beta carotene.
- Varieties of veggies: Puree different vegetable combinations, such as spinach with yams.
- Fruits: New fruits may include pears, papayas, and blueberries. Blend them into a puree for easy eating.
Avoid foods that are choking risks, including small fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, candy, gum, and whole grapes. Children under the age of five are at risk of choking on grapes and similarly shaped foods, and parents should cut them in half or quarters.
Most babies are ready for solid foods by 6 months of age. Yet, there are tell-tale signs that can help you determine if it’s the right time to introduce them.
Certain developmental stages should be reached before you feed your baby solid foods. They should be able to sit up unsupported, as well as keep their head stable and upright. Your baby should not be pushing the solid food out of their mouth, and they should have good hand-to-mouth coordination.
You may also be ready to alter your 7-month-old baby food menu when your child begins taking increasingly longer breastfeeding sessions. They may still seem hungry after your normal duration, indicating that it’s time to start introducing other foods besides breast milk.
If your 7-month-old isn’t ready for solids, don’t panic. It’s absolutely normal for different babies to be ready at different times. Most babies’ development won’t be impacted if they continue with just breast milk until 9–12 months of age.
If your baby is all set and ready to eat solids, it’s cooking time. There are a variety of 7-month-old baby food recipes you can begin to create, including the following three. Similar to storing breast milk, these purees can be frozen but should be used within about six months.
- Pea puree: This one is great for newbies to solid food. In other words, if your child has just begun eating solids, this is a good one to start with — and it’s simple. Take 3 cups of frozen peas and half a cup of breast milk. Boil water, lower the heat, and add the peas, steaming them for about 15 minutes. Blend the peas and the breast milk in a food processor, filtering any lumps that remain using a strainer. Freeze the batch in an ice cube tray. When you’re ready to feed your little one, simply take out one pea puree ice cube and heat it up until warm. Make sure it’s not too hot!
- Spinach and white yam puree: You’ll need about a half pound of washed spinach and a half pound of white yams, as well as either 1.5 cups of water or sodium-free vegetable broth. Chop up the yams into small cubes. Bring them to a boil in the liquid of your choice, then let them simmer for about 10–15 minutes. Put the spinach in and wait until the spinach is cooked, which should only take a few minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, then blend it all in a food processor. You can freeze it in a similar way to the pea puree recipe.
- Blueberry and beet mash-up: Grab 2 mid-sized beets and a half cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. Remove the skin of the beets and chop them up into small cubes. Place the cubes in a saucepan with the blueberries, and pour just enough water to cover the contents. Cover and cook for about 10–15 minutes on medium-high heat. Make sure the beets are tender before removing them from the heat. Blend everything in a food processor and freeze them similar to the above recipes.
How much baby food does a 7-month-old need?
Now, you’re probably wondering how much baby food for a 7-month-old is enough? The answer is that it varies depending on the baby. While all babies are a bit different, a typical 7-month-old will have three meals a day. These meals may be anywhere from less than a tablespoon to two tablespoons in size. Some babies may consume up to eight or twelve tablespoons per day; it depends on their size and appetite.
In terms of breastfeeding, usually a 7-month-old baby nurses for 3–4 hours a day. Your baby may consume a total of about 25 ounces of breast milk every day at this age.
The daily caloric requirements for babies aged 7–9 months is around 825 kcal/day for boys and around 765 kcal/day for girls.
Lastly, let’s leave you with some feeding tips and tricks regarding 7-month-old baby food.
Strict guidelines don’t exist for baby food or when to feed your baby. It depends on where your baby is at in development, though most doctors recommend steering clear of processed foods and sticking to simple purees as outlined above.
Some foods should be avoided. 7-month-old baby food to avoid includes honey, cow’s milk, raw vegetables, nuts, small fruits, candy, gum, and any other food that could pose a choking hazard.
Don’t force it. The general rule is to feed at the earliest sign of hunger and stop at the earliest sign of satiety. If your child doesn’t want solid food, they may not be ready or may not be hungry.
If you’re struggling with it, allow your baby to handle a small spoon after breastfeeding. This may help your child associate the spoonfed foods with the comfort that comes with breastfeeding.
Ensure your child is sitting upright. This prevents choking. Consider using a high chair if necessary.
If you’re having trouble breastfeeding or notice you feel sore on one side, consider switching positions. Various breastfeeding positions exist and can make the whole process easier for you and your baby.
Check with your healthcare provider before attempting to feed your baby solid foods. Your doctor knows what is good for you and your baby and can give good advice regarding your specific situation. Doctors are able to offer advice and recommendations on medicine you can take while breastfeeding, other breastfeeding issues or problems, the types of foods that are safe for you and your baby, how much solid food you should start with when feeding your child, and what foods you should stay away from at the 7 month mark.
Enjoy this time and explore foods that you know are safe to feed your little one at 7-months-old. Don’t forget to introduce only small amounts of new foods at first and remember that every baby is unique. If your child isn’t ready for solid foods yet, it’s not necessarily a reason to panic. Every child develops at their own pace. Before you know it, they’ll be eating all on their own!