“There is no greater blessing in life than to watch your baby grow”.
Time flies quickly. Your new-born baby is growing up and the dietary requirements are changing. Exclusive breastfeeding for the initial 6 months is recommended by experts as perfect nutrition for the baby. Once that threshold is passed, it is time to introduce solid food in the baby’s diet along with breastfeeding for their healthy development and growth.
What To Feed A 7-Month-Old?
Before you start with a feeding plan for your 7-month old, it is important to check with a pediatrician if the baby is ready to start with a solid diet. A general indication of a sufficiently developed digestive system is doubling of baby’s birth weight. Your baby will also give you indications of their readiness by opening their mouth when presented with food. Their ability to sit upright, hold their head unassisted, swallow with ease are some of the indications to look out for the readiness.
You will have to ensure that the food introduced to your 7-month old baby is soft to their gums and mashed well making it easy for them to swallow. Start with small portions and work up the quantity of solid food into the daily diet. Begin with soft and mushy food and eventually make it chunky. Here are some foods to give 7-month-old to start with:
- Small portions of pureed fruits like apples, pear, bananas, avocado.
- Cooked and mashed vegetables like potatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, pumpkin.
- Soup with bite-sized chunks of peas, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower.
- Shredded bits of skinless chicken.
- Take an opinion from a doctor before you introduce fish or eggs to avoid allergies.
Other Food Items
- Porridge made with rice, lentils, and vegetables.
- Oats and cereals made from whole grains.
- Mashed pulses like chickpeas, kidney beans.
- Baby food mixed with formula or breastmilk.
- Tofu and other food rich in protein.
You can steam, boil or bake the food to cook the same. Frying and grilling should be avoided. Invest in a steamer to make your cooking process easy.
How Much Milk For a 7-Month-Old is Enough?
The transition from baby formula or breastmilk to solid food is going to take time. You will have to start by incorporating small nibbles and gradually increase the size of chunks and portions of solid food. As the solid food intake increases, you can gradually reduce the quantity of milk. On average, a 7-month old needs to have 8 to 12 tablespoon of solid food and 3 to 5 feedings of baby formula or breastmilk. With solid food incorporated in the diet, the baby will have a fuller tummy and sleep well through the night. There will be a lesser dependency on the mother since the solid food can be administered by a caretaker or family member. This can be beneficial for a working mother.
7-Month-Old Feeding Schedule
A proper eating schedule can bring discipline to the daily schedule of the baby. A diet planner will make it easy to ensure that the baby is steadily introduced to a variety of food. It would be a good idea to have a 7-month baby food chart in place. The timing can be adjusted as per the sleeping schedule of the baby. It will take a few days to get adjusted to the diet plan and will need to be tweaked and adjusted as per the baby’s comfort. Display this chart at a prominent place so that everyone in the family involved with childcare can follow the schedule.
Here’s a sample for a meal plan for a 7-month-old baby. The quantity of food can vary from child to child. Ensure that you start and end the day with breastfeeding or formula.
|Morning Snack||Breast milk or formula||150 – 180 ml|
|Breakfast||Cereal mixed with formula or breast milk||5-6 tablespoons|
|Mid-morning Snack||Breast milk or formula||150 – 180 ml|
|Lunch||Solid food||half bowl|
|Afternoon Snack||Breast milk or formula||150 – 180 ml|
|Evening Snack||Solid food||half bowl|
|Dinner||Breast milk or formula||150 – 180 ml|
Foods To Avoid For A 7-Months-Infant
The digestive system of the baby takes time to develop. There are a few foods that should be avoided.
- Cow milk is difficult to digest and can cause allergies.
- Honey can lead to infant botulism, which can be fatal and hence needs to be avoided.
- Nuts should be avoided as they pose allergy and choking hazards.
- Citrus fruits should be avoided.
- Small food like grapes can pose a choking hazard.
- Eggs and fish can trigger allergies and are recommended to be introduced a little later.
- Processed food is unhealthy and can cause indigestion.
- Oil should be avoided or used sparsely.
- Avoid salt and sugar until the baby is at least one year old.
You must keep track of any new food introduced and keep a check on allergies. Do not introduce multiple foods together and keep a gap of a week between new foods to help develop the palate and recognize the preference of the baby.
Baby Food Recipes 7-Months-Old
Here are some interesting options for seven months of baby food recipes. Include these healthy lunch options and dinner recipes in the meal plan as the first food. Introduce vegetables, fruits, and grains interestingly in your baby’s diet. For those who do not consume meat, there are other options to get proteins in the form of tofu and sprouts.
1. Roasted Carrot And Spinach Puree
- 2 medium carrots, washed, peeled and sliced.
- 1 cup spinach, washed and pat dried.
How to Prepare
- Wrap the carrots and spinach in aluminum foil.
- Place the parcel on a baking tray and bake at 190° for 30 minutes. Alternately, you can place it on the open flame and cook till carrots are tender.
- Cool and blend the vegetables in a grinder.
- Add breastmilk or formula with little water.
2. Apple And Cinnamon Porridge
Apples are perfect as the first food for babies. They are naturally sweet and packed with nutrition. The pureed apple can be stored in the freezer and used as required.
- 1 juicy apple, peeled, de-cored and chopped.
- Quarter cup – water.
- 1 glass – milk.
- 3 spoons – fine oats.
- 1 pinch – cinnamon powder.
How to Prepare
- Cook apple in a saucepan with water till tender.
- Simmer oats and milk in another pan and bring it to boil. Stir occasionally.
- Mash the apple and mix it with porridge.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and serve warm.
3. Chicken And Vegetable Mash
A perfect way to introduce non-veg to your baby’s meal.
- 1 cup chicken, peeled and chopped.
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped.
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped.
- 25 grams grated cheese, preferably cheddar.
- 1 pinch dried oregano.
How to Prepare
- Boil the vegetables till tender.
- Drain the water from the vegetables and add oregano.
- Chop the chicken in 1 cm pieces and fry in very little oil.
- Mix the chicken with vegetables and mash it well.
- Add grated cheese and serve warm.
4. Sweet Potato And Sweet Corn Pasta
This recipe is a nutritious 1 pot meal packed with vitamins, proteins, and carbs for your baby.
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
- 3 cups whole milk.
- ½ cup cauliflower, cleaned well.
- 4 spoons frozen corn.
- 40 grams grated cheese.
How to Prepare
- Simmer sweet potatoes and milk for 10 minutes.
- Add cauliflowers and continue to cook for 10 more minutes.
- Add sweet corn and continue the cooking for 5 minutes.
- Switch off the heat and add grated cheese.
- Mash the mixture to sauce consistency.
- Add cooked and chopped pasta, serve warm.
Feeding Tips For Parents
Feeding a baby can be challenging and time-consuming. You need to dedicate a lot of time to feed a small amount of food to the baby. There are going to be a lot of trials and errors before you succeed. The baby may refuse to open mouth or indulge in playing with it. There are more chances of food on the baby than inside the baby. Here are a feeding guide and tips for new parents to follow.
- Keep a fixed infant feeding schedule to help the baby adjust with timings.
- Start with a small amount of and eventually work up the quantity. Overfeeding a baby can lead to indigestion.
- Start with bland food and slowly introduce different flavors.
- Introduce 1 new food a week to identify allergies.
- Introduce various textures like mashed, pureed, ground, soft chunks and gradually thicken the consistency of food.
- Avoid food with choking hazards.
- While introducing finger food, make sure its neither too hard, nor too soft.
- Make a small batch of food for the baby keeping in mind how much solid food you want your baby to have.
- Some foods can be frozen and preserved. However, a freshly prepared meal is always a healthier option.
A proper feeding schedule can go a long way in developing the food habits in your baby. Make sure you create a healthy time-table.