7 months baby solid food


When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition

For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old.  Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.

Your child:

  • Sits up alone or with support.
  • Is able to control head and neck.
  • Opens the mouth when food is offered.
  • Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
  • Brings objects to the mouth.
  • Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
  • Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.

How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?

Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.

Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.

Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.

Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.

How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?

At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.

Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.

Here are some tips for preparing foods:

  • Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
  • Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
  • Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
  • Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
  • Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
  • Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
  • Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
  • Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.

Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.

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The Best First Foods for Babies 6 to 9 Months – Happiest Baby

By Happiest Baby Staff

On This Page

  • Best Baby Foods at 6 Months
  • Best Baby Foods at 7 Months
  • Best Baby Foods at 8 Months
  • Best Baby Foods at 9 Months

You've spent the first six months of your baby's life making sure that they are nourished with breastmilk or formula. As they grow and thrive, you might notice that your little sprout shows you some signs that they are ready to graduate from the bottle or breast to solid foods. If your baby can sit up and hold their head up, that's a great first sign! What's more, if they bring objects to their mouth and show an interest in what you are eating, your curious kiddo might be ready to start eating solid foods.

But what should you feed your baby? Here’s a list of perfect starter foods for your baby from ages 6 to 9 months.  

Best Baby Foods at 6 Months

At 6 months, babies may be starting to chew. Though this skill won’t be mastered just yet, they are typically ready to get messy with some mushy, pureed eats—helping them learn about flavor and texture. At this age, the goal is not to satiate your baby with full meals of solid foods but rather to get your child curious and excited about their culinary options. 

Because babies are growing so fast, their needs for iron are high to prevent iron-deficiency and support their overall health. Offer your little one iron rich foods like—infant cereal (read up on why you may want to skip rice cereal), well-cooked meat, poultry, mashed beans, and lentils. To keep your baby safe from choking, avoid adding solids like cereal to baby bottles.

Here are some great first foods for Baby to try:

  • Infant oat, grain, or barley cereals mixed with breastmilk or formula and spoon-fed to your baby
  • Sweet potato puree
  • Squash puree
  • Pea puree
  • Carrot puree
  • Mashed banana
  • Mashed avocado
  • Mashed or pureed beans
  • Mashed or pureed lentils
  • Pureed meats (beef, chicken, or turkey)
  • Soft, falling apart meats (salmon, beef, chicken, turkey)

Check out more of our favorite first food purees. Or, if purees aren’t your thing, read up on how to start baby-led weaning.

Best Baby Foods at 7 Months

By 7 months old, your baby will probably be eating more solids but not enough to replace breastmilk or formula as their primary source of food. The goal for this month is to keep introducing solid foods to your baby. What's fun is by 7 months, you can get more creative with mixing flavors and adding textures.

Here are a few nutritious and delicious food combos to try with your baby:

  • Peas pureed with breastmilk (or formula), sweet potatoes, or squash
  • Kale pureed with blueberry, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, pears, or bananas
  • Apples pureed with cauliflower, carrots, pears, prunes, or beets
  • Beef pureed with broccoli
  • Chicken pureed with carrots and potatoes
  • Chickpeas pureed with bananas, apples, or sweet potato
  • Sweet potatoes pureed with red bell pepper

Seven months is also the perfect age to start giving your baby a plate, bowl, and plastic utensils so they can begin to practice feeding themselves. If your baby is teething, you can place frozen chunks of fruit in a sieve feeder/mesh bag that allows them to gnaw on the fruit without choking. Learn more about helping your baby use a fork and spoon!

Best Baby Foods at 8 Months

By 8 months, your baby is likely eating more solids and relying a little less on milk as a primary meal (though it’s still where they get the bulk of their nutrition!). And they’re probably having lots of fun learning how to use their hands to feed themselves. Something else to consider: Babies should be exposed to potential allergen foods (like peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and fish) before their first birthdays to help prevent future food allergies. Starting at 6 months of age, peanut butter is safe to introduce as long as you are comfortable giving it to your baby.

In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that babies can begin having these foods when they start eating solids. But many families often feel more comfortable waiting to introduce these foods until around this age. Of course, consult with your little one’s pediatrician if you have concerns about potential allergen foods.  

Here are some foods to add to your repertoire:

  • Whole eggs, scrambled
  • Nut butter thinned out with water and mixed with cereal (nut butters are sticky and can cause choking)
  • Fully cooked fish, like salmon or tuna 
  • Full-fat yogurt

Here are some preparation ideas:

  • Well-cooked (think over-cooked until falling apart) pasta such as elbows or alphabet shapes 
  • Mashed meat with mashed or ground vegetables such as peas and potatoes or kale and squash
  • Rainbow on a plate: Using tiny pieces of soft, strained, pureed, and mashed food options, look for a variety of colors to offer. Some fun options could include banana, avocado, sweet potato, peas, blueberry, raspberry, cheese, and chicken. 

Best Baby Foods at 9 Months

Though there’s a greater variety of foods babies eat now, formula or breastmilk continues to be their primary source of nutrition until age 1. At 9 months old, babies get more comfortable with self-feeding and eating the foods their families enjoy. After all, eating solid foods is a sensory wonderland of texture, smells, and tastes. Not to mention all that fun making messes with those adorably curious fingers. 

As you begin to focus on meal planning for your baby, there are few things to keep in mind:

  • Babies need four to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A serving size for a 9-month-old is less than a quarter cup.
  • "Eat the rainbow" is excellent advice because it gives your baby exposure to lots of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and starches. 

Here are a few menu ideas to help meal plan for your baby…

Breakfast Ideas for Babies

These morning meals pack a nutritional punch—and don’t forget to check out all of our favorite breakfast ideas for babies:

  • Soft fresh fruit cut up in small pieces (think: banana, raspberries, or blueberries)
  • Whole-grain waffles or pancakes
  • Unsweetened oatmeal made with breastmilk or formula combined with cut-up and cooked apples and pears or banana slices. (It is essential to steam the apples or pears to make them soft enough for your baby to mash with their gums.) 
  • Full-fat yogurt mixed with mashed or pureed berries such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries 
  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Veggie frittata

Lunch Ideas for Babies

  • Spread hummus on soft crackers or bread
  • Grilled cheese sandwich with cooled tomato soup
  • Macaroni and cheese with cooked veggies like peas and carrots mixed in
  • Pizza bites with chopped bits of spinach in the sauce and melted shredded cheese
  • Quesadilla made with pureed spinach, squash, or beans

Snack Ideas for Babies

Babies this young won’t likely need to snack too much (remember, breastmilk or formula will provide the majority of your little one’s nutrition). Still, it’s not a bad idea to have snacks on hand for when your mini muncher needs something to eat that’s not quite a meal. A few baby snack ideas:

  • Apple and carrot slaw
  • Cheese slices
  • Full-fat plain yogurt
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Avocado slices
  • Muffins made with fruits, veggies, and/or whole grains
  • Fruit and veggie pouches
  • Sugar-free, whole-grain cereal, like plain Cheerios

Dinner Ideas for Babies

To help your baby get and stay excited about eating solid foods, serve a version of whatever the family is having for dinner. Remember to steam or mash, grind or chop foods into appropriate softness and sizes to prevent choking. Some baby dinner ideas:

  • Pasta with softened vegetables
  • Well-cooked rice, soft veggies, and chicken
  • Baked sweet potato with butter or cheese
  • Beans or lentils served with rice and veggies
  • Flaky fish served with steamed zucchini

There are endless variations on what you can serve your baby for dinner. As long as your baby is safe and happy, try to encourage lots of food exploration! 

You must not feed any child under the age of 1 year honey, cow’s milk, juice, hard foods like candy, raw vegetables, popcorn, or sticky foods like peanut butter, as these each present choking hazards. 

Learn more about feeding your baby:

  • The Happiest Baby Feeding Guide
  • The Benefits of Homemade Baby Food
  • The Best Store-Bought Baby Food

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REFERENCES

  • Unlocking Opportunities in Food Design for Infants, Children, and the Elderly: Understanding Milestones in Chewing and Swallowing Across the Lifespan for New Innovations. Journal of Texture Studies, August 2017
  • Complementary Feeding: A Position Paper by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) Committee on Nutrition, Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, January 2017
  • Infant Formula Feeding Practices Associated With Rapid Weight Gain: A Systematic Review, Maternal & Child Nutrition, July 2018
  • Solid Food Introduction and the Development of Food Allergies, Nutrients, November 2018 
  • US Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025

View more posts tagged, feeding

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.

how and when to introduce solid food to a child

Solid food: how and when to introduce solid food to a child

Expecting new skills from the baby, do not rush things. It is necessary to acquaint the child with solid food no earlier than 6-7 months. At this time, the desire to scratch the gums, ready for the appearance of the first teeth, will coincide with the interest in adult food.

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Children are born with a vital, unconditioned reflex - sucking. They are ready to suck on their mother's breasts, but all solid objects that have fallen into their mouths are automatically pushed out so as not to choke (a protective reflex is triggered). Therefore, parents are not recommended to accustom the baby to solid foods too early. This will cause not only rejection, but sometimes vomiting. The ideal time is considered to be the start of complementary foods. When the first teeth begin to grow in the child, you can replace the homogenized puree with food with the addition of soft fibers. They will be to the taste of the baby, as they will massage itchy gums. An important clue for parents is also the child's interest in adult food. If the baby looks into your plate, tries not to suck on mashed potatoes in a spoon, but to remove it with his upper lip and chew - it's time to introduce more solid food into the children's menu. First, at the tip of the spoon, offer the baby vegetable and cereal side dishes, closer to 9months you can give pieces of well-boiled meat. The kid does not immediately learn to chew them, and the food will come out with a stool almost in its original form. It's not scary, over time the child will learn everything. It is important not to ignore his desire, you will have to pay for the pedagogical miscalculation and literally teach the child to chew.

#PROMO_BLOCK#

Of course, not everything can go according to plan. The most common reasons why a child refuses solid food:

  • The pieces of food are too big.

  • You are using the wrong feeding technique.

  • The spoon is big for a child.

  • The child has unpleasant associations - perhaps you gave him medicine from this spoon. Do not use everyday baby utensils for unpleasant procedures.

  • The child is in a bad mood or does not feel well.

In no case do not force the baby to eat if he refuses. Gently try again and again. Set an example - eat the first spoon yourself, showing the crumbs how tasty his food is. If the child still cannot cope with solid food, it is worth contacting a pediatric osteopath. The baby may have a non-standard structure of the maxillofacial system, subluxation of the jaw associated with birth trauma, problems with muscle tone. The timely introduction of solid food is very important not only for the full nutrition of the child, it affects his future speech activity. Breastfeeding is a good prevention of speech therapy problems. In order to suck milk from the breast, the child needs to make more efforts than when feeding from a bottle - this is a good (and what is valuable - natural) training of the jaws and muscles of the tongue, and it must be continued by introducing the crumbs to solid food in time. Of course, a baby with a piece of an apple in his hands (and in his mouth) must be looked after so that he does not choke. By the way, for the development of the chewing and speech apparatus, it is useful to grimace with the baby during the game - this strengthens the facial muscles well.

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