Protein food for 7 month old baby

What To Feed Your Baby | 7 to 9 mths | Weaning

Baby's age

  • Around 6 months
  • 7 - 9 months
  • 10 - 12 months
  • 12 months+

7 - 9 months

By now, your baby will have had some good practice learning how to eat! Eat together as much as possible – they learn a lot from watching you.

Your baby will gradually move towards eating 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and tea). Offering a wide variety of different foods is important to ensure they get enough energy and nutrients (such as iron). Babies don't need salt or sugar added to their food (or cooking water) – salty food isn't good for their kidneys and sugar can cause tooth decay.

Remember, it may take 10 tries or even more for your baby to get used to new foods, flavours and textures. There'll be days when they eat more, some when they eat less, and then days when they reject everything! Don't worry – this is perfectly normal. Just be patient, keep offering a variety of foods, even the ones they don't seem to like, and let them get used to it in their own time.

Babies under 12 months don't need snacks, if you think your baby is hungry in between meals, offer extra milk feeds instead.

Smooth or lumpy?

Hopefully your baby will now be more confident exploring new textures. Offer more mashed, lumpier foods as well as a variety of finger foods. Giving your baby finger foods helps them learn to feed themselves, develop hand-eye co-ordination and learn to bite off, chew and swallow small pieces of soft food.

Babies take different amounts of time to get used to lumps, but it's an important skill they need to learn. Just keep offering them lumpy textures and finger foods and stay with them so you can be sure they are swallowing it safely.

What is baby-led weaning?

Baby-led weaning means offering your baby only finger foods and letting them feed themselves from the start (rather than spoon feeding them puréed or mashed food). You can offer a range of small, finger-sized, pieces of food.

Some parents prefer baby-led weaning to spoon feeding, while others combine a bit of both. There's no right or wrong way – the most important thing is that your baby eats well and gets all the nutrients they need.

Should I still give my baby breast milk or first infant formula?

Yes. Breast milk or first infant formula is still important for energy and nutrients during the first year, and should be their main drink until 12 months. You can continue breastfeeding for as long as you both want. As time goes on and your baby eats more solids, they may naturally want less breast milk or first infant formula.

If you're breastfeeding, your baby will adapt their feeds according to how much food they're having. Formula-fed babies may need around 600ml of milk a day, but just use this as a guide. Remember your baby's tummy is tiny and fills up quickly, so offer milk feeds after solids and don't force them to finish the bottle.


Best Proteins for Babies – Happiest Baby

By Gabrielle McPherson, MS, RDN, LDN

You might think of babies as mini bodybuilders…though they’re far from pumping iron, they make incredible gains during their first year of life! Babies triple their size by 12 months, and that massive amount of growth requires plenty of nutrition (especially from protein).

When introducing solids, many parents’ first instinct might be to load Baby up with fruits and veggies. And while, yes, fruits and veggies offer lots of valuable nutrients, they come up short on the protein babies need. On average, your babbling bundle needs about 11 grams of protein daily, which can be broken down into one to four tablespoons servings between 6 months and 12 months of age.  

So, alongside those carrot and spinach purees, make sure you’re serving up plenty of muscle-building proteins too. A good place to start? These 10 protein-rich foods that will help support your baby’s growth and development.


Though your baby isn’t quite ready for sushi or sashimi, fully cooked salmon is a perfect match. Salmon boasts lots of potassium, brain-building choline, and—you guessed it—protein! Two tablespoons of salmon contains a whopping 5.6 grams of protein. The pink fatty fish is rich in omega-3s, to boot, which supports your little one’s vision, brain, and nerves. And good news for busy parents: There’s no shame in offering canned salmon, which has higher amounts of bone-friendly nutrients like calcium and vitamin D!

Ground Beef

Though many parents may feel nervous about offering babies meat, know that beef is a gold-mine of good nutrition. Beef contains must-have nutrients for babies, including iron for healthy blood cells and anemia prevention, zinc for an immunity boost, and choline for brain power. To serve, brown some raw lean ground beef on your stove until no pink parts are left. You can puree the meat while it’s hot and moisten with water, breastmilk, formula, or a low-sodium broth. Blending beef with pureed veggies or rice is another option, too! Two tablespoons of ground beef supplies 5.5 grams of protein. 


A popular first food, chicken doesn’t disappoint nutrition-wise because it’s a healthy source of niacin for energy, selenium for healthy skin and heart tissues, and protein for growth. You can prep cooked chicken by shredding, pureeing, or cutting it into tiny pieces. Create your own baby-food blend by pureeing chicken with green peas or pears. 

Peanut Butter

There was a time when parents held off on introducing peanut butter out of concern that their little one would have an allergic reaction. Now, there’s evidence that introducing peanut butter early can lower the chances of developing a peanut allergy. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, your baby can benefit from eating peanut butter at around 6 months of age.

However, straight peanut butter is too thick and sticky for babies and can pose a choking risk. So, before offering peanut butter to your little eater, thin it with breastmilk, formula, or pureed fruit. When possible, stick to varieties that are low in sodium or salt-free. Babies have immature kidneys, which can become overloaded with too much salt.  One tablespoon of peanut butter gives your babe 3.5 grams of muscle-building protein. 


There isn’t much to eggs-plain, as eggs are famous for their protein benefits (two tablespoons of eggs have 2.7 grams of protein). They also contain choline for your baby’s brain health. Thoroughly cook eggs by scrambling them on your stovetop, you can make your scramble softer by whisking your raw eggs with breastmilk or formula milk before cooking. Babies who are eating finger foods can try a cut-up omelet or hard-boiled egg.


Tofu is an easy-to-munch nutrient powerhouse, making it a great food for infants. In addition to serving up 1.8 grams of protein, tofu is excellent source of calcium to protect your baby's teeth and gums. You can offer small pieces of soft tofu or puree with fruit for a creamy snack that’s sure to fill little tummies.

Cottage Cheese

Add some new textures to your wee one’s diet with cottage cheese. Two tablespoons of cottage cheese give your babe 1.6 grams of protein. The dairy-based food loads your little one up with calcium, choline, and vitamin A for those developing peepers. Stick to lower sodium varieties with under 100 grams of sodium per serving. Serve cottage cheese plain or mix it with mashed sweet potato or a fruit puree.

Greek Yogurt

While cow’s milk is a no-no for babies until they reach 12 months, yogurt is fair game. Greek yogurt is one of the most protein-wealthy yogurts and is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous to nourish your babe’s growing bones. Two tablespoons of Greek yogurt contain 1.4 grams of protein. Offer your mini muncher plain whole milk Greek yogurt mixed with some pureed fruit for a spoon-able snack.


Lentils are easy-to-digest plant proteins that are a must-have food for babies because they’re brimming with nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphorus, calcium, choline, and folate, as well as 1. 1 grams of protein. Before cooking, rinse and sift through raw lentils to remove any possible debris from harvest, making them safer for your tiny nosher to nibble.


Quinoa grains are soft-cooked edible seeds. They’re chock-full of nutrients like folate and iron for your baby’s developing brain. Quinoa is considered a complete protein. That means it’s packed with all nine essential amino acids the body cannot make on its own but relies on to support rapid growth. There’s a natural coating of saponin on quinoa that you’ll need to rinse off before cooking as it can have toxic effects and a bitter taste. Boil quinoa seeds in water or a low-sodium chicken or veggie broth for extra flavor. Two tablespoons of quinoa have 0.5 grams of protein. 

More advice about feeding babies:

  • Happiest Baby's Feeding Guide
  • Best Puree Recipes for Babies
  • What to Know About Baby Led Weaning
  • Best Foods for 6- to 9-Month-Olds
  • Best Foods for 10- to 12-Month-Olds

About Gabrielle McPherson

Gabrielle McPherson, MS, RDN, LDN is registered dietitian in Missouri who specializes in community and pediatric nutrition. Gaby is passionate about encouraging families to eat well in simple, practical ways that are realistic...and delicious! When not working, Gaby loves cooking, baking, and making messes and memories with her sous-chef/preschooler Charlotte.

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Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Connect with us at [email protected].

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.

Protein snacks for picky eaters

Victoria Levchuk©

In general, feeding a picky eater with protein is very problematic. Offering protein snacks is like death. What to do? Get behind the child or keep offering meat.

I wrote an article The child does not eat meat about protein alternatives, and today I want to offer protein snacks that a child can eat. He will accept them, this is a secondary question, it depends on the method of the proposal and the perseverance of the parents. To begin with, briefly my story of adding protein to the diet of a child and tell you a little why protein is needed in the body. nine0005

Our Protein Story

Table of Contents:

Protein for Kids

For some reason, my child decided at 2 years old that he was a vegetarian. And for almost 2 years he lived on meat and fish broth. And, probably, he ate it only because he did not understand that it was water in which meat or fish was boiled.

Quite by accident, during a home celebration, we noticed that a child was sitting quietly eating shish kebab. My mother reacted so violently that the stereotype was fixed that shish kebab is super and good. During the next year, all the meat that was offered to the child was called "kebab". And during the year there was a search for a way to feed the baby with meat products. The meat was prepared in different ways: baked, boiled, stewed, fried on a fire and on a grill. nine0005

As a result, at the age of 8 he calmly eats pilaf with meat (the last preference), baked chicken legs, boiled chicken, barbecue (any meat), homemade sausage and sausages (in the form of sausages), of course, purchased sausage, children rarely they refuse it, cutlets from chicken pieces, not from minced meat, dumplings (the very first option for eating meat). And here the variations of dumplings are also positively perceived. Those. manti, khinkale and even lazy manti are eaten in a short time, here I ask you only to chew carefully. nine0005 Proteins for children

Let me remind you that protein is not only meat. The child still eats well cereals (quinoa), egg scrambled eggs, nuts and lentils (once a month, but he eats it in soup), and do not forget about potatoes, which also have protein, his picky eater eats every day. Yes, protein is different, but there should be an equal amount of them in the child's diet, approximately 50 to 50.

And behind this list of favorite foods is the long and hard work of parents. I will not devalue it, I must praise myself. Periodically, we drink additional protein, but the doctor prescribes it for analysis. We do not forget about the active growth of the child, when he needs additional vitamins and minerals in the modern rhythm of life. nine0005

Why is protein so important for children?

Protein Snacks for the Picky Eater

Protein is important for kids for a lot of reasons. It is part of every cell in the body and is involved in building and maintaining muscles, bones, internal organs, hair, skin and nails. Also, protein is important in such body processes as maintaining fluid balance, the immune system, blood clotting, the production of hormones and enzymes and much more ! Our children are constantly growing, so they need protein not only to maintain overall health, but also for growth and development! nine0005

How much protein do children need each day?

The amount of protein a child needs each day varies by age.

  • 0-6 months: about 9 grams per day (with breast milk and/or formula)
  • 7-12 months: about 11 grams per day (combo of breast milk and/or formula + solid food)
  • 1 to 3 years: about 13 grams per day.
  • 4 to 8 years: approx. 19grams per day.

Numbers are good, but how much is in products. For example, a three-year-old child needs about 13 grams of protein per day. This will look something like 1 boiled egg, 20 grams of Dutch cheese and a small glass of milk. Seems easy?!

The best sources of protein for children

Protein snacks

Of course, there is no shortage of foods containing protein. Parents often overestimate a child's daily protein needs. If the child has a balanced diet, then most likely there is no lack of protein. It is also important for parents to understand that it is completely normal that children do not like meat. The absence of meat in the diet of a child is not the same as a lack of protein in the body. Meat is a great source of protein, but protein is also found in fish, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs, dairy, tofu, and whole grains. This is enough for any person, not just for a child! nine0005

If the child does not like meat

Protein snacks for the picky eater

The child may not like meat. It is important to understand whether this dislike is temporary or already the value of life. After all, some children refuse meat, because they feel sorry for the animals and this should be respected. Of course, at 2-3 years old, a child cannot consciously refuse meat, most likely there is another reason. Maybe the meat was too difficult to chew, so it was easier for the child to refuse to eat it. nine0026 Or the child choked on meat, as a result, a traumatic situation in the past prevents him from eating meat products. Let's not forget about the psyche of the baby. The usual fright during the first feeding with meat can spoil the first impression of the product. There can be many reasons not to eat meat, but parents should not despair.

Any animal protein can be replaced with vegetable protein. For example, almonds, almond oil. One serving (about 23 almonds) contains 6 grams of vegetable protein, 4 grams of dietary fiber, "good" unsaturated fats, magnesium, antioxidant vitamin E and more, making almonds the best addition to a child's diet. Almonds can be sprinkled on toast, mixed with oatmeal, or added to smoothies. Almond butter is added to salads, and sliced ​​almonds are added to vegetarian dishes for crunch and flavor. nine0005

Why can protein foods be difficult for picky eaters?

The child does not eat meat

Meat, fish and poultry are second on the list of foods to avoid after vegetables. It's not entirely clear why, and it's usually a phase that goes away with time (with parental patience), but it has something to do with the texture and flavor of the meat. It can be tough, hard to chew, and just not appealing to more fussy eaters at certain stages. The fish has a strong flavor that may also be uncomfortable for some toddlers. The trick is to continue serving these foods without pressure, without expecting your child to eat them. If a child regularly sees an example of eating meat and meat products, then someday he will again eat meat with the whole family. nine0005

Why protein snacks are important for picky eaters

meat for children

Children have small stomachs but high nutrient requirements. Protein is the raw material a growing body needs to build cells, tissues, muscles and bones. Sufficient daily protein intake also plays an important role in the metabolism of other nutrients, the formation of red blood cells and the strengthening of the immune system. Protein foods also help form new blood cells and body tissues. Also, protein snacks make you feel fuller for a longer period than other foods. nine0005

Therefore children should be able to eat every 2-3 hours which means a balanced meal with nutritious snacks in between. Make sure to offer protein-rich snacks so your child has plenty of opportunities to try and learn to love protein-rich foods.

  • Almond, cashew or any other nut.
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Fruit slices and any nut butter
  • For sweet cravings… Banana or Chocolate protein shake. You can buy for children, they have a complete list of minerals and vitamins, as well as additional protein. We look carefully at the composition and choose easily digestible ingredients. Very filling and rich in protein. nine0036
  • If you want something salty... Egg muffins with spinach and goat cheese. Super easy, all you need is cupcake molds. Or muffins with vegetables and eggs.

  • Salty Flavor - Baked chickpeas with salt, garlic, paprika and nutritional yeast.
  • Sweet chocolate peanut butter rice cake.
  • Hummus with healthy chips. Now chips from 3 cereals have appeared in stores, tasty, with spices and healthy.
  • Raw vegetables and hummus
  • Greek yogurt mixed with frozen banana and strawberries and some vanilla
  • Greek yogurt with a scoop of protein (choose a kid-friendly one, or look for kids cocoa with extra protein)
  • Hard-boiled eggs with your favorite seasoning, I like paprika and soy sauce There are many recipes on the internet. Whether the child will enter or not will need to be specified by the sentence method. We also take into account the age of the child, since soy sauce is possible after 5 years.

Protein snacks are a picky example. nine0005

Protein examples for kids - CLICK ME!!!

Protein snacks that are soft and crunchy in texture

Below are protein snacks that are soft and crunchy in texture. Children do not like meat because it is hard or dry when chewed. Therefore, for children with sensory needs, I offer soft protein snacks.

Soft and smooth protein snacks:

  • Tofu
  • Eggs (pouched scrambled eggs, scrambled pancake)
  • Yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Yogurt

  • Canned tuna
  • Fry Cytakers.

  • Pea soup
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Yoghurt
Pea and rice broth nine0009 meat

All of the protein snacks above are great and easy to make or buy. But the question arises how to persuade / force the child to eat these types of protein.

In my case, a fastidious eater began to eat proteins only with the daily systematic supply of meat in the diet. Another very good result was given by the “One Spoon” method, when you agree with the child to eat only one spoonful of food, you can not eat more. The purpose of is to taste food, children refuse food because of the appearance, not always understanding whether it is tasty or not. Therefore, the first spoon is important. Here parents use different methods of persuasion and contracts. Forcing is not a good idea, because The pressure at the table only works in the short term.

The choice method was also positively used, when the child can choose a favorite food during the meal from 2-3 other dishes.

Personal example is also a good way to help your child eat meat. If the parents are vegetarians, then meat may not be introduced into complementary foods. Although there are also exceptions.

Don't expect quick results. It may take more than 10-20 offers of meat for the baby to try and eat it. nine0005

In order for the child to get enough protein, it is necessary to think over the menu in such a way that there is protein in every meal. It is not difficult.

A piece of cheese for breakfast (26 grams per 100 grams, but we give the child no more than 10-20 grams), mashed potatoes for lunch (2 grams of protein per 100 grams), yogurt for an afternoon snack (4 grams per 100 grams), a glass of milk for dinner (2.9 grams per 100 grams). Hard? It turned out about 13.9 grams.

10 signs of protein deficiency

I advise you to write down a sample menu for the day and see how much protein your child eats. It often seems to parents that the child eats little protein. The following symptoms will help determine if a child has a protein deficiency.

  • Slow or slow growth
  • Decreased immunity
  • Poor concentration
  • Pain in bones or joints
  • Constant hunger
  • Lethargy or constant fatigue
  • Slow healing
  • 0033 Reduced muscle development
  • Brittle nails
  • Thinning hair

Age-specific protein tables work well, but all children do not grow evenly. And now children are larger in height and weight than the previous generation. Therefore, a rule of thumb can be used, children require 1 g of protein per kg of body weight. A little more for active and sporty kids.

Next, simply add the right amount of protein per day with yogurt, milk, eggs, soy, lentils or protein snacks. nine0005

I hope you liked the article. Waiting for your comments!

Energy and nutritional needs of an infant

Since the stomach of a child is small, compared to adults, they need different food. Even a small portion should contain a large amount of energy and nutrients. There is no place in the baby's diet for excess liquids or foods with low energy value. Adults can make do with the energy already stored in the body from time to time, and babies do not have these reserves, however, due to their rapid growth, they need all the nutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. nine0005

Energy requirement

In the first 5 years of life, the child grows and develops most rapidly. Most of the changes go unnoticed. The brain grows very fast, lungs develop, bones form, and so on. All this requires a lot of energy and nutrients. Energy consumption per kilogram of weight in infants is higher than in adults, since part of it is spent on growth. In the first 4 months of life, about 27% of energy is spent on growth, and by the end of the first year of life, this percentage drops to 5.

Average energy requirement for children aged 1-12 months per kilogram of body weight and estimated daily requirement based on average weight. The amount of energy takes into account breast milk (or formula) and age-appropriate solid foods.








80 9000

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The need for basic nutrients

The protein consumption is based on the assessment of the basic need and the need for food for the lifespan, and the efficiency of the foods of the body is under white. For children aged 6.1-11.9months, proteins should make up 7-15% of food energy.

Excessive protein intake increases the filtration load on the kidneys. In fact, the kidneys do not cope with a high load only in the first month of life. During the first 6 months, breastfeeding is recommended, and the protein content of breast milk is considered adequate for term infants. If the infant is formula-fed, the protein content of the mixture is regulated by the regulations of the European Union. nine0005

The upper limit of healthy protein intake for infants is yet to be clarified. Excessive protein intake during infancy and early childhood increases the risk of obesity in the future. Which period is most dangerous in terms of increased protein intake is still unclear, but based on the available data, it can be assumed that protein intake in the amount of 15-20% of total energy intake during the first two years of life can provoke obesity later in life. nine0005

In accordance with the recommendations, up to 75% of the protein in the diet of children and adolescents should come from animal protein ( high quality protein ). Therefore, daily dairy products should be on the child’s menu, as well as fish, eggs or meat.

The baby's need for fats


6.1-11.9 months

fats, including

as little as possible

*Because infants under one year of age are partially breastfed, the recommended percentage of saturated acids is not given and in mixtures, is approximately 50% of the total energy. Since it is recommended to feed exclusively on breast milk in the first 6 months of a child's life, and in milk formulas the fat content is regulated (40-55% E in an adapted and 35-55% E in a partially adapted formula), no recommendations are given for the first six months. Because breastmilk has a higher fat content than formula, depending on the composition of complementary foods and the frequency of breastfeeding, fat intake may drop significantly towards the end of infancy. After the child reaches six months, it is necessary to continue breastfeeding the child for as long as it suits the mother and baby. Half or even more of the energy received from breast milk comes from fats. Typical fatty acid composition of breast milk: 40-45% saturated acids, 40-45% unsaturated monoacids and 13-16% unsaturated polyacids. nine0005

Daily amount of added sugars (sucrose, fructose and carbohydrate hydrolyzate) should be kept below 10%E (ideally below 5%E).

Fluid requirement

In case of thirst, drinking water without additives should always be preferred. The fluid requirement of infants per kilogram of body weight is higher than that of adults because their fluid content is also higher. It is worth starting to offer the baby water when there are 3 meals of solid food in his daily diet. Regardless of age, the feeling of thirst is a sign of a lack of fluid, which must be eliminated as quickly as possible, that is, replenish the level, preferably with ordinary drinking water. An infant's daily fluid requirement (all sources of intake are taken into account) is 150 ml per kilogram of body weight.

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