Before 6 months, it was mostly a food “sampler” journey for O.
7 months is when the fun really begins!
- Baby should still receive minimum 540- 600 ml fm daily. Aim to establish 3 good, solid meals.
- Food texture can be changed, fruit need not be cooked, but grated/mashed.
- Let baby try finger feeding himself, esp between 8-9 months. Always wash his hands before a meal.
- Breakfast- sugar free, unrefined wheat cereals can be introduced. Try adding mashed fruit if baby refuse. Can start giving bread/a bit of buttered toast. Mini sandwiches, rice cakes with spread can be offered at tea time.
- Iron-rich food like red meat, green leafy veg, dried fruits can be included.
- Water! Once protein is established at lunch, give water instead of milk cos it decreases iron absorption by up to 50%
- At least 2 servings veg/fruit a day, 1 serving of protein, 3 carbo.
East Vs West
Many mommies I know started cooking porridge for their little ones. You would probably learn some really simple recipes from your mom/mother-in-law and so on… There’s also a list of really detailed porridge recipes for noobs like me on the internet. You can find some links here where I bookmarked some of my favorite sites.
Photo courtesy of rasamalaysia.com
However, cooking porridge essentially means I’ve gotta cook EVERY DAY. Which to me, wasn’t an option then because I was the only caregiver in the house, O is a very spirited baby that sucks all the energy out of me from doing anything else, and most importantly, I’m just lazy la.
So, as termed by my auntie, I adopted the “American” way of cooking. Which means I cook once a week, freezes everything in small cubes, and take them out one by one to warm up when needed.
My food recipes for Baby O (7-9 months)
I added solids to O’s breakfast eg. oats (organic brands: Earth’s Best/Hipp/Four Seasons), barley oats (Four Seasons) and yoghurt (Pauls) with fruit puree. For dinner, I alternated between baby rice/porridge oats (organic Hipp/Bellamy) with fruit/veg puree. For lunch, I also introduced proteins like beans, chicken, fish etc.. singly into O’s pumpkin/sweet potato/veg regime and when I’m sure there’s no problems, I cooked O his first “adult” food recipe, Chicken Puree with carrots and apple, from Annabel Karmel’s website.
O took to it quite well, which relieves me, cos I’ve heard of babies rejecting their first meat. Daddy K also gave this recipe a thumbs up, so if you are looking to whip up a meal for both baby and family, just cook some rice and you are ready to go! This recipe also does well as sandwich fillings.
O’s favorite is this second recipe, Cod & Spinach puree, again from AK’s website.
He opened his mouth wide after the first 2 bites and polished every single spoonful.
Other recipes I tried included Red Lentil Savoury, Leek and Potato soup & Bumper macaroni cheese from Gina Ford’s Weaning book. O didn’t react too strongly to the first and third recipe, and I dunno was it something I did, but the Leek and Potato soup was too spicy even for my taste!
8 months… Porridge, Mashing & Finger-feeding
I only started cooking porridge for O at 8 months. At first I thought he hated porridge cos he was like “Ew!” and started bawling his eyes out after the first bite. I grinded the grains before cooking the second time and he took it without any problems. At the 4th try, I stopped grinding and with faith, served it lumpy instead of watery, and VOILA! The reason he hated it the first time was it was too watery! He could only taste water (which he hates), when all he wanted was some real, solid food.
I started mashing instead of pureeing everything and here’s one of my favorites from AK‘s, Poached Salmon with Carrots & Peas.
This received mediocre attention from O though, guess the fish flakes and carrot bits took some getting used to. I added pureed sweetcorn and peas as side dishes.
Another mashed recipe was the Fish Lyonnaise from Gina Ford’s recipe, seemed to be swimming in too much butter, so I added spinach for balance.
My Fish Lyonnaise with spinach
And he’s like:
Oliver’s 7-9 months feeding schedule:
630/7 am : 180 ml fm + 1-2 tbsp oats/yoghurt + 1-2 tbsp fruit puree (banana/papaya/apricot/mango/blueberries etc)
1130/12 am : 3 tbsp chicken carrot puree (I change this every 3-4 days) + 2 tbsp veg puree (sweetcorn/asparagus/spinach) or Tofu with banana/Avocado with apple and chicken
3 pm : 180 ml
530/6 pm : 3 tbsp oats/rice/porridge oats + 2 tbsp fruit puree
7 pm : 180 ml
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
On finger food, I suggest starting off with steamed carrot cut into huge chunks like that
However, be prepared rarely any food gets into their mouths the first few rounds. Broccoli, carrots and mixed vegetables are squashed, played and thrown about… so you would want something big enough for them to start out, hoping at least some bits of it whilst flying around will land where they are supposed to go. Other great vegetables includes sweet peas/french beans and baby corns. Fruits like raw pears, peaches, dried apricots are also great finger foods that require little or no preparation.
I also like the Organix apple rice cake which is sticky to the touch and doesn’t slip off baby’s training fingers easily.
However, you might want to start baby on his vegetables first before sweet savories like that! 🙂
A demo play of O finger-feeding on a lazy afternoon: