When I started feeding Bella two months ago, I would’ve guessed that she was a less enthusiastic eater than her older sister. I mean, Sofía was always about the food. She couldn’t get enough. Bella, on the other hand, was a bit more timid and cautious the first few weeks I fed her solids. Now, she’s turning out to be a lot like Sofía, and I really can’t complain.
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An Update on the 2nd Month
Month two, Bella’s 7th month, was much easier on me than the first month of solids. She rarely even tries to grab the spoon anymore (it happened twice the whole month). No more sticking her fingers in her mouth and getting food all over herself and her seat. However, she did have a few times when she got so excited about something happening around her while she was eating (like Sofía running around making her smile and laugh), that she was almost impossible to feed. She was like a moving target and I couldn’t get the food into her mouth! She also tried spitting (or maybe it was more like gargling) her food on a few occasions.
This month, I often let Bella decide if she wanted to eat more or not. All I did was leave the spoon in front of her face by a few inches, and if she started to come forward for the spoon, I knew she wanted some more. If she was having a hard day or seemed a bit tired during a feeding, I just stopped and took her away from the table. I think it’s very important to make sure eating is a positive experience from a young age.
A Solids Feeding Schedule for a 7 Month Old
Days 1-4: Peaches*
Days 5-8: Carrots*
Days 9-12: Blueberries
Days 13-16: Pears
Days 17-20: Butternut squash
Day 21: No new puree
Days 22-25: Summer squash
Days 26-29: White potato
Days 30-33: Melon (cantaloupe)
Just like last month, I introduced a new puree every 4 days (except day 21). I also did one other meal every day with food she had already tried. So, for example, on day 30 I fed her one jar (3 T. or 1.5 oz.) of melon and later in the day I fed her a jar of peach, pear, and apple puree I made for her.
*See note under carrots
For each new puree Bella tried this month, I’m going to report the following (as concisely as possible): 1) how much time I spent preparing it (keep in mind this is active time and doesn’t include cooking time), 2) the quantity it produced, 3) the recipe or how I prepared it, 4) the cost to make it, and 5) Bella’s reaction (both how she liked/disliked it and if there was an allergic reaction). Most of the puree recipes I used came from the book Cooking for Baby.
Quantity produced: 12 T. – from two peaches
Recipe or preparation: Peach Puree from Cooking for Baby.
Cost: $0.76 for 12 Tablespoons, or $0.19 per day (when I say “per day” I mean 3 T. or 1.5 oz.)
Reaction: Maybe the peaches weren’t sweet enough, so Bella really didn’t want them during this time. Come to think of it though, she sprouted her first tooth about 1.5 weeks ago, so maybe she was teething. Huh, I guess I solved that puzzle! I noticed a little reaction on her cheeks during the time I was introducing peaches to her, but when I fed them to her later in the month, she didn’t have any reaction, and she liked them just fine.
Time: 20 minutes
Quantity produced: 22 T. – from 5 carrots
Recipe or preparation: Perfectly Basic Carrot from Baby Love.
Cost: $0.40 for 22 Tablespoons, or 5.4 cents per day
Reaction: The first two days, I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t want the carrots. By the third day, I realized I hadn’t been warming them up! I warmed them up and she gobbled them down!
*I received a comment from one of my readers that you shouldn’t feed your baby peaches and carrots one after the other. This can cause orange skin. So if you want to follow my schedule, just move the peaches or the carrots to another spot on your calendar.
Quantity produced: 12.5 T. – from two cups of blueberries
Recipe or preparation: Blueberry Sauce from Cooking for Baby.
Cost: $1.98 for 12.5 Tablespoons, or 47.5 cents per day
Reaction: Devoured the blueberries every time!
Quantity produced: 16 T. – from two pears; I gave 4 T. to Sofía so I’m not counting those
Recipe or preparation: Pear Puree from Cooking for Baby.
Cost: 55.6 cents for 12 Tablespoons, or 13.9 cents per day
Reaction: I think this has been her absolute favorite puree of all! She couldn’t get enough and even cried in between bites!
Quantity produced: 30 T. – from one butternut squash, about 1.6 pounds
Recipe or preparation: Winter Squash Puree from Cooking for Baby.
Cost: $1.58 for 30 Tablespoons, or 15.8 cents per day
Reaction: She really enjoyed it!
Quantity produced: 27 T. – from one large summer squash (from my sister’s garden!)
Recipe or preparation: I used the instructions from Homemade Baby Food Recipes on Zucchini (summer squash and zucchini are both prepared the same)
Cost: Free! I bought some summer squash recently and I’m guessing it would be about $0.75 for 27 Tablespoons, or 8.3 cents per day
Reaction: Bella gobbled it up and even sucked on the high chair after. Ok, now I know it was teething!
Time: 10 minutes
Quantity produced: 12 T. – from 1.5 potatoes
Recipe or preparation: I just prepared them like I would mashed potatoes and mashed with a fork
Cost: About 18.75 cents for 12 Tablespoons, or 4.7 cents per day
Reaction: She gagged on it the first night because I didn’t put enough liquid in it. Strangely enough, mixing it with bananas and putting some water in it the second night did just the trick. She loved that combination!
Quantity produced: 12 T. – about ¼ of the melon was all that I needed for that much
Recipe or preparation: All I did was dice into small cubes and then mash with a fork. Your baby can safely eat melon around 8 months without it being cooked. I thought it would be hard to mash the cantaloupe without it being cooked, but it was fairly soft and easy to mash. However, the next time I make Melon Puree, I’m going to puree it in the blender. You can also try watermelon or honeydew.
Cost: About 36.5 cents for 12 Tablespoons, or 9.1 cents per day
Reaction: She loved every last bite!
Time total: I spent about 2 hours and 20 minutes making enough food for one month and then some
Now I’ll break down the cost of all the food she ate this month. Even if she didn’t finish something and I threw it out, I’m obviously going to count how much it costed. I also am including the cost for all the foods she ate that deviated from the foods I was introducing each day.
Cost for 2nd month of Solids:
Peaches – 82.3 cents (4 days plus 1 freezer cube)
Carrots – 30.6 cents (4 days plus 5 freezer cubes)
Blueberries – $1.98 (4 days)
Pears – 55.6 cents (4 days)
Butternut squash – 76.5 cents (4 days plus 2.5 freezer cubes)
Summer squash – 33.2 cents (4 days)
White potato – 18.75 cents (4 days)
Melon – 36.5 cents (4 days)
Other purees throughout:
Parsnips – 83 cents
Banana – 64 cents
Sweet potato – 50 cents
Avocado – 49 cents
Peach, Pear, and Apple Puree – 16 cents
Total cost for 33 days: $7.94
Cost per day: $0.24
*the majority of the time I fed her twice per day and gave her about 3 T. at each meal; also I tried to get the cost as exact as possible, but obviously it’s going to vary for everyone due to differences in the cost of food from one place to the next and some other factors.
A Look Ahead into the 3rd Month
For month three, I will be introducing new foods every three days instead of four. I’m going to try my hardest to feed her at least two times a day and maybe three. I may also increase the amount of food she has at each meal, gradually, from 3 T. (1.5 oz.) to 8 T. (4 oz.). However, I still think it’s best for her to decide whether she wants more or not.
The new foods I will be introducing to her this month are:
Days 1-3: Brown rice
Days 4-6: Pumpkin
Days 7-9: Chicken
Days 10-12: Zucchini
Days 13-15: Papaya
Days 16-18: Apricots
Days 19-21: Grapes or Raisins
Days 22-24: Peas
Days 25-27: Kiwi
Days 28-30: Green beans
I’m going to do a baby food freezer day this month, and I’ll be sure to update you on that next time.
I really think I would be struggling to make Bella’s baby food right now if I didn’t have this schedule. I never made up a schedule for Sofía, and I know I didn’t introduce this many foods to her in such a short amount of time. I also remember many days where I had to hurry and make purees because I didn’t have anything for her to eat. So planning ahead has been wonderful for me.
What is/was your baby’s favorite food?
I am not a dietitian or a doctor. This is how I feed my babies, and I am providing this information for those interested in doing something similar. Make sure you talk to your pediatrician before you start feeding your baby solid foods.
Check out the other posts in this homemade baby food series here.