Baby Bella is now 9 months old, and she has tried a ton of new foods over the last three months. Twenty-four to be exact! If you’re just joining us, see the bottom of this post for links to the other posts in this series.
Without this feeding schedule, I would have gone crazy this month. I need it to make sure I am feeding her new purees and making enough purees to give her at least two meals a day.
Bella is really enjoying all the purees I am feeding her. There were some days that were tough due to teething and sleeping issues, but she embraced most of the purees by the third day of introduction.
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A Sample Feeding Schedule for an 8 Month Old
Days 1-3: Brown rice
Days 4-6: Uchiki Kuri Squash
Days 7-9: Zucchini
Day 10: No new puree
Days 11-12: Grapes
Day 13: No new puree
Days 14-16: Chicken
Day 17: No new puree
Days 18-20: Apricot
Days 21-23: Peas
Days 24-26: Red bell pepper
Days 27-29: Green beans
Day 30: No new puree
Days 31-33: Kiwi
The schedule turned out a little different than I had planned in the last post. For example, I was going to introduce pumpkin after brown rice, but my husband came home from the store with an Uchiki Kuri Squash instead. Alright. No worries. 🙂
The only new food I did not introduce, that I had planned on introducing, is papaya. I have never bought papaya myself, and when I saw how big they were I decided to change the schedule around. I was intimidated, but I hope to give her some papaya in the future.
On days that say “no new puree,” it was because I hadn’t gone to the grocery store to get the new food. I am going to be much better this month about buying the foods as far ahead as possible. Because I moved from introducing every four days to introducing every three days, I was able to introduce 10 new foods this month. It is a bit more work because you have to do something new more often, but I just love finding out her reaction to new foods!
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 (for the first three days of introduction I gave her 3 Tablespoons for most purees), 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.
Time: 10 minutes
Quantity produced: A little more than 1/2 cup of rice powder from 1/2 cup of brown rice
Recipe or preparation: Baby’s Rice Cereal from Cooking for Baby.
Since I only wanted to prepare a small amount at a time, I had to figure out the right proportion of water to rice powder. I decided that 1 T. of rice powder and 1/3 cup of water works well.
Cost: $0.20 for 1/2 cup of rice
Reaction: I mixed the rice with different purees each day, and she enjoyed it. It is a great way to thicken up purees that are too thin.
Uchiki Kuri Squash
Quantity produced: 28 T. – from one squash
Recipe or preparation: I just roasted it in the oven the same way I would a pumpkin or butternut squash.
Turn on the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet cut side down. Poke holes in the flesh with a fork. Sometimes I add a small amount of water. Otherwise, throw in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour (depending on how fast your oven cooks). It is done when you can poke it and it’s soft. Then I just scoop out the flesh and puree. Add some water to the puree if needed.
Cost: $1.26 for 28 Tablespoons, or 13.5 cents per day
Reaction: She loved this squash!
Time: 10 minutes
Quantity produced: 9 1/2 T. – from one zucchini
Recipe or preparation: I followed the directions on Homemade Baby Food Recipes and steamed the zucchini.
Cost: $0.42 for 9.5 Tablespoons, or 13.3 cents per day
Reaction: She was hesitant for the first few bites on the first day, but then she wanted more, more, MORE!
Quantity produced: About 5 or 6 T. – from 25 grapes
Recipe or preparation: I peeled each grape by hand, and then I mashed them all together with a fork. I read that you can just puree the grapes, skin and all, and then strain so the skins are separated out, but I thought it would be faster (and less dishes!) to just do it by hand.
Cost: 20.5 cents for the two days, or about 10.3 cents per day
Reaction: Loved them!
Quantity produced: 35 T. – from nearly 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken
Recipe or preparation: I referred to the tutorial found HERE (on Wine & Glue)
Cost: $2.93 for 35 Tablespoons, or 25.1 cents per day
Reaction: She didn’t really care for the texture on the first day, but when I mixed it with other purees on the other days she gobbled it right up.
Quantity produced: 10 T. – from 1/2 cup of dried apricots
Recipe or preparation: I used dried apricots and referred to the article HERE (on Homemade Baby Food Recipes) for how to soften them
Cost: $1.30 for 1/2 cup (about 10 Tablespoons), or 43.3 cents per day
Reaction: She really liked the apricots!
Time: About 15 minutes – I was having major issues with my blender, so I’m sure it could have been less time
Quantity produced: 20 T. – from one 10.8 oz. bag of frozen peas
Recipe or preparation: Sweet Pea Puree from Cooking for Baby – basically you just need to steam them and then puree
Cost: $1 for 20 Tablespoons, or 15 cents per day
Reaction: Bella was not a fan of peas…at all! I have found that mixing it with other purees helps her eat it (she liked it a lot with butternut squash).
Red Bell Pepper
Quantity produced: About 12 T. – from 2 roasted red bell peppers
Recipe or preparation: Followed the directions HERE (from A Spicy Perspective) to roast the peppers, and once I had all the skins removed I just pureed them
Cost: $1.96 for 12 Tablespoons, or $0.49 per day
Time: About 10 minutes
Quantity produced: 20 T. – from a little more than 1/2 pound of green beans
Recipe or preparation: Green Beans with Mint from Cooking for Baby (although, I didn’t actually use the mint!)
Cost: 32 cents for 20 Tablespoons, or 4.8 cents per day
Reaction: Unfortunately, the puree was a bit stringy because my blender isn’t doing such a great job, so I had to pick around all that. She liked it, but it was a bit too thick.
Time: Less than two minutes
Quantity produced: I used one kiwi each day, but they were really hard so she ate a tiny bit each time
Recipe or preparation: Just cut in half, scoop out the flesh, and mash. I would have done this, but mine were pretty hard. I won’t be buying kiwis anymore unless they’re in season!
Cost: $0.42 for three kiwis, or 14 cents per day
Reaction: I seriously only gave her three or four teensy bites of each kiwi. Each time, she did a sour face, but she didn’t spit it out and she never turned her head when I tried giving her more. In fact, she leaned forward for more!
Time Total: Over the course of a month, I spent a total of 1 hour and 53 minutes making Bella’s baby food. Not bad at all for 10 purees! Ok, so I did make more purees on my baby food freezer cooking day and a few other times, but it’s not a huge investment of time in my opinion.
Cost for 3rd month of solids:
Brown Rice – $0.20
Uchiki Kuri Squash – $1.09
Zucchini – $0.42
Grapes – $0.205
Chicken – $1.52
Apricots – $1.30
Peas – $0.75
Red Bell Pepper – $1.96
Green Beans – $0.192
Kiwi – $0.42
Other purees throughout:
Apple – $0.959
Banana – $0.90
Butternut Squash – $0.689
Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, and Apple – $0.20
Carrots – $0.357
Parsnips – $1.90
Peaches – $0.805
Peach, Pear, and Apple Puree – $0.972
Pears – $0.523
Summer Squash – $0.70
Sweet Potatoes – $0.05
Total cost for 33 days: $16.11
Cost per day: About $0.49 per day
*I only calculated the cost for the food she actually ate during the month. Food that is in the freezer will be calculated when she eats it. If she starts eating a puree and doesn’t finish it and I have to throw it out, I still calculate the cost.
*For the most part, I fed Bella two times per day and gave her between 5 and 6 Tablespoons of food at each meal.
The fourth month is going to be quite the adventure for Bella! I will still introduce a new food to her every three days, but with some of the new foods I’ll also introduce an herb or spice. I can’t wait to report how it goes!
I’ve been using both Tablespoons and ounces as a way to measure and compare, but next month I’m going to stick to ounces. When I switch between the two it confuses me, and it probably confuses you! Just FYI, two tablespoons is about one ounce, and all the food I freeze in ice cube trays are one ounce per cube.
The new foods I plan to introduce to Bella this month are:
Days 1-3: Pumpkin with Allspice
Days 4-6: Beef with Thyme
Days 7-9: Yogurt
Days 10-12: Oatmeal
Days 13-15: Egg Yolk
Days 16-18: Cauliflower
Days 19-21: Cherries
Days 22-24: Spinach with Garlic
Days 25-27: Prunes
Days 28-30: Barley & Mushrooms
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.