Your 7 month old is a lot more interested in eating food than he or she was at 6 months old. He or she is probably ready to expand their daily menu to add a little more variety.
My 7 month old twin boys have very different tastes. One will eat just about anything I give him, and the other is very picky and cries when I try to feed him something he doesn't like. Here is a sample menu that has worked well for me:
Sample menu plan for a 7 month old baby:
Rice cereal with mashed banana
Applesauce with carrots
Sweet potatoes or squash with meat (turkey, chicken, or beef)
Applesauce with apricots, peaches, or pears
If you have a picky eater, don't be afraid to try different food combinations. I have read you shouldn't try to force a baby to eat something they don't like, so I have tried to come up with combinations that fool my picky eater into eating his vegetables. He likes meat mixed with his sweet potatoes or squash, and I have also added fruit to this combination. It adds a little natural sweetness, and he loves it! One day I got my frozen peach and squash cubes mixed up and ended up mixing sweet potatoes, peaches, and chicken. My son loved it! I couldn't figure out what he was so excited about until I tasted it and realized my mistake. My picky eater also LOVES yogurt.
Make sure to still watch for food allergies. One of my sons has had no problem with his milk-based formula, but breaks out in a rash all over his stomach when he eats yogurt, so no more yogurt for him. His brother had no reaction to it at all. This is also why it's important to only introduce one new food at a time to identify the problem food.
This month I have started replacing my boys' afternoon bottle with diluted apple juice. They love drinking their juice after they wake up from their afternoon nap.
Really try to get your baby on a consistent feeding schedule so that they know what to expect every day. My boys eat breakfast at 8:00 a.m., lunch at 12:00 p.m., and dinner at 5:00 p.m., with bottles in between and before bed.
This is just an example of a menu plan and schedule that worked well for me. I also used homemade baby food I had prepared and frozen ahead of time.
Copyright 2005, Creative Homemaking. This article may not be reprinted.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of
What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick
easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home
decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative
Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.