Enough solids? (7 months)

My seven-month old eats approximately 5-6 tablespoons of cereal every morning and 4-5 tablespoons (each) of fruits and vegetables (Earth's Best!) during the day including 16 oz of formula. When I try to give her fruit/vegetables for dinner she refuses and prefers 8 oz. of formula in the evening. Is she getting enough solids (nutrition) each day?



Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Dear Heidi,

There is no set amount of solids that a seven month old should be eating each day. What is important is that they get their daily need of the individual nutrients, plus the appropriate developmental stimulation from their food. Some seven month olds are just starting on solids and may only be eating a few tablespoons of solids. Their nutritional needs are mainly being met by the formula. Other seven month olds have been enjoying solids for a couple of months and are having three squares of it a day. They are getting their RDAs from a mix of formula and solids. Judging by the description that you gave me, if the 16 ounces of formula is all your daughter is getting (or is the evening 8 ounces in addition to the 16?) than she is on the low end of acceptable formula intake, especially since she is not getting another source of protein. However, if she is getting the 16oz plus the 8 oz in the evening, than her intake is in the acceptable range of 24 to 32 oz.

If your daughter is fairly new to solids, than I wouldn't yet worry about her preference for the bottle in the evening. Generally that is the hardest time to introduce something new, or to change a schedule. Baby's are tired then, less tolerant, and perhaps the stress level in the house is higher too. All this may be affecting her attitude towards evening solids.

At seven months, your daughter is on the cusp of being a solids and table foods eater. To encourage her progression in that area, have her join you at the dinner table and be an integral part of the positive socialization that goes on there. Serve her solids, and texture modified table foods that are right for her. Do not offer a bottle at the dinner table, but do offer her fluids in a sippy cup. She can then decide how much and what (of those foods offered) she will eat. Save the bottle for an evening or bedtime snack. This bottle may be one of the last to go, and may still be there long after she is well established on table foods. The point is not so much to eliminate that bottle, but rather, make it her nighttime bottle, while getting her to eat more solid nutrition for dinner.

Try starting out by offering her some familiar solids for dinner, like another serving of cereal and some fruit. After she accepts that, then perhaps she will begin to eat more 'dinner' types of food with the rest of the family. Be sure to (gradually) increase the texture and consistency of the foods she is offered. If children are not encouraged to eat chunkier foods at the developmentally critical stage (around 7 + months) they often refuse to accept them when offered at an older age.

Thank you for writing.

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