How much to feed your baby?

This is such a hard question to answer and when I started feeding my little guy solids I searched for a chart or something that would tell me exactly how much he should get at each meal. All I got was a headache, confusion and a bunch of conflicting answers. And, here's what I took away from it:

Feed them until they are full and then stop.

But, how do you know if they are full or just want to keep eating? It's hard to discern, I must admit, but I did get better at judging how much he needed as time went on.

As you know, I am a hybrid feeder, meaning I mostly make his food, but do buy jarred foods for eating out, eating with papa and when I am lacking time to prepare a meal. Well, I used the prepared food jars as my guide for how much to feed Little E. Here's what I mean:

A small jar of baby food for the first stage is 2 oz. A frozen food cube in most ice trays is 1 oz. Each measured tablespoon is 1/2 oz. So, using this as my guide I started out feeding him 2 food cubes or 1 jar of food or 4 tablespoons. At this point I fed him one food at a seating.

As soon as he wanted more (which was almost immediately), I would add one more food cube or 2 more tablespoons. When I started increasing his quantities I started adding more variety. I would feed him 2 oz. of pureed peas and add 1 oz. of apples as a dessert.

From there we just kept increasing out quantities as he wanted more food.

How do you know if they are still hungry? They let you know. Crying, yelling, mouth smacking...I just always knew.

Once he was eating 4 oz. at a time I switched to the bigger jars, and I started mixing foods he had eaten together. Apples and sweet potatoes. Winter squash and pears. Carrots and peas. You get the idea.

When Little E was 6-7 months here is an example of meals he would eat:

- 1/4 cup Earth's Best multi grain or oatmeal cereal mixed with water
- 2 pea food cubes, 2 pear food cubes - 2 carrot food cubes mixed with 2 apples food cubes
- 1-2 oz. jar Earth's Best winter squash, 1/2 ripe banana mashed up
(I always offered 2-4 tablespoons of cereal mixed with water if he was still hungry)

Around 7-8 months:

- 1/4 cup cereal mixed with 2 tablespoons organic, unsweetened jarred applesauce, water
- 2 pea and brown rice food cubes, 1-4oz. jar of Earth's Best Apples and Plums
- 3 carrot food cubes, 1/2 smashed banana
- 2 green bean and brown rice food cubes, 1 apple food cube mixed with 4 tablespoons of cereal
(I always offered 2-4 tablespoons of cereal mixed with water if he was still hungry)

Around 8 months and beyond:

- 1/4-1/2 chopped banana pieces as finger food first, then 1/4 Happy Bellies oatmeal cereal mixed with 2 tablespoons applesauce and water
- small handful (3-4 tablespoons?) whole cooked cooled peas as finger food; 1/2 banana smashed with 3 tablespoons organic whole-milk plain yogurt; 2 pea and brown rice food cubes, handful of cheerios
- small handful of chopped cooked cooled carrots, 2 bean and brown rice food cubes, 4 oz. Earth's Best jar of peach, banana and oatmeal, handful of cheerios
- 1/3 stick of string cheese, chopped into small bits, 3 carrot food cubes, 4 oz. jar of Earth's Best Apple and Apricot, handful of cheerios

SIDE NOTES: I worked into these schedules, which means I introduced each food for 3-4 days before adding a new food. I also worked up to the above quantities as Little E demanded more food. I always stop if he seems full, which to him is playing with his food and throwing it over the highchair onto the floor, or disinterest.

Also, you will notice that I feed him a lot of jarred fruit. There a few reasons for this. First, it is either difficult to find during a New England winter or too expensive to buy a variety of organic fresh fruit. Hopefully this will change as summer rolls around. Also, some of the jarred foods offered fruits I could easily introduce using the jarred mixed versions (apricots, plums, raspberries, peaches). These are all mixed with apples.

1 comment:

Pixie said...

I have no doubt when Preston is done with anything I am feeding him - either little hands cover his mouth & he starts blowing raspberries or the food/bottle ends up on the floor!

Thanks for linking this on your blog. I had given up on making baby food for Preston. I have cubes in the freezer that I made when he started solids. He REFUSED to eat anything I made but would eat the jarred foods - I think it was texture. He wouldn't even eat mushed real food like bananas. Instead he went straight from jarred food to finger food.

I've been in a quandary about what to do for lunches & snacks at daycare. This is just the inspiration I needed! Had never thought about beans/rice. Will have to give that a try.


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