If you’re new here, this post is a continuation of the feeding schedule I have been doing for my daughter since she was 6 months old and started solids. You can see all my homemade baby food posts right here.
This will be the last update in this series. I was going to update all the way until 18 months old, but I’ve decided that I can leave you with a long list of foods to try for the final 3 months. Of course it doesn’t end there. You will want to continue introducing and reintroducing foods to your child for as long as they live at home. Starting young will help ensure success and can make it easier for you, as the cook, to give your child the variety he needs for a healthy body.
Days 1-3 Asparagus
Days 4-9 No New Food
Days 10-12 Papaya
Day 13 Barley (reintroduced)
Day 14 Prunes (reintroduced)
Days 15-16 No New Food
Days 17-19 Chocolate
Days 20-25 No New Food
Day 26 Melon (reintroduced)
Days 27-28 No New Food
Days 29-31 Edamame
What I have loved about having a schedule for Bella is that I don’t get stuck giving her just the foods that she likes. She is given a variety to help her become less picky, and it helps her toddler sister to try and re-try foods as well.
Now I will go over each food that I had on our feeding plan this month. For each food, I will outline the following: 1) The recipe or how I prepared it, 2) Other ideas for making this food for your child or using up the ingredient for the family (be forewarned that many of the recipes I suggest I have not tried myself), and 3) Any other pertinent information about the ingredient, such as when it is in season (in the US) or what other foods it pairs well with. I will also tell you the earliest age you should introduce it to your baby.
Recipe/Preparation: I roasted the asparagus at 375F for 15 minutes with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oil. When I took it out of the oven, I sprinkled freshly shredded parmesan on top. I served it with mashed potatoes and chicken sausage. Bella really liked the asparagus, but it was a bit stringy in some spots, so I had to be careful to only give her the soft inner parts.
Other ideas: Asparagus is really delicious roasted as I describe above, but you can make it in other ways for a little variety. I would try this Simple Asparagus Soup…it looks absolutely yummy. I have always wanted to make hollandaise sauce, and it would be perfect over some asparagus. Looking for a healthy alternative to mac ‘n cheese? Look no further than One Pot Veggie Mac N Cheese and throw in some asparagus.
Other information: Asparagus is a spring vegetable with April being the best time to eat it. The earliest you should give your baby asparagus is 8 months since it can be a gassy food.
Recipe/Preparation: When I went to buy a papaya, they were all green. I honestly didn’t know if that meant they were not ripe or if that was normal, but I skipped over them. Instead, I got a bag of frozen tropical fruits that included papaya. The first day I introduced papaya to Bella, I took some from the freezer and diced them into small pieces for her to eat as a finger food. She was teething and needed something cold to chew on, and it brought instant relief to her! On the second day of introduction, I made a smoothie with the frozen papaya. The third day, I defrosted the papaya and other fruits in the frozen mix, chopped them up, and added some honey Greek yogurt for a mid-afternoon snack. She seemed to enjoy all the different ways we ate it!
Other ideas: If you don’t just want to dice up your papaya for a great finger food for baby, here are some other delicious suggestions. Give your baby a papaya popsicle to help with teething or to cool off on a hot, summer day. Make this Papaya and Coconut Smoothie for your older-than-one baby (since it has honey in it). Sounds super refreshing! And who wouldn’t love this Tropical Fruit Salad?
Other information: Papaya is best from early summer through fall. If you find green ones, they can be ripened quickly at home by placing them in a paper bag and leaving them at room temperature. If you can find Hawaiian Papaya, it is probably going to be much sweeter than the large variety at the grocery store. Apparently, it tastes good with lemon juice. Eight months is probably a good age to start introducing papaya to your baby.
Recipe/Preparation: To introduce chocolate to Bella, we just ate some chocolate chips. She, of course, made a huge mess of it and got it all over her clothes and hair, just as a warning!
Other ideas: Add chocolate chips to banana pancakes, muffins, or granola bars. Offer your child some scrumptious homemade chocolate pudding. Make some chocolate graham crackers in cute shapes. Dip some bananas into melted chocolate and freeze them. YUM!
Other information: Try waiting until your baby is at least a year old to give him chocolate. Once you do, give him some cheese afterwards and make sure to brush his teeth since chocolate has plenty of sugar.
Recipe/Preparation: I first gave some edamame to Bella just like it comes (I heated it up on the stove first). I thought she was enjoying it, but then she started spitting all of it out at once. She had already put like 8 in her mouth! The next day I gave her some edamame mixed in with some pasta, and she ate it much better.
Other ideas: This Quinoa with Edamame, Parm, and Egg looks like a delicious and very filling dish. If you think your baby is pretty good at chewing, try offering some Crispy “Popcorn” Edamame as a snack. Edamame Hummus might be a great way to introduce this food to your child.
Other information: I have never seen edamame at my grocery store except in the frozen aisle, so you should be able to give your baby this food all year long. Giving your baby edamame before a year old is definitely not recommended because of the high risk of developing a soy allergy. There is also concern for offering soy products to your child at any age, but it is up to you as a parent. We don’t eat it very often, and I waited until she was 15 months old to even try it, so I figure she shouldn’t become allergic to it or have any other health issues develop.
Recipe/Preparation: I made some barley for Bella according to the directions found on The Kitchn. I served it in some soup, but she kept taking the barley out of her mouth. To me, barley is just like rice but a bit bigger and chewier. I guess it was just not her forte.
Other ideas: Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto sounds like a great dish and perfect way to give your child some barley. Try it for breakfast in these Blueberry-Barley Muffins. You can’t go wrong with some Chicken and Barley Soup!
Other information: Barley can be one of your baby’s first foods. It is a healthy grain and is digested easily. Although, I suggest that you should pulverize it to a powder if you’re going to give it to a young baby.
Recipe/Preparation: I am still worried about Bella choking on dried fruits, so I made sure to cut the prunes into 1/4 inch pieces. The prunes I bought were the mini ones, but they still weren’t small enough. She chowed them down! I would caution not to give too many prunes at one sitting since they can move things around in your baby’s body very easily!
Other ideas: If you are introducing chocolate to your baby at the same time you’re reintroducing prunes, you might want to try these Fudgey Chocolate & Sticky Prune Brownies (vegan, by the way). Prune Cake, anyone? I am sure that any kid would go for this Prune Juice Smoothie.
Other information: A baby can safely eat both prunes and plums as early as 6 months. The best time to introduce prunes is when your baby is having trouble being regular.
Recipe/Preparation: I was so disappointed because the cantaloupe I bought smelled like it was ripe, but the moment I cut into it I knew that it was not. It was much too hard, but we still ate it. Both Bella and Sofía loved it as a finger food!
Other ideas: Cantaloupe Popsicles? Say what?? My girls would probably love this Cantaloupe Banana Smoothie (seems like you need a pretty powerful blender, though). These Cantaloupe YoNuggets sound like a wonderful treat for a teething babe. If you’re looking to introduce watermelon, start HERE for plenty of ideas.
Other information: The best time to eat melon is from June through September. Try eating melon with pears, cucumbers, or raspberries to complement. Babies can safely eat melon from 6 months on, but they can pose an allergy threat so make sure you talk to your pediatrician first.
The Final 3 Month Plan
Like I said before, I will not be continuing this feeding schedule anymore. I was going to stop at 18 months, but I think 15 months is sufficient. I will leave you with a list of foods that I still need to introduce to Bella in case you have been following my schedules since she was 6 months old.
Here are all the foods I plan to introduce to Bella over the next 3 months and on into the future:
- Lima beans
- Almonds, cashews, pecans, and other nuts
- Green olives
- Green onions
- Artichoke hearts
Can you think of any other foods I might have missed?
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.
Photo credits: “Appetite, asparagus, food, green” by PublicDomainPictures; “Papaya, fruit, alim, food” by Abdecoral; “Cooking chocolate, food, chocolate” by kwol; “Barley seeds, health, grain, wheat, agriculture, nature” by babylass; “Cantaloupe, melon, yellow, canary, amarillo, tendral” by Hans (all photos on Pixabay)