Congratulations! Baby has hit a huge milestone – food introduction. Where do you begin and what will be your first food choice? Below is a list of my favorite first foods. As you notice, grains do not even make the list. Once your baby can start eating solids, be sure to introduce him to super foods or those with are nutrient dense. When you begin food introduction start with single ingredient, age appropriate foods. Purees are a great way to start navigating food tastes and then later you can introduce cubes or chunks. My favorite first foods for baby are packed with nutrients, are easy to prepare, and easy to digest. Making your own baby food does not have to be a daunting task. The bonus to making your own baby food is that you know exactly what you are giving your baby and it also can be cost effective. In the beginning if I wanted to thin the texture I would add breastmilk to the foods listed below.
1 – Avocado – Smashed or cubed this is a great first food. It is a fruit that has a good mix of protein and carbohydrates. In addition, it is packed with good fats, vitamins A, C, Niacin, and folate and minerals iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
2 – Banana – These aid in digestion and can also be smashed or cubed. No cooking needed. Bananas are high in vitamins A, C, folate and minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
3 – Sweet Potato – Steam, roast, or baked these are a hit with infants. Cube the pieces, puree or leave the pieces on the tray for baby to pick up at eat. These are a great source of vitamin A, C, and folate. Minerals include potassium, sodium, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium.
4 – Winter Squash – After you cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, you may bake, roast or steam, the pieces. Depending on the size of the squash, I will bake with coconut oil on the meat of the squash at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until fork soft. Squash works great to consume in cubes or purees. These are high in vitamin A, fiber, folate, calcium, iron, protein, and potassium.
5 – Pears – These mix so well with many foods. Also, pears are great if your baby is experiencing constipation. These can be consumed raw or gently steamed.
With my three kids I would begin with single ingredient foods and then start experimenting with different food combos. Remember to wait four days between new foods in the beginning to determine if baby experiences any food sensitives or allergies. Once we navigated through various foods, we practiced baby led-weaning. Essentially our babies would eat what we were eating. There was little to no preparation of mush or purees. I would prepare sized appropriate food and let my 6+month old practice feeding themselves. It got messy, but they were able to practice fine motor skills and it gave me time to take a few bites of my own food. We like to use a lot of spices as a family and in the beginning, I would pull some of the food out prior to seasoning. If you are interested, I would be happy to share some of my favorite recipes that my kids love!
One of my favorite resources for baby food introduction is: https://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/babyfirstfoods.htm
There are many recipes and ways to prepare various foods on this website. Dip your toe in and start experimenting with different foods for your baby.
~~Dr. Melanie DC, CACCP