First Foods for Baby: Top 5
Hello friends! This post is a bit overdo because if you’ve been following me on Instagram (if not click here and let’s be friends!) you know that I celebrated hitting my goal of Lincoln trying 100 different foods by 1 year old! We actually hit it around the 9 month mark so now I’m just seeing how far we can go before that smash cake. If you want to read more about some of those foods click here or here.
I know that Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is popular right now and for good reason. I just don’t want anyone to think that pureed textures can’t be apart of this journey. Guess what? Feeding a little one, especially your first, is nerve wracking! I watched videos on the difference between gagging and choking which helped but it can still be scary. I do think it is worth mentioning that in a recent study, babies were not found to choke any more on a BLW approach versus traditional purees. If you’d like to read that study, I’ll link it here.
All that to say, I want to share the first five foods I did with Lincoln and how I chose to serve them. One thing to note is that you have to make sure baby is developmentally ready for solids. I am not a baby feeding expert but I do know that baby should be sitting up unassisted, hold their head steady, and show other signs of readiness. We talked with our doctor who was ready at 4 months but that’s pretty early. I did try out some things here and there but our journey began further into 5-6 months old. At the 6 month mark (typically) they are ready for “all” foods as long as they’re long enough strips for them to palm grab and take a bite off of.
There is NO one size fits all approach to feeding your baby and if your baby is struggling with eating or you’re getting stuck, talk to your doctor or perhaps seek a feeding specialist (I know of a great program in Grand Rapids, MI if you need one!) or check out Feeding Littles for a course. Now, let’s dive into the first five foods!
YES! Scrambled, mashed into a puree and loaded on a spoon, or fried and cut into strips is an excellent first food. Now, if you or your family have a history of severe food allergies you want to talk to your doctor first. Back in the day (am I old enough to say that?) they used to advise waiting on allergen foods (eggs, peanut butter, etc) but that has changed. We want to expose them early and often to prevent allergies.
This orange veggie is pureed and ready for you, just make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling by accident. Though I’m sure baby would love it, added sugar is not advised until the age of 2 years old. Canned pumpkin is a little thick so at first I would water it down with a little breast milk (or water or formula) and often just smear some on a spoon for Lincoln to grab and play with. Side note, playing with food is just as important as eating it! Babies learn through touching so you want to let their hands dive in.
Avocado is a high source of healthy (unsaturated) fats. Fats are particularly important as babies grow for brain, nerve, and eye development. Fat also helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. I started with guacamole and pre-loaded it onto a spoon and let Lincoln feed himself. As he got older (and I felt more relaxed) I cut avocado into strips for him to grab. Because they are slippery I would roll them in hemp seeds sometimes.
Lincoln’s first fruit was cooked and pureed peaches. He LOVED them! It actually got me to try them again and to my surprise I liked them. This is actually a cool concept of starting to feed a little one. If you have held back on certain foods for yourself or thought you didn’t like them, try them again with your babe! I do provide cut up canned peaches (in 100% juice) now since they’re not in season and they’re still a favorite.
WHOLE MILK GREEK YOGURT
Cows milk is not advised until a baby turns 12 months, but dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are totally fine. I chose whole milk for the fat content and Greek for the protein content. Other protein foods, namely meat sources, also made me nervous (yes, nervous nelly here!) so I liked to get protein from yogurt, tofu, eggs, and beans. We offered this plain and then added pureed fruits or veggies in as well. Just no honey until after the 12 month mark as well for risk of botulism.
Most Importantly…Have FUN with it
I know it can be stressful but I promise it does not have to be an all or nothing process. Even as a dietitian, I did not feel like I knew what I was doing until afterwards. My confidence grew and I got craftier with trying lots of different foods with him. I would also buy the baby pouches as they had a lot of different foods in them that I couldn’t get. I liked mixing those in with things like yogurt, oatmeal, or as is. Even leftovers like a little bit of ground beef from a chili or 1/2 a salmon patty can be great foods for baby. Let them play, grab, touch, and explore.
Drop your questions in the comments below!