There was a time when cereal was recommended as a baby’s first food, but these days, not so much. There are so many other nutritious choices and many mamas are choosing to skip the bland cereal options and offer their little ones a variety of fruits, veggies and other tasty options.
First Fruits for Baby
If your baby is having a hard time grasping any of these slippery fruits, consider rolling them in wheat germ to make them more grab-able.
- Bananas – large, easy to hold chunks
- Avocado – great source of healthy fats
- Apples – steamed or baked is best
Roasted in a touch of olive, grapeseed or coconut oil these veggie’s skin will soften and make the ideal snack for your little one’s expanding taste buds.
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Green beans
- Bell pepper
- Broccoli – perfect handles for little one’s to grasp
- Cucumber – when cooled, they can offer great teething relief too
- Chicken – bite size chunks
- Scrambled eggs – this is a new recommendation base on a recent study which has found that early introduction of eggs may reduce the risk of egg allergies. Learn more about the study here.
- Cheese – bite size or shredded
- Brown rice
- Low-mercury fish – learn about safe fish options and preparation ideas here
- Toast – add a touch of butter for a real treat and avoid dry bread as it can get stick to the roof of baby’s mouth a form a clump that could pose a choking hazard
- Yogurt – messy, but nutritious, especially full-fat, plain Greek yogurt
What are your (and your baby’s) favorite first foods?
Take note, babies don’t need teeth to begin solid foods – it’s truly a wonder what they can gum and grind in their mouths. In order to be ready for food just make sure your baby can sit steadily on their own, have a genuine interest in food and are exhibiting a pincher grasp with their fingers. These milestones start as early as 6 months, but often closer to 7-8 months. With my little ones I tend to try out both grab-able foods and purees. It gives their tongue and mouth muscles the opportunity to learn how to react to all sorts of consistencies and textures. This makes their risk of choking less as they learn to take time with each bite to feel, taste and determine if their food needs to be chewed or simply swallowed.
Last, but not least, I’ll leave you with my favorite starting solids mantra: “Food is fun until they’re one!” So, let your little one’s explore, taste and grow in their love for meal time without the stress of three square meals. After one you can begin offering more and more solids as your little one continues their weaning journey. You can also begin experimenting with foods recommended for older babies/toddlers like strawberries, nut butters, honey and other foods that are usually considered no-nos in the first year.
Disclaimer: Before introducing solids to your baby be sure to run ideas and options by your health care provider. They know your little one’s health best and can make adjustments and appropriate recommendations.