Breastmilk is all your baby needs for the first six months. Many healthcare providers recommend starting with packaged baby cereal – mixed with expressed breastmilk, water or juice – as your baby’s first solid food. They then suggest trying vegetables, fruits, and finally meats. Researchers, however, say that if your baby is older than 6 months when you start solids, the order you introduce them is of little consequence.
Once your baby is ready to start solids, though, consider introducing these first foods:
Bananas: Banana’s sweetness and smooth consistency make it a great first food. Plus, it doesn’t need to be cooked for baby. Simply mash a very ripe banana with a fork and offer small spoonfuls (or fingertip-fulls).
Avocados: Ripe avovados can be mashed and fed to baby uncooked, too. Packed with vitamins an minerals, as well as healthy fats, avocados make a great nutrient-dense addition to baby’s diet.
Sweet Potatoes: Bake and mash a sweet potato, adding a little expressed breastmilk or water to achieve the right consistency. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin B6. If you cook the potato in the microwave, be sure to check for hot spots before feeding to baby.
Pears: Shred or mash a ripe pear, or puree it like applesauce. Pears have a mild flavor along with lots of vitamins A and C.
Carrots: steam carrots or cut well-cooked carrots into bite sized pieces. High in vitamin A and beta carotene, carrots contribute to healthy vision. Avoid raw carrots, though, as they are a choking hazard.
You don’t necessarily need to puree baby’s first foods. As long as they are soft, your baby is able to sit on his own, and has lost the tongue thrust reflex, he should do fine with small pieces of well-cooked, soft, mashed foods.
If your baby is interested in feeding himself, you can provide teething biscuits and O-shaped cereals occasionally and with supervision.
You may still hear advice that you need to introduce vegetables before fruits or your baby will always expect sweet tastes. Because human milk is sweet and baby’s tongue has a high proportion of sweet taste buds, it’s not surprising that baby might favor fruits. Try sweet vegetables – like sweet potatoes or carrots. Be persistent if your baby refuses vegetables. Your baby will learn to like many foods when you keep offering them.
What are your baby’s favorite first foods?
Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.