Which foods you choose to introduce your baby to first will depend on how old your baby is and which feeding method you’ve selected to follow.
Many health organizations, recommend that infants receive a variety of healthy, nutritious foods to complement breast milk or formula after six months. Which foods you choose will be largely up to you and your baby. Generally speaking, if your baby is around six months and you choose the spoon-fed method, you’ll probably be starting with baby cereals and porridges before moving on to pureed or mashed vegetables, fruits, and finally, meats and dairy. Many experienced mothers recommend fruits after vegetables because babies love the sweet taste of fruits and may be more resistant to vegetables once they know there’s a more delicious option. However, the truth is that babies like sweet foods; it’s natural, and it will be valid regardless of when fruits are introduced.
With baby-led weaning, you’ll want to jump straight to table foods. Instead of delaying fruits, feel free to start with soft fruits such as mashed bananas, avocados, ripe melon, or pears or apples. Mashed sweet potatoes and steamed butternut squash are other great choices for introducing your baby to solids. If you choose to go all-out with the baby-led weaning method, you should try to choose foods that your family is also eating. The aim is for the baby to join the real, authentic world of dinner and eating from the beginning, so avoid giving them separate food from the family. This doesn’t mean that if the rest of the family is eating tacos, your baby is ready for a hard shell and sour cream. However, try to include some ingredients in the main meal that is baby-friendly and then give those to your baby. For example, give your baby avocado chunks and also put them on the table to go with your family’s tacos. Give your baby a few options to choose from. Start with simple whole foods and work your way up to combinations and complexity.
10 Tips For First Foods
If your baby is ready to get started, it’s time to move on to the first step: Introducing the first foods! We’ve put together ten easy rules to guide as you move forward.
Tip 1: Rice is often recommended as a first food because it is gluten-free and easy to digest. Pureed vegetables are another excellent introductory food that provides essential nutrients. For BLW, avocados, sweet potatoes, and bananas are excellent first choices because they are gentle and easy to finger. The AAP recommends introducing your baby to a wide variety of healthy foods, in terms of both flavor and texture.
Tip 2: Try mixing your first baby purees with breast milk or formula. Gradually increase the amount of puree or mash until your baby is eating at a regular consistency.
Tip 3: Start small. Try a tablespoon the first day and then gradually work up to more.
Tip 4: The first time you feed your baby food, don’t try to replace his meal. Go ahead and feed him about half of his regular breast milk or formula serving, or wait until an hour after he’s eaten. The first attempt at baby food won’t get it all down, and if your baby is hungry, you will only cause frustration and discomfort.
Tip 5: Don’t introduce new foods all at once. Wait four days before giving your baby her next food. This will allow you to watch for any allergies, and pinpoint what caused them if they develop.
Tip 6: Don’t feed your baby directly from the container unless you’re sure he will be able to finish it. To avoid contaminating leftovers with bacteria from your baby’s mouth, scoop the baby food into its own serving dish.
Tip 7: Watch out for choking— always monitor your baby during feeding, even if she is feeding herself. Chocking is a real hazard for babies, so be prepared to intervene if necessary.
Tip 8: Don’t force your baby to eat. If he is refusing food, move on, and try again later.
Tip 9: Your baby’s brain needs healthy fats for proper development. Make sure to include baby-friendly servings of healthy fat sources, such as olive oil or avocados, in your baby’s new diet.
Tip 10: If your baby doesn’t seem to like food, don’t give up. It may reach to 10 exposures before a baby gets ‘used’ to a new taste and texture. In some cases, they may never develop a taste for those mashed peas, but much of the time, they’ll be happily gumming away after a few more chances to try things out.