Hey Mommies! Introducing foods is an exciting time in your baby’s development, but can also be a little scary. I wanted to share some great first foods for your baby.
Soon after your baby has been introduced to cereals and some puree foods, you can start introducing foods that require a little more chew and in mouth manipulation. If your baby is typically developing, tolerating purees well, and enjoying meal time, you can start introducing foods with more texture around 6 months old.
In my profession, I have come across many parents that do not realize they can start giving their baby “real” food at such a young age. Babies do not have to go through all the stages of baby food before you can start introducing and giving them “real” food.
1st and 2nd stage foods are great to start with, and good supplements. However, as soon as your baby is eating these well, I’d start introducing more solid, real foods.
10 Great first foods for your baby to start with are:
- Bananas: Bananas are soft, slippery, and easy to mash up. You can fork mash a banana to smooth it out but also keep some texture. Or you can just cut small pieces, mash them in your fingers some, and give them to your baby.
- Canned, steamed, or boiled carrots: Like bananas, well cooked carrots are very soft. These can be fork mashed or squished with your fingers to help break down but provide some extra texture for your baby.
- Baked sweet potatoes: I’d recommend a sweet potato over a regular potato because they are more nutritious and not quite as dry as a regular potato. However, you can use a regular baked potato if you choose. A baked sweet potato can be easily mashed and gummed by your baby.
- Avocados: Like everything above, avocados are very easy to fork mash. They’re soft and slippery which will be easy for your baby to manage.
- Regular applesauce: Instead of buying baby food apples or baby applesauce, you can get a regular jar of applesauce or make your own for your baby.
- Cooked apple slices: Similar to applesauce, you can also cook apple slices until they are very soft. Then, fork mash or offer very small pieces to your baby to try. You can also add some cinnamon for flavor.
- Canned pears: You have to be careful as pears can sometimes have a fibrous strand running through them, but most pieces are soft. You can fork mash pears or offer your baby some small bites.
- Scrambled Eggs: Adding some milk and cheese to scrambled eggs can further soften their texture. This is a great texture to try with your baby and provides good nutrition.
- Graham cracker soaked in milk: This isn’t the most nutritious option, but letting a graham cracker get soft in some milk is great solid to try as it will easily dissolve and fall apart in your baby’s mouth.
- Soft, well-cooked noodles: You’ll want to cut these into small pieces, but a soft noodle is another food your baby should be able to manage. You can also try adding some light sauces, butter, or olive oil to increase smoothness, build flavor, and add calories.
Rice puffs, baby cheese puffs, meltable yogurt bites, and cheerios, are all good foods to try too. However, these are better snack/practice foods instead of meal time foods.
You can also work your way to other veggies such as peas and green beans as these are soft too. However, the skin on these can sometimes be a little more challenging when first starting out.
Whenever you’re trying new foods with your baby, be sure to monitor for an allergic reaction. Also be sure to give small bites that can be easily swallowed. Never give a bite that is too large and could choke your baby.
Are there any other first foods you tried with your baby? Any foods you’re wondering if it’s safe to try? Let me know in the comments below!
By: Emily Bettis, MOT/L
Emily Bettis, MOT/L is a pediatric occupational therapist and mother. She has been working with children birth-5 since 2008 and has been a mother since 2013. Emily is the founder and author HeyMommies.com