Picking out the right foods for starting your little one on solids can be tricky – more so if you decide to take the step of making them yourself. Fortunately, we’ve gathered a few popular starter recipes to help you get on the right track.
Check the foods you’re introducing to baby for recommended start age, especially with major allergens like shellfish, nuts, and gluten. A good rule of thumb is to introduce one new food at a time, and wait four days between each new meal; that way, if your little one does have an allergic reaction, you can easily identify the source. It may take several tries before your child is comfortable eating solids, so don’t stop breast- or bottle feeding cold turkey.
Pears and apples are both excellent first foods, full of Vitamin C and fiber. If baby likes both apples and pears separately, spice things up a little with a combination of the two!
Avocados are often overlooked as a first food, but they’re a stellar choice. Mashed avocado has a creamy texture, as any guacamole fan knows; they don’t need to be cooked before being plopped into the blender; and they’re also loaded with vitamins and unsaturated fats, which are important to the development of the central nervous system. (Note: Since guacamole usually has garlic and other strong spices in it, hold off until 8 to 10 months on that one.)
If you try out papaya at about 6 months (it’s not an ideal first food, but it is yummy and nutritious) and find that baby likes it, mixing it with bananas makes for a great double meal!
Brown rice is a traditional first food for little tummies – it’s packed with nutrients, easy to make and store, and can easily be mixed with pureed and mashed fruits or veggies when you get around to adding new flavors. You can cook and puree the rice as needed or buy rice flour to skip the blending step.
1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water
Peas and green beans are both excellent first foods, packed with vitamins and minerals your little one needs. This recipe can be used to make a pound of fresh or frozen green beans or peas into a yummy meal for baby.
Bananas are one of the most convenient first foods out there. All you have to do is peel, mash, and serve – no washing or cooking required! On top of that, they’re full of potassium (great for heart health) and fiber (which means you need to watch for constipation issues, if that’s all baby’s eating). However, bananas are sometimes associated with latex allergies, so keep a close eye on baby’s reactions.
1 ripe banana
Water, formula or breast milk as needed
Another classic first food, sweet potatoes take a lot of prep time but pay off well once you’re through. They’re chock full of vitamins and minerals that will help baby grow up strong!
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