With all of the ever-changing guidelines and recommendations and fads out there, it can be super daunting to try and figure out what is best for your baby. While I am no expert, I have spoken with a Registered Dietitian and the additional information I was given was astounding, and reassured me over so many fears that I had from reading all the things on the internet. So I figured I would share a few tidbits along with our journey through food with little miss.
Over the years, there has been a lot of research completed, and it has been determined that the window to introduce food to your baby is not before 4 months, and not after 6 months. The WHY is actually quite logical now that they have done actual studies… Before that 4 months mark, baby’ digestive systems are not mature enough to digest food other than breastmilk/formula, and increased the odds of long-term digestive problems. Likewise, waiting until the previously recommended 12 months mark greatly increased the risk of allergies, pickiness, and/or nutritional deficiencies. So they have landed on the 6 months mark as that ideal ‘deadline‘ to have begun the introduction of food because it has been proven to decrease the odds of digestive issues and allergies.
Then it gets even more complicated: if introducing at 4 months, start with purées only and slowly change the texture (more like mash, then with chunky bits, then finely chopped, then larger edible & grabable pieces) to avoid chocking and a picky eater. If starting closer to 6 months, you can start with solids that baby can eat as-is, like avocado wedges or banana pieces. This is known as Baby-Led-Weaning (BLW), and leads to baby eating off of your plate from almost the very beginning.
We ultimately decided on a hybrid of the two methods, and to let her self-feed early on to make her feel more part of the eating process, and to develop a positive relationship with food. Just be prepared for the mess. We still manually feed her anything sticky or that will stain if the throws it, and while we are out and about. We wanted to get her eating early on as she seemed very interested in it, but ultimately wanted her to be eating the same things we were for ease and convenience.
It can be a challenge to figure out what to feed baby first, especially if mama is allergic to almost everything, so here is our list as inspiration. I have also started to collect & create recipes that both parents and baby can enjoy together, so I will keep you updated on our next steps of our food journey with little miss.
Baby’s First Foods
- avocado wedges
- butternut squash purée
- banana pieces*
- sweet potato purée
- sweet potato slices
- butternut squash soup (also contained sweet potato, onion, garlic, butter, olive oil, cinnamon, thyme, curry)
- stick of plain toast
- cucumber slice (without seeds)
- carrot purée
- apple sauce/purée
- pear mash
- pumpkin mash (technically purée, but very thick)
- apple slices
- apricot pear thick purée
- red lentil mash
- blueberry quads
- salmon (also contained cajun spice)
- steamed broccoli (with butter)
- tomato bits*
- rice bits
- pumpkin pasta sauce with Parmesan cheese (without the pasta)
- barbecued zucchini slices & bits
- yellow pepper strips
- fried red pepper strips
- caramelized onion bits (just onion and butter)
To Try: (7-10 months)
- beef bourgignon
- cauliflower bruschetta mac&cheese (no pasta)
- peach ricotta mousse
- palak paneer
- breakfast frittata
- fruit smoothie bowl
- yogourt (then add trace amounts of almond butter)
- oatmeal pancakes
- loaded chili (lots of beans, veggie bits, ground beef, and cheese)
*pieces = big enough for baby to hold
*bits = small enough for baby to swallow as-is
With that, I will leave you to your food journey with baby! Let me know if there is anything else you are interested in knowing, any specific recipes you recommend we try, or if you’ve got any questions.