First Foods For Baby
“What food is ‘allowed’ at 6 months? Within the limits of age appropriateness, what actually works? And what about the weirder vegetables like rutabaga? Here I present the basics on introducing veggies, fruits, protein, and spices - drawn from external resources, my experience in the baby food industry, not to mention having fed my own four babies!
The first thing to keep in mind when you start introducing food to baby is that Perseverance with a capital “P” is the name of the game. Take the pressure off yourself and don’t expect baby to open her/his mouth happily every time you introduce a new food. There are many reasons why baby might not be receptive that day (described further below in Feeding Tips & Problem Solving), but ultimately it’s up to you to provide a healthy start in life. You decide what baby eats, and baby decides how much.
Second, be sure to consult with your pediatrician as you move towards introducing new foods to baby.
When to Start?
Around 6 months is the age recommended by most pediatricians. Some moms start with cereal a bit earlier. If you have a history of allergies in the family it’s probably safer to err on the later side.
Which Foods to Start With?
Due to the proliferation of wheat allergies nowadays, many moms choose to start by introducing rice, barley, or oat cereal. I also find that combining cereal and milk with a bit of fruit or veggie makes for a more palatable and satisfying meal.
The 3-Day Rule
Most pediatricians will recommend that you give baby a single flavor veggie or fruit for 3 days to check for allergic reaction. Below is a guide to veggies and fruits to introduce by age. Once you have determined the allergy status of various 6 month Veggies & Fruits you can start to mix them with 6-7 then 8 month Veggies & Fruits. This approach creates a building block effect.
6 month Veggies & Fruits
6-7 month Veggies & Fruits
8 month Veggies & Fruits
A Note About Some Veggies & Fruits Not Mentioned Above
Can be introduced around 8 months:
Can be introduced at 1 year:
Can be introduced at 2 years:
Other Foods to Avoid Until Later
Introducing Herbs & Spices
Most pediatricians recommend waiting until around 8 months.
Which herbs & spices?
Foods to Avoid Altogether
Feeding Tips & Problem Solving
Refusal of Food:
Modeling Good Eating Habits
Around 7-8 months your baby will start to look at what you’re doing a bit more closely. You will notice that she is starting to mimic you.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to model good eating habits. It’s no good putting a bowl of freshly made organic veggies in front of your child and expecting her to eat it while you nibble at a muffin and sip a Coke. I say to Moms all the time that healthy baby means healthy parents. I’ve met many moms who’ve told me that their eating habits have changed for the better since having a baby.
This doesn’t only mean eating healthier, it also means:
Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net