baby eating broccoli

Easy and Healthy First Foods for Baby

Baby’s First Foods

Baby feeding can be fun, exciting, terrifying, and annoying all at the same time. So where do you start? There is no one size fit all for which foods to feed your baby and which ones to start with. However, if possible, you want to start with more nutrient-dense foods first, just to keep your baby fueled and growing!

First, start with high iron foods and aim for protein 3 times per day. There are a ton of protein options including: meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds, whole grain products, iron fortified infant cereal, and peanut products. These are all great to start with in puree form or in with baby-led weaning techniques with close monitoring. It’s also important to prioritize  healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, particularly those that are rich in potassium (banana), vitamin A (sweet potato, carrots), and vitamin C (broccoli or strawberries). These are a key element of healthy complementary food diets at ages 6 to 12 months, not only to provide adequate nutrition but also to foster acceptance of these healthy foods and their flavors. Provide good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are found in foods such as seafood, nuts and seeds, and plant oils.

Specific sources include salmon, tuna, ground flax seed, walnuts (pureed or walnut butter). Here is a Mama tip for you -nut butters can be thick so offer these spread thin on crackers or toast instead of in globs. And make sure to introduce only ONE new single food each time. This will help your baby become familiar with that food and not overwhelm them all at once.

Softer textures are important to keep in mind when first introducing solids. Try to start with puree or mashed food items and then as they develop more motor skills, you can start introducing soft pieces of fruit or finger foods.

Here are 3 easy foods to offer/avoid

To Offer:

  1. Mashed Potatoes
  2. Avocados
  3. Pureed Sweet Potatoes/Carrots

To Avoid:

  1. Raw fruits/veggies
  2. Honey/syrups
  3. Thick and hard food

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Emily Sylvester

Emily Sylvester is the Founder & CEO of Mother of Fact. As a Licensed Registered Dietitian, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Mom of 3, she's helped thousands of families in many low/middle income communities feel confident and supported in their feeding journey. Her mission is to eliminate the deficit of equitable breastfeeding & formula feeding help for all households & healthcare systems.
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