Opinions on when to start feeding a baby and what vary widely. My parents started me on vegetable baby food when I was six months, but then when my sister was born, we lived in England where the doctors recommended starting on rice cereal at three months. We both turned out okay. That’s not to say baby’s first food’s not an important decision; just one where there’s not a single right answer.
While you’ll want to decide what to feed your baby based on your own thoughts about nutrition, your baby’s tastes, and what you feel comfortable with, we’ve compiled a list of tried-and-true foods that babies love. We’ve tried to include an age range where there seems to be a consensus, and note organic options for foods that are known for being especially high in pesticides or hormones, but you may want to do organic versions of all of these or none of them depending on your beliefs. And, as with anything regarding your baby’s health, we recommend that you consult with your pediatrician before starting your baby on solids.
For more on starting solids, check out Babble’s guide here.
— Brooklyn Supper, Babble
Bananas are unlikely to be allergenic, and their soft texture and sweet flavor make them very palatable for baby. Mashed bananas are an excellent choice for baby's very first solid foods.
Check out 10 tips for eating organic on a budget.
For baby's first cereal, think whole grains. Oatmeal, which has manganese, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, is a wholesome choice. For baby, simply cook oatmeal with more water then usual, dilute with breast milk, formula, or water, and mash with a fork to serve. For babies under 7 months, you may want to puree the oatmeal before serving.
Make cherry orange oatmeal (perfect for older babies!).
Brown Rice Cereal
Make your own brown rice cereal by putting brown rice through the coffee grinder. Add water, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Continue adding water until a soupy, smooth consistency is achieved. You can also cook up brown rice normally, and then thin with water and puree.
Get brown rice on the table in 60 seconds.
Teething biscuits are a great, fun first food. For a more wholesome option, you can even make your own. Teething biscuits are suitable for babies 8 months and older, though baby should be supervised closely while she's eating.
Make your own baby biscotti.
Besides being high in healthy monounsaturated fats, recent studies have linked avocados with an increased absorption of healthful carotenoid antioxidants, lycopene, and beta-carotene, making avocados the perfect food to blend with vegetables like carrots, squash, or spinach to increase the uptake of nutrients. Babies as young as 6 months can be fed avocado.
More on feeding baby avocado here.
Click here to see more easy homemade baby food recipes.
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