10 Best First Foods For Baby: Why and How To Introduce It To Them?

Table of Contents

Best First Foods For Baby

Table of Contents

No two babies have the same food habits. Some are fussy eaters, some picky eaters, some are baby-lead weaners while others enjoy purees to  wean gradually. As a result, most parents find it difficult to understand when is the best time to first give their baby solid food. And most importantly, which are the best first foods for their baby?

If you find yourself in a similar confusion, this article on the best first foods for babies and also how and why you can introduce them to them.

There are, however, some common indicators to understand the right time for your baby’s first bite.

Is Your Baby Ready For Their First Bite?

Look for these readiness indicators in your baby whether you choose traditional weaning (purees), baby-led weaning, or a combination of the two:

  • Around the age of six months
  • Sitting with only a little or no help
  • They lose the tongue thrust reflex, which forces foodstuff out of their mouth reflexively
  • They have good head and trunk stability
  • Putting hands and toys in their mouths
  • They appear to be hungry after having consumed a full day’s worth of milk (eight to 10 breastfeedings or about 32 ounces of formula)
  • Food appears to be a priority, as evidenced by reaching towards or leaning forward towards food

Note: It’s important to remember that there’s no need to speed through this step. Most infants are ready to begin foods around 5 and 6 months. Solids should not be introduced before the age of four months.

Consult your pediatrician before beginning to wean your kid to ensure that he or she is mature.

Introducing Solid Food

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages exclusive nursing or breastfeeding for six months and supplementary breastfeeding until your baby reaches one. It’s more important to get children habituated to chewing and swallowing meals than it is to provide any meaningful nutritional advantage.

Give your infant breast milk or a bottle first thing every morning, pre or post meals, and before going to bed. You’ll have to explore at first to figure out what works best for them. If they drink an entire bottle before having a meal, then offer them a bottle. If they’re a light drinker, go the other way.

  • Feed your infant 20 to 28 ounces of formula or breast milk every 3 to 4 hours until he or she is 9 months old
  • Feeding them 16 to 24 ounces of formula or breast milk every 4 to 5 hours when they’re 9 to 12 months old

Start a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule for your baby as soon as he or she likes the idea of eating and shows interest in mealtime (typically between 6 and 9 months).

Know that as your baby transitions to solid foods, there will be days when they choose peas and carrots over the breast or bottle, and days when they just want to nurse. This is natural as your baby becomes more independent, but they will still require a full day’s worth of breast milk or formula for the time being.

But the question remains, what is considered the best first food for your baby? There are several fruits, vegetables, and fish that you can give your little one. Each of these food items has its own benefits. We have tabulated these food items as per their age and also, how you can incorporate them into their diet.

Best First Foods For Baby By Age

When it comes to a baby’s first foods, there are no strict guidelines. To get your kid habituated to varied flavors, it’s more crucial to feed a range of fruits, vegetables, and meats in any sequence.

Here are some best first foods ideas for your baby by age:

Age of your child

First food category

Food Items

4 to 6 months

Cereals with only one-grain

Iron-fortified cereal with either breastmilk or formula

4 to 8 months

Vegetables, fruits, and meats pureed

Pureed bananas or carrots, and even chicken

6 to 8 months

Finger snacks with only one ingredient

Softened carrots or apples

9 to 12 months

Foods that have been chopped, ground, or mashed

Cottage cheese, yogurt, mashed sweet potatoes or bananas.

Also try pureed chicken, turkey, or beef.

10 Best First Foods For Your Baby

Now let’s take a look at the 10 best first foods for your baby:

  1. Apples
  2. Avocado
  3. Banana
  4. Broccoli
  5. Eggs
  6. Green Beans
  7. Salmon
  8. Squash
  9. Sweet Potatoes
  10. Yogurt

1. Apple

Apples are a nutrient-dense fruit with a long list of health advantages. They’re high in antioxidants and fiber.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Rich in phytonutrients and polyphenols
  • Include both soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Protect newborns from constipation and diarrhea

How-To

  • Boiled apples
  • Pureed apples

2. Avocado

Avocados are chock-full of nutrients and are often called one of nature’s superfoods.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • All of the B vitamins (except B12) and vitamin C
  • A variety of minerals
  • 88% healthy fats
  • Help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, heart health, and blood sugar regulation

How-To

  • Mashed avocado with one teaspoon or two of formula or breast milk
  • Avocado slice cut off the pit

3. Banana

Bananas are one of the healthiest, most easy, and one of the best first foods that you can offer your baby.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • High in fiber and potassium
  • Helps in digestion
  • Rich in antioxidants

How-To

The best part about giving a banana to your baby is that it doesn’t require peeling, chopping, steaming, or pureeing. Simply peel, pinch with a finger, and eat! Spoons are not required.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is undoubtedly one of the best first foods that you can give your baby.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Cholesterol reduction
  • Cleansing
  • Vitamin D replenishment
  • Inflammation reduction

How-To

  • Pureed broccoli with 1/4 cup of formula or breastmilk or even water
  • Boiled broccoli

5. Eggs

Jampacked with nutrients, rarely found in other foods, eggs are natural superfoods.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Choline in egg yolk promotes brain development
  • Egg whites are protein-rich
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

How-To

  • Mash a boiled egg
  • Scrambled eggs, or plain omelet

6. Green Beans

If you’ve bean (see what we did there?) thinking of giving green beans to your baby, you’re adding lots of carotenoids to your kid’s diet.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Prevent asthma, ear infections, and even the seasonal cold and flu
  • Powerful antioxidants

How-To

  • Boil, blend, and pureed green beans
  • Half cut boiled beans

7. Salmon

Salmon is a popular fatty fish that is high in nutrients and one of the most nutritious fish on the planet.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Vitamin B12 and vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Support children’s bone health, cognitive ability, cardiovascular health, and lessen ADHD symptoms

How-To

  • Blend grilled or any cooked salmon with veggies and liquid (water, formula, or breastmilk)
  • Cut the grilled or cooked salmon into tiny pieces

Note: Make sure you pick out all bones before you give salmon or any fish to your baby.

8. Squash

Squash, a fall staple vegetable and one of the best first foods for your baby., is packed with nutrients for your little one.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Helps control blood sugar, lower the risk of stroke, and help prevent toddler temper tantrums

How-To

  • Cut squash into cubes, steam them and blend with liquid (water, formula, or breastmilk) to form a creamy puree
  • Boil long strips of squash

9. Sweet Potatoes

One sweet potato provides 400% of your daily vitamin A requirement, and this is one of the best first foods for your baby.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Rich in folate, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin E
  • High fiber content
  • Excellent gut health
  • Proper bowel movement

How-To

  • Cut sweet potatoes into small pieces, steam them and blend with liquid (water, formula, or breastmilk) to form a smooth puree
  • Cut the sweet potato into wedges and boil it.

Note: Do not overcook the sweet potatoes.

10. Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the easiest and best first foods for your baby that may be fed on its own or combined with other purees.

Why is it the Best First Food for your Baby?

  • Probiotics help to improve immunity and gut health
  • Protein and calcium-rich, great for bones and teeth
  • Contains healthy fats for brain development
  • Maintain blood sugar level and lower cholesterol level

How-To

  • Spoonful of yogurt

Mixed with other food items as a puree

Worst First Foods for Baby

We have discussed a list of the best first foods for baby. But there are also a lot of food items that must be avoided. Here are a few of them:

  • If honey is introduced too early, it might cause botulism, a deadly sickness.
  • Breast milk and formula should be your baby’s major beverages until he or she is one year old. However, cow’s milk can be used in cooking and baking.
  • Avoid nuts, seeds, raisins, popcorn, peanut butter, hard sweets, grapes, hard raw veggies, and hot dogs as these can cause choking

Final Thoughts

There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to feeding your own baby. Every baby is different and has its own timeline of being introduced to solid food.

Whether you choose to make purees and slowly opt for baby-led weaning, it’s your choice. You can prepare purees in batches and store them in batches and then give them to your little one when it’s feeding time (think of it as your baby’s meal prep).

It’s important to keep in mind that this stage of mealtime is all about exposing your child to different tastes and sensations.

10 Best First Foods For Baby FAQs

1. What are the best foods for babies to eat?

No two babies have the same food habits. Some of the best first foods for your babies are as follows:
  • Apples
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs
  • Green beans
  • Salmon
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • 2. What food do babies start with?

    You can offer vegetables, fruits, and meats pureed when your child is 4 to 6 months of age. For example, you can give them pureed bananas or carrots, and even chicken.

    3. Which is the best baby food after 6 months?

    After 6 months of age, the best first foods for your baby are finger snacks with only one ingredient, such as softened carrots or apples. After 9 to 12 months, foods that have been chopped, ground, or mashed. For example, cottage cheese, yogurt, mashed sweet potatoes, or bananas. Additionally, you can also try pureed chicken, turkey, or beef.
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