Whether you've decided to start your baby on purees, or have the courage that I never had to do baby-led weaning, this list of 10 best first foods will have you on top of your baby's nutrition in no time.
Baby's First Foods
Your baby has reached that stage when they're ready to start solids. Yaaay! But you're probably wondering how, when and in what order to introduce foods and in what way to serve them.
And it's a genuine concern. You're being bombarded with loads and loads of different information which seems to be changing each time you open your browser.
But don't you worry. I'm here to help you with a list of the 10 best baby foods to start with that will cover your meals for a whole month.
When Can My Baby Start Solid Food?
The science says between 4 and 6 months of age, or rather between 17 and 34 weeks. In reality you'll need to watch your baby for signs of readiness to taste their first foods.
The number 1 sign of readiness is when your child starts actually showing an interest in food.
But there are also a number of physiological signs to keep an eye out for.
Physiological Signs Of Readiness
- Mouthing hands and toys
- Asking to be fed much more regularly
- Ability to sit-up straight in a high chair (or with minimal support)
- Good head and neck control
- Able to (partially) close lips over a spoon
- Diminished tongue thrust reflex
- Reaching for your food when you are eating
If you're answering yes to some of the signs of readiness and no to others you can feel free to wait a bit longer if you prefer. It's no big deal. Breastmilk and/or formula can safely remain their only source of nutrition.
But if you're answering yes to all, then by all means go for it. And keep on reading.
How to Serve My Baby's First Foods?
Let's start by distinguishing between the different ways you can serve your baby's first foods:
- Baby-led weaning
But how can you know which is the right one to choose?
Well, let me tell you a secret. There isn’t one right decision. There’s only the right decision for you.
How you feed your baby ultimately depends on what you’re comfortable with.
There is no scientific evidence that indicates that starting with one kind is better than another (e.g. BLW vs. purees). You can read more here in our Starting Solids - Ultimate Guide to learn more about the pros and cons of both methods.
What to Serve as First Foods to My Baby?
This is where it get's really fun. 🙂
Believe it or not, you can pretty much serve anything you want. Just avoid foods listed in our Starting Solids Guide under "What To Avoid".
If you would nevertheless like some guidance on what are the easiest, most nutritious first foods, keep on reading the list below.
In alphabetical order, my 10 best baby's first foods:
- Chicken leg
- Sweet Potato
If you are looking to start exclusively with purees please read this:
10 Best First Foods for Babies
Baby's First Food #1: Avocado
Avocado is the very first food I gave to my son when he started solids, for a number of reasons.
For start it is full of energy and healthy fats which meant that 1 or 2 teaspoons could have a nutritional equivalent of a cup of another fruit or vegetable.
The second reason was the fact that is has a kind of bland and neutral taste which meant that he wouldn't get too used to it and probably wouldn't refuse any foods I introduced after that. And I was right.
Baby's First Food #2: Apple
Apples are one of the most consumed foods throughout the world and are pretty much available fresh the whole year round so they make a really good first food for any baby.
The fun part is that you can also use the water in which the apples were cooked prior to serving to your baby (or steamed) and cool it for a nice drink for your baby especially if they're not to keen on drinking water.
Baby's First Food #3: Banana
Banana is one of the first foods I recommend that you introduce into your baby's diet.
It's perfect for both purees and baby-led weaning and is pretty much a food you can mix with almost any other to enhance the taste and texture of a meal.
I cannot tell you enough how much banana saved me in those first few months when I was mixing and matching food into purees trying to make them both nutritious and delicious.
Baby's First Food #4: Carrot
Although it might not look like it, carrots are also a great first food for babies. They're filled with great nutrients, especially vitamin A and carotenoids.
They also have a nice creamy texture and subtle sweet taste which makes them a great addition to any savory first meal.
Baby's First Food #5: Chicken Leg
Chicken is the first meat I gave to my son when he was 6 months of age. And chicken leg rather then the white meat.
This is because dark poultry meat contains more fats and calories which are important for your baby's growth and development.
Dark poultry meat also has a more savory taste and is not so dry as white meat.
Baby's First Food #6: Millet
Millet is probably the least allergenic grain and is really easy to prepare for various meals which is one of the reasons I love it so much.
Rice has been known to accumulate a lot of arsenic so in those first few months of your baby eating solids I recommend using millet in meals in which you would normally use rice.
I even make some millet risottos, puddings and porridges instead of rice ones.
Baby's First Food #7: Oats
Oats are my favorite grain of all time. And it was the first one I gave to my son.
Probably because oatmeal is one of my husband's and my favorite breakfast so we really wanted our son to share that love with us. And it was love at first sight. 😀
I also love oats as a first food because you can use it in healthy baby recipes like bread, pancakes, or cakes that are ideal for baby-led weaning or as a transition from purees to finger food.
Baby's First Food #8: Pear
Pear is a fruit I highly recommend you include as your baby's first foods because of it's "anti-constipation" properties.
Babies' digestive systems are not fully developed by the time they start solids and new solid food can lead to some constipation issues. Not always, but it's certainly not uncommon.
And pear is one of those foods that can help out in those situations. Not to mention that it's also delicious, sweet, with a creamy texture and full of nutrients.
Baby's First Food #9: Salmon
Salmon is THE fish you'd want to include in your baby's first foods list. It's one of those rare foods that naturally has omega-3 fatty acids which are easily absorbed.
Babies are in need of those beneficial fatty acids as they are an important factor for brain growth and development.
It also has other healthy fats and lots of calories which additionally helps your baby's growth and development even in small servings.
Baby's First Food #10: Sweet Potato
Sweet potato has always been a classic in our home. Whether you want it as a puree, baked in the oven or an ingredient in pies or cakes, sweet potato is always a good addition.
Like carrots it's full of carotenoids and vitamin A.
Its creamy texture makes it a great addition into purees (single or mixed first foods) or as baked fries.
I also love how its sweet taste can slightly enhance savory meals and also make sweets taste better.
So really whichever method your choose to start your baby on solids and whichever foods you choose as your baby's first foods, make sure you can easily mix'n'match them later.
You'd also want to choose foods that are easily available and can be prepared quickly into simple first baby meals that they'll love.