Pediatrician Recommended Best First Foods for Babies

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should be fed breastmilk or other options like organic infant formula or goats milk for baby (from a bottle) throughout the first year of life. After that, parents may decide whether or not to continue bottle or breastfeeding at their discretion.

That said, parents will need to introduce infants to solid food eventually.  This transition can begin as early as six months of age. The ability to eat solid foods will depend to some extent on how your baby develops.

Some children will be ready for solid foods sooner than others. It’s important that you avoid holding your baby to a strict timetable based on age.  Instead, watch for signs that your baby is ready for solids.  These can include the ability to sit up on his or her own, taking an interest in what you’re eating, and not automatically spitting out solids when they touch his or her tongue.

The next question then becomes: which foods should be your baby’s first? Experienced pediatricians can provide the answers. You should always speak to your own pediatrician who is familiar with your baby’s needs and development.  Here are a few options that most pediatricians are likely to recommend.

Baby Food

There are two main concerns when you begin to wean your baby from breastmilk or sugar free formula and introduce solid food. First, you want to reduce possible choking hazards as much as possible.  This means selecting soft foods that are easy for babies to mash and swallow (as they may not have adequate teeth for chewing).

You also want to introduce your baby to a wide variety of flavors, not only to see what he or she prefers, but to familiarize your little one with a healthy and diverse range of foods. You’ll accomplish both of your goals most easily by starting with pureed baby food, which you can buy in-store or make fresh at home.

Rice by Any Other Name

Many new parents hear that bland, white rice or rice cereal is the first thing you should feed your baby. The thinking behind this is that these foods are the least likely to upset your baby’s sensitive tummy.

The problem is that white rice products are heavily processed and lack a lot of nutrients found in fresh produce and other natural foods. This is why it some refer to rice products as the “Wonder Bread of baby food”. Instead, start your baby off with fresh, homemade foods with simple, natural ingredients.

Fruits and Veggies

Fresh produce is perhaps the best solid food to start trying with your baby. For one thing, babies are sure to like the bright colors.  They also tend to prefer options that are sweet, piquing their interest in learning to eat.

You can juice, mash, strain, or puree fresh fruits and veggies for your baby.  Also consider mixing them with other foods in order to provide safe and appealing options for babies just starting to eat. Over time you can begin offering soft fruits or vegetables in small chunks as your baby becomes capable of chewing.

Protein

Like fruits and veggies, proteins should be introduced as a means of providing nutrients they require to grow while also familiarizing your baby’s palette with different flavor profiles. Early on, you can puree or mash meats and other proteins for safety, and later you can try small pieces.

Consider Common Allergens

What you don’t feed your baby could be as important as what you do. If you feel that options like organic cow milk for babies will be beneficial, there’s no reason not to try them out.

However, you should be aware of the fact that allergies to certain foods are common. While it’s unlikely that you’ll feed your baby nuts, it’s not at all strange to feed babies nut butters. Unfortunately, nuts are among the most common food allergens.

Pediatricians used to recommend steering clear of known allergens for at least the first couple of years of your baby’s life.  Newer studies, however, suggest that introducing common allergens early could actually help children to adapt and avoid allergies later in life. You should speak with your pediatrician to determine how best to approach this issue for the welfare of your baby before you make a decision.

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