If your baby is ready to start on solid foods, you might be a bit confused as to which foods are best. There are a wide variety of foods that can be good starter foods. Here are some ideas to help you get going.
Rice, Mixed Grain or Oat Cereal
This is the typical baby cereal that you mix with formula or breast milk. This is a good starter food because it is easily tolerated and you can make it as thin as you like for those first meals. Start with just about a tablespoon of the cereal.
Mild yellow vegetables like squash, carrots and sweet potatoes are good starters, too. They are easy on the stomach and babies usually love the taste.
Many babies love plain, unsweetened yogurt, and it is a very healthy first food. If your baby doesn’t like it, try yogurt with the fruit on the bottom, but check labels, and buy yogurt with low sugar content. Very often the grocery store brand will be lower in sugar than the national brands.
Applesauce, bananas, peaches and pears are all good choices, and babies love them.
These are some of the best foods to offer first. Many pediatricians recommend offering vegetables, cereals and unsweetened yogurt first and adding fruits and sweetened yogurt a bit later. This is based on the theory that saving sweeter foods for later discourages the development of a sweet tooth.
Be certain that you introduce only one new food at a time, and wait a week before introducing something new. This will let you determine if there is any food that your child is allergic to or does not tolerate well. Once you have introduced the foods above successfully, you can add other vegetables, like green beans and peas, and meat. It is usually recommended that you wait until your baby is older to introduce spinach and broccoli.
Beware trying to approach those first few solid meals when your baby is really hungry – he is likely to rebel. Give him just a little breast milk or formula, and he is likely to be much more patient with the process. Don’t expect much those first few feedings. Your baby will wear more than he will eat for some time. But, it will get better – and these first few meals are more about learning the skill than actual nutrition, anyway!