Feeding and nourishing your child is one of the most rewarding, but also nerve wracking, aspects of being a parent. Once it’s time to start giving your kid solids (around four-six months), there is a whole world of information thrown at you – and it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Fortunately, most of it is trial and error and it becomes fun to see your baby experience new foods for the first time.
As vegetarians, we’re used to trying new and different foods – and also were excited to do the same for our son. While it is common practice for babies to start eating rice cereal around six months, we did things a bit differently. We wanted to start giving our boy more nutritionally viable, low allergy, foods from the start. Below are some of the first foods we gave our kid, which we believe set him up to be so willing to eat almost everything we eat at 14 months. As always, please discuss any food plans with your pediatrician and make whatever decision is right for your family.
- Avocados – Once ripe, these are naturally soft and perfect to mash up and spoon feed to a baby just trying food for the first time. Also, avocados are naturally high in essential fats, which are necessary for babies this age for growth and brain development.
- Pears – This fruit could not be easier to prepare in bulk once baby starts getting his or her eat on. Just steam them, use the leftover water to blend, creating a smooth puree, serve and repeat. Also, pears have a fairly mild taste, making it ideal for a first food.
- Sweet potatoes – Once we put these in front of our son for the first time, it was game over. A huge source of vitamin A, these veggies are also really simply to make. Throw them in the oven in some foil, cut the skin out, and puree with some water. A few sweet potatoes can make enough to feed your baby for a month, and from personal experience, the sweet flavor helps ease them into eating veggies.
- Apples/applesauce – Almost a year after starting on solids, applesauce remains a breakfast staple in our house. Even though we made 90% of our first foods for our kid, which really isn’t that time consuming, we learned quickly that it is 1) easier and 2) more cost-effective to just buy organic, unsweetened applesauce and call it a day. Now, we throw it in a reusable pouch or him to feed himself, and we feel good knowing he’s starting the day with a punch of vitamin C.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about feeding your baby a healthy diet once he or she is old enough to start solids. Fortunately, there are a ton of online resources to help make sense of it all, and you will learn quickly how to make sense of it, and what your baby prefers. Happy eating!