Best foods for weaning a baby
Ultimate Guide to Baby Led Weaning (and Best First Foods)
Learn the basics of how to do the feeding approach known as “baby led weaning” and the best first foods for baby to make starting solids easy and fun. Plus: Learn why it’s perfectly okay to use a combined approach of blw and purees.
Baby Led Weaning
The feeding approach known as “baby led weaning” or “BLW” for short, is a style of feeding infants that allows them to feed themselves right from the start. The food is offered in thick finger-size pieces and is soft and easily squishable between your fingers. This way, the food is both easy to hold but has a low risk of choking.
TIP: This method became popular about a decade ago after the publication of the Baby Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Food by UK author Gill Rapley.
One of the many reasons that people are starting to opt for this style of feeding more and more is simply that it’s easy. In many cases, you can modify foods you’re already making to share with your baby and there’s not always a lot of separate cooking involved. It also allows a baby to have control over what goes into their mouths, which sets a good precedent for letting them eat intuitively from the start.
What age should I start baby led weaning?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a baby is ready to start solids with baby led weaning when:
- They’ve doubled their birth weight (at least).
- They can hold their head up well and are starting to sit up unsupported.
- They show signs of being interested in food (watching you eat, reaching for food when you’re eating, etc).
- When you feed them, they are able to move the food around in their mouths—rather than spit it right out.
TIP: Look for a highchair that allows a baby to sit up relatively straight so they can have good posture and better control over their arms and hands.
How to Start Baby Led Weaning
The first time you offer solids is such a fun milestone, so you’ll be ready once you follow these simple steps.
- Make sure baby has hit the milestones listed above to let you know that he’s ready to start.
- Get the highchair ready and adjust the straps and foot rest as needed.
- Plan to introduce water when you start solids. I recommend a trainer cup.
- Choose one food to start with and plan to offer only one food at a time.
- Stop when baby starts to fuss, turns his head away, or shows any other signs of not wanting to continue. It’s usually fairly obvious when they are done!
TIP: If you start offering solids and baby just doesn’t seem interested at all, it’s okay. Take a break for a few days or a few weeks and start again. Each kiddo has their own unique timeline.
Best Tips for Starting BLW
Here are a few more tips to consider and review before you get started.
- Understand the gag reflex. Gagging is different than choking though and is most often a sign that baby is learning to move food around in their mouths—and to get it out of their mouths, which is a skill you want them to have!
- Brush up on the basics of how to know when baby is ready to start solids. (Go back to the top of this post for the signs to look for.)
- Set them up for success with a highchair that allows them to sit up straight and has foot support.
- Sit with them as you offer food.
- Check your own expectations of what will happen and simply allow your baby to take the lead.
- Start with one new food a day or every few days.
- Vary the textures of foods you offer to start exposing baby to many right from the start.
- Offer water in a sippy cup or small open cup.
TIP: Remember that breastmilk or formula will continue to satisfy baby’s hunger for the first few months of eating solids. Do not expect solids to replace milk feedings at this age.
First Foods for Baby
Starting solids with baby led weaning or purees are both perfectly acceptable ways to introduce a baby to solid foods—but the topic can get so heated! There’s a lot of pressure to do it the “right” way and I’m here to say that there isn’t one. You 100% can do one or the other, or combine the two to make it work for your family. It’s all good!
Remember, the goal with first foods for baby is that they’re introduced to flavors, nutrients, and foods they can easily eat or suck on. It should be an enjoyable milestone for all involved.
TIP: It’s a good idea to get into the habit of offering an iron-rich food since iron stores in babies start to run out around 6 months and they’ll need to start ingesting it in their food.
Best First Foods for Baby Led Weaning
Here are some of our favorite first foods to offer baby led weaning style. You want foods to be finger sized so they are large enough that baby can’t force the whole piece into their mouth, and a shape that’s easy for a 6 month old to hold with their chubby little hands. These are some of our favorites.
- Roasted sweet potato wedges
- Roasted apple wedges, skin on to help them hold together
- Roasted or steamed broccoli florets (big enough for baby to hold)
- Melon slices
- Thick mango slice
- Banana with some of the peel still on
- Toast sticks with mashed avocado
- Avocado spears (make sure the avocado is ripe and soft)
- Lamb or beef, on the bone or a large piece for baby to suck on
- Dark meat chicken, on the bone or a large piece for baby to suck on.
TIP: The foods should generally be soft enough to squish between your fingers with the exception of the large pieces of meat. If baby gnaws a piece down into a smaller piece, replace it with a larger one to avoid her putting a chunk of food into her mouth.
Baby Led Weaning Banana
To serve a banana to a baby, wash it well, then slice it in half. Cut off an inch or two of the peel, but leave the rest of the peel on so it’s not slippery for baby to hold. They’ll suck on the top part like a little popsicle! You can also help them hold the banana if needed.
Foods to Avoid Serving While Doing BLW
You want any foods you offer to a baby while doing baby led weaning to be soft enough to squish between your fingers and safe for them to eat and digest. Plan to avoid:
- Anything hard, sticky, or crunchy (like raw apple or carrot, whole nuts, crackers, or a big spoonful or nut butter)
- Added salt
- Cow’s milk (which is difficult for kids under 1 to digest; plain yogurt is fine though)
- Added sugar (they simply don’t need it)
- Honey (to avoid a risk of botulism)
- Super slippery foods that would be hard for baby to hold (which can be frustrating)
TIP: Always sit with your baby and watch them try to eat. They are your best guide for making adjustments to the foods you serve.
Baby Led Weaning and Choking
There are many parents who dislike this method of feeding because it often sounds like a baby is choking. And while there are surely some incidences of choking, what’s more likely is that a baby will occasionally gag on a piece of food that gets into their mouth that they weren’t expecting.
But remember: Gagging is a sign that baby is doing what she needs to in order to move the food around in their mouth as they learn to eat. It usually sounds more dangerous than it actually is.
TIP: If the sound of gagging really freaks you out, you’re not alone. Consider offering more preloaded spoons with purees to start your journey more slowly.
How to Cut Foods for BLW
You generally want the food to be big enough that it would be difficult for baby to put the entire thing into their mouths. Here are some specifics:
- Foods that are roughly the size of a finger, so about a 4-inch stick.
- Foods that are easy for the baby to pick up—they can’t pick up small pieces until closer to 9 months when they develop the ability to use their fingers in what’s known as a “pincer grasp”.
- Foods that aren’t too slippery—so you can wash and leave some of the peel on fresh foods like bananas, avocado, kiwi, and mango.
TIP: You can also go even bigger if you’re worried about size. Think half of a slice of bread or a big chunk of watermelon.
Will my baby actually eat much food with BLW?
Probably not at first. There will likely be more tasting of the food than eating of it and that is totally fine. They will still rely on breast milk or formula at this age for their main nutrition, so don’t expect them to suddenly start eating full meals. (They’ll get there in a few months, but it takes time!)
Do babies need teeth for baby led weaning?
No! Gums are super strong and front teeth aren’t used for chewing—that happens when the back molars come in. Teeth really have nothing to do with whether or not a baby can eat solids.
TIP: Learn more about what to expect from teething here.
Can you mix baby led weaning and purees?
Absolutely! I think it’s a great idea to mix the two methods simply because it gives you many more options for foods and allows the baby to experience more textures. I recommend allowing babies to feed themselves preloaded spoons—so you put the puree on a spoon, then hand it to them to actually put the spoon into their mouth—so they still have control over what goes into their mouths.
TIP: Feeding some purees is also helpful if you’ll be sending food with a baby to daycare since the care provider may not have experience with blw.
Best First Foods for Baby: Purees
Here are some of our favorite purees to start offering baby when they’re ready to start solids. Remember: There’s no evidence that says that you need to start with vegetables versus fruits, so go with something that tastes good to you. Start with single foods pureed smooth and offer just a little at a time on a spoon.
- Mashed roasted sweet potato puree
- Mashed avocado puree
- Mashed banana puree
- Butternut squash puree
- Applesauce, unsweetened
- Mashed pea puree
- Oatmeal baby cereal (with added iron)
TIP: One of my favorite baby food companies is Amara Organic Baby Food, a company using a nutrient protection technology that makes organic purees just as good as homemade. I love how easy they are to use when I need a shortcut and that they have fun baby-led weaning recipes on the side of every box! (paid affiliate link)
How do I know when baby has had enough?
If your baby is eating and then starts to turn her head away or just refuses to open her mouth, she’s done! Babies may also start to fuss if they’ve had enough. Learning this new skill takes time and babies can become tired fairly quickly into the process, so don’t expect them to always eat very much or to last very long at the table. This stage is about exploration!Baby with preloaded spoon of yogurt
How to Let Baby Self Feed Purees
I love offering purees on a preloaded spoon. To do this, the parent, puts some of the food on the spoon and hands it to baby. Then baby can bring the food to their mouth all by themselves. This gives you some of the same advantages of baby led weaning, but can be more comfortable for many parents.
Remember, you can mix what you offer, going back and forth between purees and blw finger foods, so you can offer the same food two different ways to let baby explore. The main goal is to avoid forcing baby to take more bites than they want to, which can sometimes happen with purees.Baby eating peanut butter toast stick
When to Introduce Potentially Allergenic Foods
In recent years, guidelines have been updated on when to introduce potential allergens including peanuts, eggs, and shellfish, so unless you have a family history of a food allergy, you can go ahead and introduce them soon after baby starts eating solids. In fact, research is showing that introducing these foods early can actually protect baby from developing an allergy. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns.
TIP: Thin unsweetened peanut butter with water to form a very thin Peanut Butter Puree until it’s about the consistency of regular yogurt and offer a very small amount on a spoon or spread on a toast stick.
What does a baby led weaning meal look like for months 7 and 8?
Until a baby is closer to 9 months and is able to pick up smaller pieces of foods, but after they have gotten the hang of one food at a time, I try to offer 1-2 foods they can feed themselves and one puree. This offers them a chance to ingest more via the puree but still feed themselves a range of textures. You can do more or less food following the lead of the child.
TIP: My Baby Food Chart has loads of with ideas for blw foods and purees by month.
Recipes for Every Stage of Starting Solids
If you’re ready to start solids with baby, or you’re just curious what it looks like to do a mix of baby led weaning and purees, check out my Yummy Baby Food cookbook. It goes stage by stage with specific foods to start in each, with simple recipes and easy feeding tips.
Listen to a recent podcast episode to hear about some of the basics of BLW with our guest Megan McNamee, MPH, RDN, CLT, and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in pediatric nutrition who runs Feeding Littles.
I’d love to hear any questions you have with BLW or if your baby had a first food that I didn’t list here. Please comment below to share your experience!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Amy Palanjian
- ▢ 1 small ripe banana with peel on
Roasted Sweet Potato
- ▢ 1 small sweet potato + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ▢ 1 small apple + 1 teaspoon butter or neutral oil
- ▢ 1 cup broccoli florets + 1 teaspoon olive oil
Sauteed Green Beans
- ▢ 4 green beans 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ▢ 1 small piece watermelon or cantaloupe
- ▢ 1 slice whole grain bread
- ▢ 1 tbsp ripe avocado
- ▢ ⅛ ripe avocado
Lamb or Beef
- ▢ 1 lamb chop, roast, or steak
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
- ▢ 1 chicken thigh
- ▢ 1 tsp olive oil
- ▢ 1 garlic clove, optional
Banana with some of the peel still on
Cut a banana in half. Use a knife to gently cut around the peel about 2 inches down, leaving some of the peel on so that the banana is easy for baby to hold and less slippery.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Wash and dry the sweet potato. (You don't need to peel it.) Cut in half, then cut lengthwise into strips. Cut each strip in half again until each is about 1/2-inch thick. Slice in half horizontally if the sweet potato is very long. (Each strip should be about the size of your finger.) Place into a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and roast for 22-25 minutes or until soft. Let cool slightly and serve.
Roasted Apple Wedges
Roasted Broccoli Florets
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the broccoli onto a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, coating and mixing well until all of the florets are a little shiny and coated with oil. Roast for 15-18 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly and serve.
Sauteed Green Beans
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove cover and taste one to see if it’s soft enough. Cook for an additional minute or two as needed.
(Make sure the avocado is ripe and soft): Cut a thick strip of avocado and offer to baby. You can leave the peel on if that makes it easier for baby to hold (just wash it first).
Lamb or Beef
Prepare a roast, steak, or chop without salt and with butter or olive oil until cooked medium well. Offer a thick slice at least the size of your finger or a drumstick.
Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs
Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken thigh and top with a few slices of fresh garlic, if desired. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove cover. Flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes uncovered or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F.
- Add spices like garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, or any other non-spicy flavor you like to make these more interesting.
- Offer just one piece at a time when starting out.
- If baby gnaws a piece down into a smaller piece, replace it with a larger one to avoid her putting a chunk of food into her mouth.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat briefly if needed.
- Remember that it's normal for babies to take time to actually ingest the food. Part of the process is exploring all of the senses related to the experience of eating.
Calories: 28kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 75mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 23IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!
11 Foods for Baby-Led Weaning and What Foods to Avoid
Around 6 months of age, babies get to spark their taste buds by adding foods to their otherwise breast milk- or formula-based diet. Many caregivers look forward to the opportunity to watch their babies respond to a variety of new colors, textures, and flavors.
Babies may be spoon-fed infant purees, the typical approach in Western society, or they may feed via the baby-led weaning (BLW) method.
BLW is characterized by infants feeding themselves small pieces of soft foods they can pick up independently. Proponents of this method claim that it offers benefits such as improved appetite regulation and motor skills (1).
This article presents the best and worst baby-led weaning foods.
Avocados are fruits known for being highly nutritious. They are an ideal food for babies and adults alike. It’s no secret that babies grow rapidly in the first year of life and need adequate nutrition to support this.
This easily mashable fruit is typically famed for its healthy fat content, but it’s also packed with fiber, potassium, folate, copper, and vitamin E (2).
Only 5% of Americans meet their adequate intake (AI) for daily fiber. This nutrient is known to enhance digestion and help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (3).
In a study in young children, those with high fiber intakes also had greater intakes of key brain-boosting nutrients for babies, including iron, folate, and vitamin B6. So, feeding your baby avocado and other fiber-rich foods will provide them with many beneficial nutrients (4).
- 6–8-month-olds: Cut a ripe avocado into slices about the width of an adult finger for easy gripping.
- 9–12-month-olds: Cut a ripe avocado into small cubes or chunks.
Though it’s not necessarily a mess-free option for your baby, yogurt is a taste bud-friendly food with calcium, protein, and gut health benefits. Yogurt is a cultured dairy product, meaning that it contains healthy probiotic bacteria cultures such as Lactobacillus (5).
Probiotics play a prominent role in digestive health and can benefit young children who experience tummy troubles such as diarrhea and constipation (6, 7).
For example, in a 2019 study of 82,485 Japanese infants, researchers found that eating yogurt at least 3 times weekly significantly lowered the risk of stomach inflammation (8).
Whole milk yogurt comes in a variety of flavors that might be sweetened with added sugars. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025 recommend that children under age 2 avoid added sugars (9).
The American Heart Association also discourages added sugars in young children because increased added sugar intake may increase heart disease risks by elevating blood pressure and triglycerides (10, 11).
Therefore, the better option for infants is unsweetened whole milk yogurt.
Not only are they affordable and easy to prep, but eggs are also chock-full of nutrients such as protein, vitamins D and A, and choline. In fact, eggs are one of the top sources of dietary choline, which is essential for the development of babies’ brains and eyes (12).
Studies show choline levels are positively aligned with academic achievement in children and information processing speed in babies (12, 13).
Keep in mind that it’s critical to offer only fully cooked eggs to babies to reduce the risk of food poisoning from Salmonella exposure.
Salmonella is a bacteria found in many foods, including eggs, that can cause sickness if the contaminated food isn’t properly cooked before eating. Babies are at high risk of food poisoning symptoms because of their naturally weak immune systems (14).
You can tell that an egg is hard-boiled and safe for your baby if it’s cooked until both the yellow and white parts of the egg are firm (15).
- 6–8-month-olds: Bring water to a boil and hard-boil eggs for 15 minutes. Cut the egg into quarters or strips.
- 9–12-month-olds: Bring water to a boil and hard-boil eggs for 15 minutes. Dice the egg. You can also scramble an egg and cut it into small pieces.
Carrots come in many colors, including orange, yellow, and purple, with each color offering unique nutrients.
Carotenoids are a type of nutrient that is converted into vitamin A in the body. As such, carrots offer babies vitamin A, an essential vitamin for keeping the immune system in good shape (16, 17).
Specifically, lutein is a carotenoid found in carrots. It helps with vision and may contribute to brain growth (18, 19).
- 6–8-month-olds: Peel and cut carrots into sticks about the width of an adult finger. Steam or boil the carrot sticks until soft.
- 9–12-month-olds: Peel and chop carrots. Steam or boil until soft.
Tofu is a calcium-rich, soft, plant-based food that’s an excellent option for babies.
A single slice of tofu offers 10% of your baby’s Daily Value of calcium. Babies rely on this mineral to develop and maintain healthy bones (20, 21).
- 6–8-month-olds: Follow package instructions to squeeze out excess water. Cut into wide sticks your baby can grip. Warm the sticks by placing them in the microwave for 10 seconds, or lightly pan-fry to make them lightly crisp for gripping.
- 9–12-month-olds: Follow package instructions to squeeze out excess water. Cut into bite-size cubes your baby can pick up. Warm the cubes by placing them in the microwave for 10 seconds, or lightly pan-fry them.
Some parents worry about giving meat and fish to babies and consider delaying introduction of these foods. However, rest assured that babies can gain a ton of nutritional benefits from these protein-rich foods.
Meat and fish are important for babies, offering essential nutrients for growth and development, including easily absorbable iron, vitamin A, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc (22, 23).
Because BLW may lead to lower iron intake, parents using BLW are encouraged to add foods rich in iron to every meal (22, 23).
Other iron sources include lentils, spinach, and fortified breakfast cereals (24).
Zinc plays a significant role in brain function, nerve development, and memory. Older babies are at a higher risk of zinc deficiency because their zinc needs increase as they age (25).
Meat and fish are primary sources of zinc. If your family follows a vegetarian diet, oatmeal, ground chia seeds, and brown rice are other sources of zinc for older babies (26).
- 6–8-month-olds: Offer fully cooked, soft, finely shredded chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, or pork.
- 9–12-month-olds: Offer fully cooked shredded or ground meat or small pieces of salmon.
Babies fed BLW-style can eat apples to help meet their needs for vitamin C.
Vitamin C-rich foods can help babies’ bodies absorb iron from iron-containing foods. Further, if infants don’t get enough vitamin C in their diets, they’re at risk of connective tissue problems from a condition called scurvy (27, 28,29).
- 6–8-month-olds: Peel, cut into wedges, and cook apples until soft. Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.
- 9–12-month-olds: Offer your older baby peeled, shredded raw apples.
A popular root vegetable, sweet potatoes are a well-liked baby-friendly food that’s easy to prepare.
Sweet potatoes contain fiber, a necessary nutrient for healthy digestion. In fact, a low fiber intake is associated with constipation, so sweet potatoes may help keep your baby comfortably regular (30, 31).
- 6–8-month-olds: Cook a whole sweet potato. Peel and cut into strips the width of an adult finger.
- 9–12-month-olds: Cook a whole sweet potato. Peel and cut into small chunks your baby can pick up.
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Oats are a whole grain rich in fiber, copper, selenium, zinc, and many other nutrients crucial for immune function and gut health. Babies typically take well to cereal grains such as oats because of their texture, mild taste, and ease of eating (32, 33).
- 6–8-month-olds: Use breast milk or iron-fortified cereal to make baby oatmeal. To serve oats cold, blend or grind them and mix with unsweetened yogurt or applesauce.
- 9–12-month-olds: Make homemade oat muffins and cut into bite-size pieces.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages offering potential allergen foods, such as peanuts and tree nuts, in infancy. Early exposure to potential food allergens may reduce food allergy risks in babies who are at least 4 months old (34).
Nut butters, such as peanut, almond, and cashew butter, are rich in protein and effortlessly combine with many other foods. Babies must get adequate protein in their diets to support growing bones and muscle strength (35, 36).
Choose a natural peanut butter to avoid hydrogenated oils and added sugars that tend to be less healthy.
Monitor your baby for potential food allergy symptoms such as (37):
If you suspect your infant may have a food allergy, seek medical help immediately.
- 6–8-month-olds: Mix a small amount of natural creamy nut butter into yogurt or oatmeal. To reduce the risk of choking, avoid using crunchy nut butter.
- 9–12-month-olds: Spread a thin layer of creamy nut butter onto a piece of toast or a cracker. To reduce the risk of choking, avoid using crunchy nut butter.
Even when your baby is trying new foods, it’s important to also give them plenty of liquid to keep them nourished and hydrated.
Breast milk remains the best source of nutrition for babies. If breast milk is not available, iron-fortified formula is the best alternative nutrition source to ensure healthy growth and development. Babies need breast milk or formula from birth to around 12 months of age (38).
In addition, babies who are at least 6 months old can safely drink 4–8 ounces of plain water daily, according to the AAP (39).
Safe BLW foods for your baby include cooked eggs, oats, sweet potatoes, carrots, and nut butter. Be sure to prepare and cut foods properly to ensure safety.
Some foods are unsafe for babies and should be avoided to reduce health risks.
Unsafe foods that can cause severe illness
It’s best not to give honey and corn syrup to babies under age 1 because these foods may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a harmful bacteria known to produce toxins that can cause paralysis in babies (40).
Similarly, unpasteurized meats and dairy products can lead to life threatening infections if they carry harmful bacteria such as Listeria. If you plan to give meats or dairy products to babies, be sure to purchase products that are clearly labeled “pasteurized” (41).
From around age 1, babies have greater immunity and improved gut health to fight illness (42).
Also, it’s critical to avoid giving your baby high mercury fish. These include predatory fish such as swordfish, shark, and orange roughy. Mercury is a heavy metal that can harm a baby’s developing brain, spine, and nervous system (43, 44).
Instead, it’s safe to offer your baby small amounts of low mercury fish like salmon, light tuna, and cod once or twice per week (43, 44).
Foods that can lead to choking
To reduce the risk of choking, avoid offering these foods to your baby:
- Sticky foods: marshmallows, gummies, candy, large amounts of thick nut butter
- Round or coin-shaped foods: grapes, cherry tomatoes, hot dogs, hard candy
- Raw foods: broccoli or cauliflower stems, carrots, raw apple — unless shredded for older infants
- Hard-to-chew foods: popcorn, hard-crusted bread, whole nuts
Unsafe liquids for babies
Children under 12 months of age should not consume cow’s milk because their kidneys and digestive system may have trouble processing its mineral and protein content (9).
Further, the AAP recommends delaying offering juice until 12 months of age to prevent tooth decay (45).
To keep your baby safe and healthy, avoid potentially harmful foods and liquids such as honey, corn syrup, unpasteurized meats, and dairy products; foods that can cause choking; cow’s milk; and juice.
Babies can eat a wide variety of foods through baby-led weaning (BLW), starting from around 6 months of age.
Avocados, yogurt, tofu, eggs, carrots, meat and fish, apples, sweet potatoes, and oats can provide your baby with nutrients to support their rapid growth and development.
Your baby’s age and stage of development will determine how you prepare these foods. Generally, opt for well-cooked foods rather than raw.
Because babies are at risk for food poisoning and choking, remain aware and informed of the foods and liquids to avoid in infancy, including honey, round foods, and hard-to-chew foods.
Just one thing
Try this today: Check out this article to learn more about the benefits of BLW and which other foods can help get you and your baby off to the right start.
Detailed list of all foods for the first 90 days of introduction of complementary foods for a child.
Download the table of complementary foods in PDF format:
- Zucchini. Zucchini puree contains only 24 kcal per 100 grams of finished product. Proteins -0.6; fat - 0.3; carbohydrates - 4.6. Contains calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, B6 and iron. To save vitamins, we will prepare the first puree for a child for a couple. Zucchini cooks quickly, 10 minutes is enough. The first serving is 5 grams (a teaspoon), even less, at the tip of a spoon. We'll give you a taste of the new flavor. Take a small circle of zucchini (we choose the smallest, youngest baby zucchini, the puree will be sweet), wash well (you don’t need to clean and remove the seeds from young zucchini), cook for 10 minutes for a couple and grind through a sieve. Let the child try. The feeding temperature should be around 40 degrees. DEFINITELY try the puree yourself before giving it to a child! Not bitter, not sour, are there any strange aftertastes that may indicate a poor quality vegetable? We offer zucchini for 5-7 days according to the scheme: 5 grams - 10 grams - 20 - 40 - 60 - 60 - 60. The zucchini has passed the test! Let's put it aside for now and move on to the next product.
- Cauliflower. Cauliflower puree contains 33 kcal per 100 grams of finished product. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates, respectively: 1.6 / 0.7 / 5.4. Contains calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and B6. To save vitamins, we cook for a couple. We divide the cabbage into small inflorescences, cook for 15 minutes. Grind the first portion (5 grams) on a sieve, prepare large portions with an immersion blender with the addition of boiled baby water, so that the consistency is the same as that of the zucchini. Cabbage, unlike zucchini, contains less water, so it needs to be added. We give according to the scheme: 5-10-20-40-60-60-60. Recall that it is not necessary to give all 7 days, five days will be enough to test for allergens.
- Broccoli. For 100 grams of finished puree 34 kcal. Proteins 2.8; Fats 0.4; Carbohydrates 6.6. Broccoli contains a lot of vitamin A, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C. We prepare mashed potatoes according to the same principle as cauliflower.
- Buckwheat porridge. From vegetables to cereals. It's time to try the cereals. Previously, it was recommended that babies start complementary foods with cereals if they are not gaining weight well, or start complementary foods before six months. But it's all MYTH! Well, the baby will not start gaining better if instead of a portion of fatty milk he receives 60 grams of lean porridge cooked in water. Yes Yes! The first cereals are dairy-free, sugar-free and gluten-free! It is important! For the first test, it is still recommended to introduce special baby cereals, which are sold in stores. Why? Because cereals for children's cereals are not treated with rodenticides, unlike ordinary cereals on store shelves. Yes, and making flour from ordinary buckwheat and cooking 5 grams of such porridge will not be so easy as pouring half a teaspoon of prepared store-bought baby porridge with water, stir and give to the baby. Therefore, we suggest buying a pack of special children's dairy-free buckwheat for the first try and cook it according to the cooking method indicated on the package.
- Rice porridge. Same as buckwheat: dairy-free, gluten-free, salt-free and sugar-free. We look at the energy value on the packaging.
- Corn porridge. This porridge is the most high-calorie of the three, so it is still better to introduce it as the third one. The scheme is still the same as with vegetables: 5-10-20-40-60-60-60 (the last two days are optional). When the volume of any of the cereals reaches 40 and 60 grams, you can add a little already introduced vegetables to it (also up to 40 grams), so that the porridge is not too viscous and monotonous for the child (“in a dry bag”, as we usually say).
- Pumpkin. Puree and pumpkin will already contain 88 kcal per 100 grams of the finished product. Thus, we gradually raise the calorie content of products. Proteins / fats / carbohydrates - 1.7 / 6.2 / 6.3. We clean and cut it into cubes, steam the pumpkin, about 15 minutes. Puree is introduced as before 5-10-20-40-60-60-60. For portions of 40 and 60 grams, you can try to give it together with the already tested porridge and bring the total volume up to 100 grams.
- Apple. It's time to taste fruit. Why weren't they introduced earlier? Because, from birth, a child has a love for sweets, and if you start complementary foods with fruits, then there is a high probability that you will eat vegetables yourself later. We start complementary foods from the most tasteless foods incrementally. The finished puree contains 85 kcal per 100 grams of the finished product. How to cook: wash, peel, cut apples and send to a double boiler or cook in boiling water for 10 minutes (a couple more vitamins will be preserved). Scheme 5-10-20-40-60-60-60. By the way, with regard to fruits, a dose of 60, maximum 80 grams for a child up to a year is quite sufficient. If we then increase the portions of vegetables and cereals, then we will leave the fruits. A large amount of sugar is not good for a child. Up to 40 grams we give applesauce as a separate dish, from 40 grams and more we mix with cereals. Now we will gradually increase the volume and replace breakfast with porridge with fruit, seasoned with a small amount of butter (at the rate of 2 grams of butter per 100 grams of porridge).
- Rabbit. It's time to introduce meat! At this point, the baby should be about 8 months old. It is recommended to start with a rabbit, as this is the most dietary meat. How to cook: we twist the meat in a meat grinder, form small meatballs and weld them a little in boiling water. It’s good if you have a kitchen scale at home and you can immediately prepare meatballs for the required 5-10-20-40 and 50 grams. We throw the boiled meatballs into a colander so that the glass is excess water and they cool, then freeze. Our semi-finished product is ready! The first 5 and 10 grams are given separately. Boil or steam again and grind with a blender. Starting from 20 grams, grind together with the introduced vegetables. Now you can gradually increase the portions and replace lunch with vegetables and meat seasoned with a small amount of vegetable oil (at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 100 grams of vegetables). Meat, unlike all other products that are necessarily introduced in the first half of the day, is introduced at lunchtime.
- Prunes. We prepare mashed potatoes in the same way as from apples, but first, prunes need to be washed, peeled and soaked for a couple of hours in water, then steamed and chopped with a blender. Portions are the same as for an apple: 5-10-20-40-60-60-60. Starting from 40 grams, mix with porridge.
- Turkey. We choose the fillet and give it according to the principle of the rabbit.
- Pear, banana, apricot, peach, plum. We introduce these fruits one by one according to the same principle as we introduced apple and prunes.
So, we have sorted out the safest products for the baby! Selected according to our climate, according to their energy value, composition and vitamin content. To put together a correct balanced diet, you need to know some WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations for complementary foods:
- At 6-8 months, the child should receive 60% kcal from breast milk and 40% kcal per day from complementary foods ;
- At 9-11 months, the baby should receive 45% kcal from breast milk and already 55% kcal per day from complementary foods ;
- The volume of the baby's stomach is approximately equal to 30 ml/kg of the baby's weight;
- At 6-8 months, smoothly go to 2 meals based on complementary foods (breakfast and lunch) and the minimum energy density of the meal should be 0.9 kcal / g for breastfeeding or 1.7 kcal / g for artificial feeding;
- Protein requirements for babies 6-9months 1. 25 g/kg body weight;
- Fat should make up 30-40% of the daily calorie intake of the entire diet.
Download the PDF feeding table:
Ribricaprome Malyuk90,000 best product for the first complementary foods
The start of feedingVictoria ©
00 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 mothers will know that it is time to introduce the first complementary foods. It is here that the doctor advises to start complementary foods with one or another product. How do they explain it!
In case of insufficient weight gain, gluten-free dairy-free porridge from such cereals as rice, buckwheat, corn is introduced as the first complementary food. Usually the baby's first porridge is rice, as it is well absorbed and there is no allergy to it. However, buckwheat porridge is also useful, as it contains amino acids. Usually porridge is diluted with familiar food, i. e. formula or mother's milk.
An allergic reaction to gluten is possible in a child, therefore cereals containing gluten are offered to a child after 8 months, and semolina in general after 3 years of age. Although our grandmothers and mothers introduced semolina from the age of 6 months, but now pediatricians recommend not to rush. Porridges are perfectly digested and less aggressively affect the baby's gastrointestinal tract. However, it must be remembered that cereals are strengthened, so if the baby suffers from constipation, then cereals in the form of the first complementary foods will not work.
1. The first food is vegetable puree. Vegetables in their composition do not contain fructose, which adversely affects the pancreas and stomach of the child, and the kidneys are less loaded. Moreover, vegetable purees are less allergic and perfectly normalize stools. Therefore, with frequent or periodic constipation and overweight, pediatricians recommend choosing vegetable puree as the first complementary food. First, the child is offered vegetable purees with delicate fiber from one type of vegetable (for example, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin) and only then other vegetables (carrots, potatoes, white cabbage, etc.) are introduced.
2. First food - fruit puree - green apple puree. Children will eat fruit puree with pleasure and get used to it faster. However, most pediatricians believe that it is better to offer vegetable purees first, and then fruit purees, since after sweet and tasty fruits, it is unlikely that a child will want to eat unsweetened squash or broccoli. The child receives all the necessary vitamins from milk formula or mother's milk, and much less from fruits.
3. The first food is baked apples and pears. If the child is prone to allergies, it is best to introduce baked fruit. During heat treatment, the allergenic properties of the product are lost. If the child does not have a reaction to the baked fruit, it can be administered raw.
Fruits and vegetables that are white and green in color are introduced into the first complementary foods. Foods must also be hypoallergenic (low allergenic), such as zucchini and green apples.
1. Zucchini, courgette, cauliflower, broccoli.
2. After the introduction of the first solid food - vegetable puree, you can try to give the baby porridge, and later fruit puree. You can start by introducing several types of vegetable purees, for example, everything listed above in paragraph 1, and then enter several types of cereals, and then fruit. It may take about 5-6 weeks to introduce vegetables, but when introducing complementary foods, you should not rush, you need to monitor the reaction of the baby, let this period be a joy for both parents and the child. Remember that for him this is an important period in his life, for him everything is new, unusual and interesting, remember that you are laying the foundations for his future nutrition.