First food ideas for 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!
What to Make for Baby? First Food Ideas for New Parents
Just when you become a nursing or bottle-feeding pro, a new challenge awaits in the form of introducing foods to your growing babe.Here's a handy guide on where to start for baby's first food.
So your baby is ready for solid foods—she’s sitting upright on her own, has total head control and seems to have serious envy over what you’re eating. Good news: Bringing baby to the table can be a great bonding experience for the whole family, messes and all. And these first foods for baby are soft enough to mash and spoon-feed—and some even work for cutting and using as part of baby-led weaning.
Just keep a steady supply of bibs (and wipes) at the ready, and remember to enjoy the fun of introducing the wonderful world of food to your mini-me!
(Remember, though, to talk with your pediatrician before starting any potentially allergenic foods such as nuts and eggs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until baby is around six months old before introducing any solid foods.)
Start With: Avocado
It’s hard to go wrong starting with avocado as baby’s first food. This fruit is high in healthy fats that are good for the brain and body, as well as vitamins B, E and K. The soft and creamy texture of an avocado makes it easy to mash and chew (or gum!). Even better, there’s no cooking involved. Mom win!
Curious about how to tell if an avocado is ripe? Here’s how to know.
Start With: Soft Egg Yolk
The choline in egg yolks makes them good for your baby’s brain and eyes. Plus, they’re an excellent source of healthy fat and cholesterol. To prepare an egg yolk for your baby, hard-cook it on the stove. Crumble or mash it to make it easier on your child’s growing digestive system.
Start With: Banana
High in potassium, vitamins B6 and C, magnesium and fiber, bananas also contain an enzyme called amylase. This enzyme helps the body digest carbohydrates, such as those found in bananas, making them a great first food for your little one.
Find yourself with more ripe bananas than baby can possibly eat? Here are some great recipes to use them up!
Start With: Cooked Squash or Sweet Potato
Roast winter squash or sweet potatoes to create a soft, sweet food your baby will enjoy. Squash is easy to digest, high in vitamins and minerals and low in nitrates. It’s also a great source of usable vitamin A when combined with a little fat (such as that in avocados).
Start With: Peas
A great way to go green with baby food is through peas. Check out how our Test Kitchen cooks peas, choose one and then puree the peas into a spoonable mixture you can give your child. With peas, you offer your baby high amounts of vitamins A and K, not to mention fiber and protein.
Start With: Pears
Naturally soft and high in nutrients, pears are another fruit babies tend to love. They’re also gentle on a stomach that’s new to the world of solids and helpful for encouraging good digestion.
Start With: Green Beans
As a first food, green beans are another nutritious choice. Learn how to cook green beans perfectly here, and then puree them with a little water to create a mix for your little one. Later, as your baby grows, you can transition to serving whole green beans, chopped in small pieces.
Skip: Cow’s Milk
Before your baby turns one, stick to breast milk and formula over cow’s milk. If you’re eager to start dairy before then, try whole-milk yogurt, which has gut-healthy probiotics.
Looking for the best yogurt you can buy? See what our Test Kitchen discovered here.
While oranges are high in vitamin C and other nutrients, they’re also acidic. In young digestive tracts, this can lead to tummy trouble. Most pediatricians recommend waiting until at least nine months to introduce foods like these.
Skip: Nuts and Seeds
In the early days of solids, you’re going to need to avoid choking hazards, which include nuts and seeds of any kind. A better way to introduce nuts (with your pediatrician’s blessing) is to stir nut butter into yogurt and mix it well.
When you’re ready to venture beyond the first flavors, try making parent-approved recipes for baby food!
The first complementary foods for a baby at 4-6 months - where to start with porridge or vegetable puree? Principles, schemes for the introduction of complementary foods
At what age and with what to start complementary foods? What do you think? At 4 months, at 5, 6 months later? And where to start, what to give preference to: cereals or vegetable puree? Or maybe first give tasty and healthy fruits?
We have already made a whole series of video lectures on complementary foods for children, by months and products, but we are faced with the fact that many parents ask what is the best way to start complementary foods and at what age it is advisable to introduce it.
Parents, oddly enough, have especially many questions and uncertainties, children who are breastfeeding . You quite often confuse the two concepts until what age it is advisable to breastfeed and at what age it is worth introducing complementary foods.
Valid according to all recommendations, breastfeeding is necessary for a baby at least up to 6 months , and if possible longer. But this does not mean at all that a child at 5 or 6 months does not need complementary foods that will prevent the development of deficient conditions in the child, for example iron deficiency . Modern principles of introducing complementary foods to children are a kind of fusion of practical experience and the latest scientific developments. They are based on the recommendations of the European Association of Pediatric Gastroenterologists, Hepatologists and Nutritionists " ESPGHAN "2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics" AAR "and national recommendations of relevant ministries and associations.
According to recommendations, which are extended to our countries, the first feeding should begin:
- Not earlier than 17 weeks - but this is real beginning of the 5th month of life
- Not later than week 26 is the beginning of the 7th month
That is, optimally, complementary foods should be introduced within 5-6 months of life. There is no specific, clear, unambiguous age at which complementary foods should be introduced. You have a certain corridor - 2 months and you and your pediatrician must decide when to start complementary foods, focusing on how the child develops, how he gains weight, whether he has signs of readiness for complementary foods, which we have already talked about in previous our videos, what hemoglobin is, and even if you have enough milk if the baby is breastfed. At the same time, there is a kind of paradoxical situation, despite the fact that breast milk is the best food for babies ,
Quite often, scientists recommend that breastfeeding children introduce complementary foods a little earlier including iron, and in breast milk for a child aged 5-6 months, it may already be a little lacking.
At the same time, there are no separate recommendations for introduction of complementary foods for breastfed or formula-fed children, approaches in these cases are the same . Thus, I hope that we have understood when to introduce complementary foods to healthy full-term babies who do not have serious diseases. Timely introduction of complementary foods contributes to the optimal development of all systems and organs of the child, physical parameters, psychomotor development, and the activity of the nervous system. The period of introduction of complementary foods, on the one hand, is very important for the growth and development of the child, on the other hand, it is a kind of stage in the transition of the child from breastfeeding to food from the general table.
First complementary foods - where to start?
- If the child develops normally , has a good or even excessive weight gain, it is better to start with one-component vegetable puree .
- If the child is not gaining weight well enough, then gluten-free cereals are better: rice, buckwheat, corn
- Do not start with fruit complementary foods
The child is very smart and if he tries sweet fruit puree, he can refuse relatively tasteless vegetable foods and cereals for a long time, and you may have difficulty introducing these healthy dishes.
Which is better factory-made or homemade?
Quite often we are asked what is better to give: ready-made vegetable purees and cereals, that is, factory-made, or making them yourself at home. It's up to you to decide. I often recommend industrial products from European manufacturers to my patients, because I am confident in the very strict quality control of baby food in Europe, but if you are confident in the products and water that you have at home, you can do everything yourself.
What is useful in vegetable supplements and what is the best way to prepare it?
Vegetable puree - for the first feeding can be prepared from cauliflower, zucchini, pumpkin, broccoli and vitamins and microelements! Fiber helps move food through the digestive tract and promote beneficial microflora in the gut. Pectins absorb and remove toxins from the baby's body. Vegetables have a positive effect on the acid-base balance of the body, creating conditions for the proper functioning of all organs and systems.
Cauliflower - is a source of fiber, protein, minerals and various vitamins, it contains a lot of magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron.
Iron it contains twice as much as green peas, peppers and lettuce. Cauliflower protein is easily digestible and its content is quite significant. The cauliflower protein contains methionine . It is one of the essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the human body. Other essential amino acids are also present in a small amount: arginine, tryptophan.
Zucchini - rich in vitamins and microelements. It contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins, folic acid. The latter plays an important role in the processes of hematopoiesis. Zucchini is rich in trace elements that are necessary for the formation of nervous tissue, normal metabolism, and the formation of hemoglobin.
Broccoli is a very healthy vegetable that is a type of cauliflower. Pleasant soft taste and good digestibility of the product, the unique composition has a positive effect on the health of children. Eat unopened cabbage inflorescences.
This is also a low-allergenic vegetable rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, trace elements and even phytoncides. The content of calcium and magnesium in broccoli is enough to balance the functioning of the nervous system, ensure the normal regulation of the child's sleep cycle, good resistance to stress. When eating this vegetable, the child becomes calmer, less excited and naughty. In addition, broccoli is the leader in content choline and methionine that the child needs.
Pumpkin is the largest vegetable on Earth. It is one of the ten most useful vegetables in the diet of children, contains a large amount of healthy proteins, fiber and vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium and trace elements, which are indispensable for children's nutrition, as they strengthen the immune system and help fight inflammation, have a positive effect on the nervous system .
Vitamins and microelements contained in pumpkin help the child grow, provide healthy sleep, are responsible for the condition of the skin and eyes, improve metabolic processes, and accelerate the removal of harmful substances from the child's body. Due to its beneficial qualities, pumpkin can be one of the first types of complementary foods for a baby. All vegetable purees have a specific vegetable smell, this is absolutely normal.
Scheme for the introduction of vegetables in baby food
You need to introduce vegetables into the child's menu gradually. Each new vegetable should be started as a single-component puree in the amount of ½ teaspoon , preferably at breakfast, so you can track the manifestations of food allergies or intolerance reactions to the product. If all is well, then the next day offer him a teaspoon .
So, gradually, you need to bring the portion to the age norm. Portion of vegetable puree per day for a child 6 months old - is about 100 grams, at this age you can start adding vegetable oil to vegetable puree : unrefined olive or sunflower (start with 3-4 drops and gradually increase to 1 teaspoon ), the rest of the portion is replenished with breast milk or formula. A serving of vegetable puree is 200 grams per year. The next vegetable product can be introduced no earlier than 4-5 days later, when the child gets used to the one he is already eating. In the future, you can make mashed potatoes from several vegetables. But don't be too hasty. If the child has a rash on the skin, diarrhea or constipation, then you need to temporarily remove the product from the diet, and after a while try again. If an undesirable reaction occurs again, it is better to exclude such a product from the child's diet for 6 months and consult a pediatrician.
If the child did not like the dish, for example, did not like broccoli, do not refuse what was planned and continue to offer it in small quantities - 1-2 spoons a day, you can even not just once, but 2-3 times before meals, and after 7 - 10, and sometimes 15 days, the baby will get used to the new taste.
This will diversify the diet, help the child form the right taste habits. Porridges, as a rule, are the second complementary food after vegetable puree.
How and when to introduce porridge as the first complementary food?
If your child is not gaining weight very well, then complementary foods can be started with the introduction of cereals. It is important to start by choosing one-component, low-allergenic cereals , which do not contain gluten: these are buckwheat, rice, corn porridges.
gluten-containing cereals include: wheat, oats, rye, barley, millet.
According to modern data , the period of introduction of gluten into the child's diet is not of fundamental importance, but the latest recommendations draw attention to the fact that the amount of gluten in the diet of a baby up to a year old should not be large. Therefore, semolina and oatmeal porridge is better to add to other porridge in a limited amount , and not to give a whole separate portion of such porridge. If your child hasn't tried porridge yet, start with a dairy-free, gluten-free, one-ingredient buckwheat or rice porridge. Please note that completely eliminating cereals containing gluten from the child's diet is also a bad idea, the child should familiarize himself with such cereals before 8 months of age.
Rice - very useful for growing baby's body. It has a low content of vegetable proteins, so it is easily digestible and is especially useful for children with loose stools . Rice has a high nutritional value and protects the baby's delicate intestines to a certain extent thanks to its enveloping effect . This is a hearty and nutritious dish with a good content of carbohydrates and proteins, potassium and magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, beneficial amino acids and vitamins. It covers energy costs, energizes and gives strength. But rice is not recommended for overweight children and those who suffer from severe constipation.
Gluten-free buckwheat porridge - very nutritious and rich in iron, fiber, rich in various vitamins and microelements. This is a very good option for to introduce a child to adult food . All porridges can be prepared with water, breast milk, milk formula, which your child is used to. It is not recommended to give ordinary cow's milk to a child under one year old and use it to make cereals. No need to add salt and sugar.
If a child already eats porridge from 5 months - then at 6 months you can offer a more complex porridge, for example: rice porridge with apricot or raspberries, rice porridge with banana
is very successful
combination both in taste and properties) or even more complex porridge - corn-rice with banana .
Subsequently, apple, banana, pear, plum and prunes, apricot and dried apricots, broccoli, carrots, berries can be added to the porridge, provided that the child is not allergic to them.
Rules for the introduction of cereals as complementary foods for the baby
The same as for vegetable puree. To make it easier for the child to get used to the new product and its consistency, first prepare 5% porridge: 5 g of cereal per 100 g of water if you make it yourself. Porridge is usually cooked with water, but can be made with breast milk, infant formula. First give the baby one teaspoon of porridge, then during 7-10 days bring the volume of porridge of the same percentage to the full volume of feeding, for example 150 g.
there are no skin rashes, the child has normal stools - they switch to the gradual introduction of porridge of the same cereal, but already 10% concentration: 10 g of cereal per 100 g of water . Complete introduction of 10% porridge to the baby is also carried out for 7-8 days . The third week falls on the complete addiction of the child to a new dish. Only after that you can introduce a new cereal in the form of 10% porridge or the next complementary foods. Porridge should be given from a spoon, preferably in the morning, for breakfast . After porridge, at the stage of its introduction, the child should be offered breast or milk formula.
When artificially fed - the volume of the mixture after a portion of porridge should be such that together with porridge it is 200 ml for five feedings. In the future, the volume of a serving of porridge gradually increases, amounting to 160-170 ml at 7-8 months, 170-180 ml at 8-9 months, and up to 200 ml after 9 months (there is a complete replacement of one feeding of the child with complementary foods.
- day - 1 teaspoon 5 g
- day - 2 teaspoons 10 g
- day - 3 teaspoons 15 g
- day - 4 teaspoons 20 g
- day - 50 ml 50 g
- day - 100 ml 100 g
- day - 150 ml 150 g
General rules for the introduction of first complementary foods
Concluding our meeting, I would like to dwell on the general rules for the introduction of complementary foods to children in the first year of life, 10 tips from the professor:
- It is better to introduce the first complementary foods in the morning 9-11 am
- Do not add sugar or salt .
- When the child is calm and not tired.
- Start with 0.5-2 teaspoons . If the child refuses, do not insist.
- If there is no rash, skin changes, stool changes, double the dose the next day. Gradually, 7-10 days ahead
- If there is an allergic reaction - refuse for 3 days
- Each subsequent new complementary food must be one-piece
- A dish of mixed foods give when the child has already become familiar with all foods separately.
- It is not advisable to introduce new products 3 days before and after vaccinations.
- Start feeding your baby at when you start feeding. Do not give to a child cow's milk in the first year of life.
Video: Baby's first food at 4-6 months. Where to start porridge or vegetable puree?
May your children be healthy!
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Home ›› How to introduce complementary foods to your baby
The process of feeding is inextricably linked to the many precious moments that arise in the process of close communication. You are now preparing for another exciting milestone - introducing solid foods to your baby's diet. This is an exciting moment when your baby becomes more independent in eating. But, like all other stages of a child's development, this period requires a long adaptation. Like most parents, you probably want to know when to start introducing solid foods and how to introduce solid foods to your baby.
This article contains important information about introducing solid foods to your baby's diet (age-appropriate), tips for introducing complementary foods, and techniques to help you and your baby transition smoothly to the next level of nutrition.
At what age should complementary foods be introduced?
Be sure to check with your doctor when you think your child is ready to introduce new foods. There is no exact age at which complementary foods should be introduced. However, the introduction of complementary foods to children, both breastfed and bottle-fed, is recommended to start at the age of 4-6 months. At 6 months of age, a baby's energy and mineral needs increase. However, all babies are different and some may be ready for it as early as four months. Four months is the earliest age at which complementary foods can be introduced. Until then, the baby's gastrointestinal tract is not ready to absorb any other food besides breast milk or formula. Only a doctor will be able to assess the individual readiness of each child; no matter what his decision is, it is important to continue breastfeeding, gradually introducing solid foods along with it.
The doctor will try to identify key signs that your baby is ready for solid foods: 
- The baby can sit up on its own without support, or it can sit on its mother's lap and hold its head.
- The “spoon push” reflex, a natural reaction of rejection of food, in which the child pushes the spoon out with the tongue, has disappeared in the baby (the child no longer sticks out his tongue when eating).
- The child has an active food interest (desire to try something from the table while adults are eating).
After your baby has mastered the skills necessary for independent feeding, including holding his head well, you can begin to introduce more solid foods into the diet.
Your baby's first foods
The moment you've been waiting for is finally here: your baby is ready to try solid food! Usually the products of the first complementary foods are vegetables and cereals.
If the child is healthy, has no digestive problems and is gaining weight well, then, as a rule, weaning foods begin with the introduction of vegetables.
Monocomponent vegetable purees are good for the first feeding. Vegetables are a source of organic acids, potassium, iron, fiber. It is recommended to start vegetable complementary foods with zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower. Initially, vegetable puree should consist of one type of vegetable. Then you can make a combination of various vegetables. Start with 1 spoon, then bring the volume to 180 grams. By the year, the amount of vegetable purees consumed per day is 200 grams.
If the child is underweight or anemic, industrial cereals can be given as the first complementary food. As the first cereals, in order to avoid allergic reactions, it is recommended to introduce dairy-free gluten-free cereals. Mix one to two tablespoons of single-grain cereal with breast milk, or infant formula, or water. If the child is breastfed, give him complementary foods only after the main feeding, so that the child can first get enough breast milk; keep doing this until he is about
Once your child gets used to their first meal, continue to introduce new foods such as fruit purees, cottage cheese, eggs, dairy products, and meat and fish purees. Before introducing each next product, you must wait three to five days to find out if the child is allergic to the previous one.
The inclusion of various foods in the diet is very important for the formation of taste habits in the baby. Steam a variety of healthy meals!
Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to prepare baby food. Steamed products are very soft and juicy, unlike fried products, which, of course, is very popular with children. And most importantly, steamed foods preserve the most important vitamins and minerals.
Make healthy cooking easy and enjoyable with the Philips Avent 4 in 1 Steamer Blender. The 4 in 1 healthy baby food maker allows you to steam and grind food in one jug. In addition, with the Philips Avent Steamer Blender, parents can make solid foods for babies of all ages, from purees to chunks. Jug with a volume of 1l. designed to cook several servings at a time. So you can prepare several meals at once to feed your baby now, and also freeze the puree for next time in a special container that comes with the steamer. The defrost and keep warm functions will help you prepare lunch or dinner for your baby even faster.
The 4 in 1 Steamer Blender also comes with a recipe booklet developed with pediatric nutritionist Emma Williams. In the brochure you will find interesting recipes for preparing tasty and fresh children's meals, as well as useful tips on the introduction of complementary foods and interesting menu ideas. Instill healthy habits in your baby from an early age for healthy development.
In addition to the joy your child will experience from a change in diet, it is important to be aware of the various food allergies that can occur during the introduction of complementary foods. Experts recommend starting to introduce commonly known food allergens when the baby is 4-6 months old. In addition, recent studies have shown that with a later introduction of complementary foods in children, the risk of developing food allergies increases, therefore, it is necessary to introduce such foods into the baby’s diet on time and not put them off for later. The most well-known G8 food allergens include:  
- cow's milk;
- chicken eggs;
If you or your family members have a food allergy, be sure to consult your pediatrician for the best solution for introducing the foods listed above to your child's diet.
In addition to introducing new foods into the child's diet, it is also necessary to teach him to drink water from the age of 6 months. During the first six months of a child's life, mother's milk provides him with the necessary amount of fluid, even in hot climates. But once your baby is 6 months old, you can start giving him little by little to drink from a non-spill cup.
Check out Avent's Soft Non-Spill Training Cup from the Natural series with comfortable handles to help your child learn to drink without help. It is easy to drink from it, because the liquid begins to flow out only when the child bites or sucks on the spout of the cup. The design of the cup makes it easy to hold with little hands.
From pureed to finely chopped foods
Once your child has mastered the motor skills needed to eat more solid foods, you can move on to finely chopped foods. Each child is different, but usually chopped vegetables and meat can be introduced into the diet from nine months. 
When you introduce crushed foods into your child's diet, try to get your child to take an active part in family meals. The baby can be offered boiled vegetables, pieces of soft fruit, well-boiled pasta, or small pieces of chicken.
Remember to check that the ground food is soft and well cooked so that the child can easily grind it into mush with his mouth. Meat, for example, has a tougher structure and fibers, and therefore requires more thorough grinding compared to fruits that are delicate in texture.
With the Philips Avent 4 in 1 Steamer Blender, you can customize your food consistency from puree to chunks. Also, the recipe book that comes with the double boiler will allow you to easily choose the right recipe for the age of the child.
Tips on how to start introducing solid foods to your baby
Here are some basic tips for introducing complementary foods to infants. As you introduce solid foods into your child's diet, we also recommend following other tips to help your child get used to the new food: 
- Offer food only when the child wants it. In a quiet environment or when other family members are having lunch, offer your baby a new food if he wants to try it.
- Introduce a new product in small portions in the morning. A new product should be administered in the morning to monitor possible reactions to the product. Remember that the introduction of new foods into the diet should not be considered a complete meal for the child. It is only about giving the child the opportunity to taste different foods, as well as to get a feel for their structure, gradually increasing their portions as the baby grows older.
- Offer your child a new product only when they are healthy. Do not introduce new foods when the child is sick or during the vaccination period.
- If the child does not like the product, postpone the tasting until a later date. This is a new experience for your baby, associated with new tastes and sensations. Therefore, do not be discouraged and do not worry if the child did not like the food the first time! Simply postpone taking this product until a later time.
- Never leave your child alone with food. Although the child is already taking the first steps in independent nutrition, this does not mean that he can be completely independent.
- Do not give your child foods that are too hard or slippery, rounded or choking on. These precautions will prevent the child from suffocation. Any rounded foods, such as grapes or carrots, should be cut into two or four pieces.
Goodbye liquid diet!
The correct introduction of complementary foods is an unforgettable experience for both you and your baby.