List of foods baby can eat
When to Start Baby Food
Starting solids is an exciting and important milestone in baby’s development—one that not only opens them up to a brand-new world of flavors and textures, but also puts them on the right path to growing healthy and strong. Here’s what you need to know about how and when to start baby food for a smooth transition.
In this article:
When to start baby food
How to start baby on solids
Best first foods for baby
Introducing allergenic foods
When to Start Baby Food
Knowing when to start baby food is both crucial and tricky. Starting baby on solids too early means you might increase the risk of choking, obesity and bellyaches, but introducing solids too late means you might slow baby’s growth and encourage an aversion to solid foods, among other conditions. Fortunately, doctors have zeroed in on a sweet spot for starting baby food, which is sometime between 4 and 6 months of age—though, ideally, baby should be receiving their nutrition exclusively from breast milk until the six-month mark, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). How to tell if it’s time for starting solids for your little one? Baby will give you clues, including:
• Baby can sit in a high chair comfortably on their own. This is a major sign in terms of when to start baby food, says Lauren Kupersmith, MD, a pediatrician at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City. It means baby can hold their head up and doesn’t need to be propped up to stay in the upright position, which is important to avoid choking.
• Baby looks interested at mealtime. Babies likes to mimic what we do, so if your child likes to sit up like a big kid and watch you eat, then by all means let them try eating too.
• Baby can move food to the back of their throat to swallow. But if baby tends to push the food out of their mouth—not because they don’t like it, but because they can’t seem to get the food to where it needs to go—hold off on starting solids.
How to Start Baby on Solids
At 4 to 6 months, most of baby’s nutrition will still come from breast milk or formula, so don’t worry if baby doesn’t like eating food right away. Introducing solids is a gradual process, and every baby learns in their own time. Here are some general guidelines for how to start baby on solids:
• Feed baby with a spoon. Letting your child go at it with their hands may seem tempting (and super-cute), but it’s best that they learn the right way from the get-go. (And even then, be prepared to clean up more than a few messes!) Also, never put cereal (or any other food) in baby’s bottle—it’s a choking hazard.
• Start slowly. When introducing solids, a half spoonful will do at first—you may even want to talk baby through it (“Yummy!”). To make it easier for baby to get accustomed to the idea of swallowing solids, start mealtime with a little breast milk or formula, then offer some food (again, no more than a half teaspoon at a time) and finish off with more breast milk or formula. If baby cries or turns away when you present the spoon, try again some other time. Start off with introducing solids at one meal a day, then slowly work your way up. The morning is a good place to start, since baby is often hungriest at that time. When starting solids, baby typically won’t eat more than an ounce or two in one sitting.
• Try new foods more than once. Since babies’ tastes will evolve, you may need to try a food 20 times before a baby actually likes it, says Kupersmith.
• Stick with the same food for three days before trying another one. This makes it easy to track whether baby is allergic to a particular food.
• Try foods in different forms. If baby doesn’t like pureed food, try it mashed. After all, baby is learning about new textures as well as new tastes. It may be a case of trial and error until you find a winner.
Best First Foods for Baby
Got baby safely strapped into the high chair and bib? You’re ready to finally start feeding baby solids! There aren’t any official food rules for babies starting solids, and there’s no scientific evidence suggesting you should introduce one type of food before another, assuming the foods aren’t choking hazards. Nevertheless, baby cereal (such as oatmeal, rice and barley) is an “easy training food,” says Kupersmith, which is why it’s often recommended as baby’s first food; you can always mix it with more milk to build up to a thicker consistency. Many doctors also recommend starting vegetables before fruits, but there’s no evidence that this would make babies like vegetables more when they grow up—babies innately love sweets, and the order of introducing solids to baby doesn’t change that.
So why not simply start introducing solids with something you think baby will like? Here are a few common first foods for baby that are healthy and easy to eat (and, in the case sweet potato and banana, also easy to digest). Whatever you decide to feed baby, mash it with a fork or puree before serving whenever introducing solids.
- Baby cereal, such as oatmeal, rice, barley
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
If your child has been breastfeeding, check with your pediatrician about getting a jump on pureed chicken or beef when you’re starting solids. These foods contain easily absorbable forms of iron and zinc, which baby needs by 4 to 6 months, according to the AAP.
At around 9 months, baby should have already worked their way up to a variety of foods, including cereal, vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs and fish (see below regarding the last two). (Keep in mind, though, that baby will still get the majority of their nutrients from breast milk or formula until age one.) By now, baby will probably settle on three meals a day along with two snacks. Let them consume about 4 ounces of solids at each meal (equivalent to a small jar of strained baby food) and about half that amount for each snack.
Save honey and cow’s milk for after baby’s first birthday—there’s a risk for infant botulism with honey (a type of bacterial poisoning), and baby’s tummy isn’t prepared to digest large amounts of cow’s milk until they’re about one year old. Avoid adult processed foods and foods that are choking hazards (such as sticky foods, like large gobs of peanut butter; hard foods that are difficult to gum, like raw vegetables, nuts, seeds and popcorn; and round, slippery foods that haven’t been cut up, like grapes and cherry tomatoes). Instead, the first foods for baby, and those in the months that follow, should be soft and served mashed, pureed or (once baby seems ready to move up from the really mushy stuff) cut up into really little bits. “There’s pretty much free reign at that point,” Kupersmith says.
Introducing Solids Chart
Hesitant about improvising your first foods for baby? That’s okay too. If you prefer an “introducing solids chart” to help you plan out baby’s path, the guide below can come in handy.
Image: The Bump
Introducing Allergenic Foods
Much of the confusion around when to start baby food stems from questions concerning allergenic foods. These are foods that babies are most often allergic to. The major culprits include dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts and tree nuts. In the past, parents were advised to hold off on exposing baby to these foods, but now doctors recommend introducing them early, often and in age-appropriate format, which means starting off with purees and soft textures.
“Dairy is an easy starting point, given options such as yogurt and cheese,” says David Stukus, MD, director of the Food Allergy Treatment Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. You can also try scrambled eggs in small amounts, although baby may not be too pleased with the texture at first.
As far as peanut products go, the National Institutes of Health issued new guidelines in 2017 that encourage parents of children at high risk for peanut allergies to incorporate them into baby’s diet at 4 to 6 months of age. Giving these babies peanut products before the age of one actually decreases their risk of developing a peanut allergy before age 5 by 81 percent, compared to kids who are introduced to peanuts later in life. Parents of kids without the food allergy risk can start peanut products whenever they’d like, as long as the nuts are in an age-appropriate form: Peanut butter can be thinned out with water or mixed into a fruit or vegetable puree, and peanut powder can also be mixed into cereal and fruits. Don’t give whole peanuts or pieces of peanuts, since they’re a choking risk.
Allergic reactions to food are never just a fluke; they will happen with every exposure. Symptoms can range from mild (such as a rash or vomiting) to severe (such as trouble breathing). If baby has a food allergy, you’ll notice a reaction within minutes or up to two hours after eating the problematic food, Stukus says. If the symptoms are severe, call 911 right away. Otherwise, talk to your pediatrician; she can help confirm whether it’s an allergy or some other type of condition (such as a viral illness).
Lauren Kupersmith, MD, IBCLC, is a pediatrician and clinical instructor at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City, as well as a certified lactation consultant. She earned her medical degree from New York Medical College in 2005.
David Stukus, MD, is the director of the Food Allergy Treatment Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of allergy and immunology and a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. He earned his medical degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2002.
Updated January 2020
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Baby's first foods: The 10 best foods for babies
These 10 first foods are ideal for your baby because they're full of essential nutrients, reasonably priced, easy to prepare, and delicious. Avocados contain healthy fats, while bananas are loaded with potassium. Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants, whereas broccoli offers fiber and folate. Both lentils and meat are packed with protein. Prunes can help with constipation, and yogurt helps form healthy bones and teeth. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are great sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's important to offer your baby a variety of healthy foods. There are lots of healthy, baby-friendly foods out there, but these 10 recommended by doctors and dietitians alike stand out from the pack. From vitamin-rich fruits and veggies to meats and beans loaded with protein, these superfoods are full of essential nutrients, reasonably priced, easy to prepare, and delicious.
Many are also favorite first foods. Before introducing solids, talk to the doctor about your baby's readiness for solids, and which foods to introduce and when. Then introduce foods one at a time, waiting at least three days after each new food to watch for any allergic reaction.
BabyCenter parents are all about avocado as a first food. This buttery fruit-vegetable is rich in healthy unsaturated fats that help boost brain development. In fact, the fat composition of avocados is somewhat similar to that of breast milk.
Serving ideas: Mash avocado with a fork, or make baby guacamole.
Known as a good source of potassium, this grab-and-go fruit also contains vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and magnesium.
Serving ideas: Make banana and mango puree. Or, for your little one's first smoothie, puree banana and peach chunks with whole-milk yogurt.
Blueberries are bursting with antioxidants. The deep, brilliant blue of these berries comes from flavonoids that benefit your baby's eyes, brain, and even urinary tract.
Serving ideas: Blend or mash blueberries well and swirl a spoonful of the juicy purple puree into yogurt, or top silky coconut milk rice pudding with blueberry compote.
This cruciferous vegetable is a rich source of essential nutrients, including fiber, folate, and calcium. Introduce your baby to broccoli's bold flavor early, and you'll be expanding their tastes and encouraging a lifelong love of green vegetables.
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Serving idea: Steam until soft, cut into pieces small enough for your child to eat safely, and then chill. Steaming takes the bite out of broccoli, and some babies prefer the texture and taste when it's cold.
Beans and other legumes pack lots of lean protein and fiber. But unlike larger beans, little lentils simmer into a pleasing mush just right for baby bites. They're also one of the cheapest healthy foods you can buy.
Serving ideas: Cook finely diced carrots along with the lentils. As your baby gets older, double up on nutrient-rich foods by making lentil and spinach stew.
Lack of iron can cause anemia. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends meat as a first food because it's such a great source of protein, zinc, and iron, especially red meat and dark poultry meat. Plus, babies absorb iron more easily from meat than from iron-fortified cereals, another common first food.
Serving ideas: If your baby is new to solids, try our easy turkey or chicken puree recipe. As they get older, introduce new flavors with chicken curry with green beans and zucchini or shepherd's pie.
Whether you call them "prunes" or "dried plums," these humble fruits don't sound glamorous – but they're soft, sweet, and full of fiber. Your baby may suffer from constipation when switching to solids, as it's a big change for their system. Add pureed prunes to your baby's diet to aid digestion and keep things moving.
Serving ideas: Serve pureed prunes alone or mixed with other foods, such as oatmeal, cereal, or applesauce, for a naturally sweet treat.
Sweet potatoes are one of the more popular first foods for babies, who tend to like both their sweetness and texture. These colorful root vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and minerals, including iron and copper.
Serving ideas: Serve sweet potato puree alone or swirled into pureed chicken or turkey.
Orange- or yellow-fleshed hard winter squashes such as butternut, acorn, and pumpkin boast many benefits, one of which is they're exceptionally rich in beta-carotene, recognized for being great for eyes. Squash is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Natural sweetness and a creamy texture add to the appeal of winter varieties.
Serving ideas: Roast a winter squash like butternut, scoop out the flesh, and puree it for an easy first food. As your baby gets older, introduce new flavors and textures with dishes like smashed chickpea and butternut chili.
Creamy yogurt is rich in calcium and vitamin D, necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Your baby can have it at 4 to 6 months, long before they'll be ready for cow's milk.
Opt for plain yogurt with no added sugar. Also look for a brand with the most live cultures, which help regulate the good bacteria in your baby's digestive tract. Make sure you pick up whole-milk yogurt – babies need the calories from fat.
Serving ideas: Yogurt is fine on its own, or swirl in pureed berries or other fresh fruit, applesauce, or mashed avocado.
Union of Pediatricians of Russia
Nutrition for children from 1 to 3 years of age
The period from 1 to 3 years of life is a crucial stage in the transition to an adult type of nutrition, which has certain features. In order to ensure that all the necessary nutrients enter the child's body and at the same time prevent an excess of individual nutrients, nutrition should be balanced and varied. nine0003
The daily amount of food for children aged 1 to 1.5 years should be 1000-1200 g, from 1.5 to 3 years - 1200-1500 g, the amount of food in one feeding should not exceed 300-350 ml. The diet consists of three main meals per day and two snacks. It is considered optimal when breakfast is 25% of the total energy density of the diet, lunch is 30–35%, dinner is 20%, and additional meals are about 10%. In general, the child can eat the same food as the rest of the family. nine0003
In the diet of a child of 1–3 years of age , must be present daily: meat of animals or poultry, dairy and sour-milk products, vegetables, fruits, bread, cereals, vegetable and butter; fish and eggs are included in the diet 2-3 times a week.
Cereal products: bread - 2-3 servings per day, cereals and side dishes - 1 time per day
Fruit and/or vegetables: at least 5 times a day
Dairy products: at least 3 servings per day (including those used to make cereals, yoghurts, fermented milk drinks, cottage cheese, infant formula or breast milk). nine0003
Domestic pediatricians recommend, when compiling a diet for children aged 1–3 years, preference should be given to specialized children's dairy products of industrial production that meet high quality requirements and safety indicators for this age. Most children's dairy products are additionally enriched with vitamins and/or minerals and other biologically active components, taking into account the physiological needs of children of this age. At the same time, in foreign recommendations, children over 1 year old are offered the gradual introduction of whole cow's milk, which is rich in fats necessary for proper growth and development, the absorption of vitamins A and D, the development of the child's brain and nervous system. nine0003
Meat dishes: 2-3 times a day
Fish dishes: 2-3 servings per week
Eggs: 2-3 per week
Dietary fats: 3-4 teaspoons of butter and/or vegetable oils per day
When cooking, use the minimum amount of salt and sugar, and do not add them to industrial products.
Offer your child a variety of foods and let them choose for themselves. Children love to eat on their own, so if possible, offer food that the child can eat with their hands. nine0003
It is important to remember that a baby can choke on pieces of food, so whatever you give your baby should be crushed or cut into small pieces that can be easily chewed.
Do not give to a small child: nuts, whole grapes, cherry tomatoes (unless quartered), whole carrots, seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds), round candies, legumes, raisins, because a child can eat them choke.
Also in the diet of children of the first 3 years of life should not be present:
Mushrooms; canned snacks, pickled vegetables and fruits
Home canned food
Dry concentrates for side dishes
Hot sauces, mustard, horseradish, pepper, vinegar, mayonnaise
Juices and drinks in the form of dry concentrates; sweet carbonated drinks
Products containing food additives (flavorings, dyes of artificial origin, including chewing gum), popcorn
Combined fats; cakes and pastries
It is important to remember that children of this age should not be given too spicy and spicy foods.
Ten healthy foods that must be in a child's diet • INMYROOM FOOD
Every mother takes care of her child, and this care is reflected in many things. For example, in the preparation of a competent and balanced diet.
It is no secret that the young body is in dire need of vitamins, minerals and other useful substances. This is a guarantee that your child will grow up big and healthy. Strong immunity and proper nutrition will help to resist the harmful effects of the environment, activate mental activity and, as a result, easily cope with school workloads. nine0003
For loving mothers, we have compiled a list of 10 healthy foods that you should definitely include in your child's diet so that he grows up healthy and strong.
1. Nuts and nut butter
Foods that are similar in value to nuts can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Nuts are a real storehouse of vitamins and minerals. They are especially rich in vitamin E, which increases the body's defenses and strengthens the immune system, as well as calcium and iron, which are very important for the body to grow strong and strong. nine0003
This product must be in the diet of every schoolchild. You should eat nuts and younger children. If your baby is already familiar with fruits, vegetables and cereals, then you can and even need to introduce nuts into the diet. The only question is in what form, because nuts are a fairly solid food.
An excellent solution is nut butter. It should be added in small amounts to cereals or purees. You can buy nut butter in the supermarket, but it is better to cook this product at home. Moreover, it is not so difficult. Pour the nuts in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for 25 minutes. After that, grind the nuts in a blender until they acquire a paste-like consistency. This will happen in about 5-15 minutes - it all depends on the power of your blender. If desired, honey can be added to the paste. It should be stored for no more than 2 weeks in a closed form in the refrigerator. nine0003
2. Chicken eggs
Chicken eggs are very healthy for children. In their composition, you can find 12 vitamins that the body needs for normal life. These are, for example, vitamins A, D, E, group B. Eggs also contain minerals in large quantities: calcium, phosphorus, iodine, copper, iron, cobalt. There is a lot of fat in the egg yolk, but these are polyunsaturated fatty acids that only benefit the body.
Chicken egg is perfectly absorbed by the human body, so this product must be included in the diet. Eggs will be a great breakfast for your kids. They charge the body with energy and vitality and provide a feeling of satiety for a long time. From them you can cook a large number of delicious dishes: scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, egg pudding. nine0003
If you watch your figure and get frightened at the mere mention of the word "fats", this does not mean at all that they are completely contraindicated for your child. It has been scientifically proven that under no circumstances should saturated fats and "correct" cholesterol be excluded from the diet of children under 2 years old - they play an important role in the development of the child's brain and nervous system. Give preference to organic oil and, in consultation with the pediatrician, introduce it into the diet, adding a small amount to baby food. Of course, we are talking about the moment when your child has already mastered one-component purees. nine0003
Our mothers and grandmothers were carriers of valuable information about butter on an intuitive level. There is, perhaps, not a single schoolboy of past years who would not eat sandwiches with butter in the morning. And this makes sense. Fats help to maintain a feeling of satiety for a long time, it is better to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and make food tastier. The result is happy students and good grades.
4. Beans and lentils
Legumes are an important source of vitamins. Particular attention in the preparation of a child's diet should be paid to beans and lentils. They contain many vitamins and minerals - iron, zinc, manganese - and other useful substances, such as folic acid. In terms of protein content, beans and lentils are very close to meat products. If you want to add variety to your diet while still maintaining its nutritional value, legumes are a good alternative. nine0003
To make beans and lentils easier and faster to cook, soak them in water overnight. In the morning, beans should be strained and boiled until soft. If you're cooking red lentils, you don't need to soak them, as they cook fairly quickly. Legumes can become both an independent side dish and an integral ingredient in various soups and vegetable stews.
Everyone knows about the beneficial properties of fish and its importance for a child. Fish is an important source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. nine0003
It contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are responsible for cell growth, help strengthen bones and improve vision, play an important role in brain development and enhance mental activity, and increase the body's defenses. All these important properties make fish such a useful and indispensable product in the children's diet.
6. Herbs and spices
Childhood is not a reason to refuse herbs and spices. Add them to the meals you cook for your children. They will help make the dish tastier and more interesting, bring variety to the usual menu and saturate food with additional vitamins and minerals. Herbs are a valuable source of vitamin E and strengthen the immune system, while spices improve the functioning of the digestive system and have a positive effect on the overall tone of the body. nine0003
Popular and healthy combinations: fruit puree with cinnamon, cauliflower with nutmeg, meat sauce with caraway or oregano, vegetables or chicken with thyme, avocado with cilantro, fish with parsley and lemon.
Tofu is basically soy milk curd. The process of making it is very similar to the process of making cheese. Therefore, sometimes tofu is referred to as cheese. Already from the definition it is clear that this product is very useful. It contains a large amount of iron, zinc and a lot of protein. This product has a high energy value. No wonder it forms the basis of vegetarian nutrition. All of the above facts make tofu a product that is ideal for children. nine0003
Tofu can be cooked in a variety of ways. Choose the one that will appeal to your child: bake, boil, fry. Tofu can become both an independent and very nutritious snack, and one of the ingredients in delicious desserts.
8. Wheat bread
A child is nowhere without bread. Choose for your child wheat bread or options with seeds and bran.
Some parents believe that eating a lot of bread is harmful for children, because this product contains gluten and this can lead to the development of celiac disease, a chronic disease of the intestines and digestive system. However, there are also studies that prove that completely eliminating bread from the diet of children is not advisable, because, on the contrary, it can increase the risk of developing this disease. Therefore, bread should be included in the child's diet, but in moderation, although in principle your child will not eat more than necessary. nine0003
Bread can also be replaced with whole grain breads and biscuits, as well as wheat flakes. The latter will be the perfect breakfast in the company of low-fat milk.
9. Natural yoghurt
Yogurt is not only tasty, but also healthy. All children are not indifferent to this product and gobble it up with great pleasure. And parents are only happy, because yogurt contains a large amount of vitamins, calcium, and other useful substances that help the child grow up healthy and smart. nine0003
However, it is important to clarify here that yoghurts, which are in great abundance on supermarket shelves, are not a very healthy product for your child. Jars of dyes and flavors contain too much sugar in their composition. Choose natural yoghurts for your child without additives. You can sweeten them with natural delicacies - for example, berries and fruits, honey, syrups.