First foods for your baby August 15 2016, 0 Comments
Baby rice has traditionally been the first choice for parents to start their transition onto solids but baby rice is highly processed and very high in carbohydrates. It's much more beneficial to start weaning with very small amounts of naturally nutritious foods.
In these early weeks of weaning when baby is trying their first tastes feed Vegetables and Fruits. Avoid soft eggs, berries and citrus fruits, Honey, salt, sugar, nuts, seeds, unpasteurised cheese and wheat based foods or other foods containing Gluten. All of these items are either known allergens or just not good for your baby straight away! I also wouldn't bother with meat, fish and lentils in these early couple of weeks. There's plenty of time to expand their tastes as they progress through weaning.
Prepare small batches of vegetables and fruits by blending or mashing into smooth purees. At this stage lumps should be avoided. Food can be prepared and fed immediately or you can store fruit and vegetable purees in the fridge for up to 48 hours before feeding or store for 6 weeks in the freezer. We love this article from Made For Mums that has detailed instructions regarding storing and freezing your purees.
We have selected the below foods due to their nutritional value and how well they mix with other foods as weaning progresses.
Avocado – Avocado is low in sugars and high in Omega 3 brain boosting fats. It's really easy to digest and contains high levels of Antioxidants and Vitamin E which are great for little one's immune systems.
Prep - Mash ripe avocado flesh with a little of your baby’s usual milk (breast or formula). Avocado is best served fresh. Serve cool. Banana can also be mixed with Avocado. Note that avocado and banana do not freeze well so serve these freshly mashed (or see my tip here for keeping avocado fresh for 48 hours!)
Sweet potato – Full of antioxidants, beta-carotene and minerals including manganese, which is crucial for bone health. They also contain a range of all the B vitamins that support baby’s brain and growing nervous system as well as Vitamin C.
Prep - bake a medium sweet potato in the oven, scoop out the flesh and blend with a little of your baby’s usual milk. Serve warm. You can also roast small chunks of sweet potato to give as a finger food for your baby to try (6 months+).
Carrots – Low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. A good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium.
Prep - peel and slice, steam for 15 minutes and blend with a tablespoon of breast milk or formula, serve warm. You can also chop carrots length ways and give cooked carrot sticks as finger food for baby to try (6 months+).
Apple – Apples are high in Vitamin C and soluble fibre. They are probably the most popular fruit in the UK so a great food to get baby to enjoy. It won't be long before they are munching on a whole apple.
Prep - peel, core and chop an eating apple. I choose a soft sweet apple such as royal Gala or pink lady. Cook in a covered pan on a low heat with a few table spoons of water for 5 minutes, blend with a little of the water. Serve warm or cool. recipe here
Banana – A very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and copper. They are one of the easiest baby foods as they can be transported easily and then fed whole or mashed.
Prep - simply mash the banana and mix with a little of your baby’s usual milk. Serve cool. You can also cut your banana in half and partially peel to allow your little one to grasp the skin covered base and chew on the exposed banana flesh.
Egg Yolk – You may think that eggs should be avoided in early weaning due to them being a possible allergen*. The white of the egg is the part that most frequently triggers a reaction. The yolk is full of essential nutrients for your baby and can be fed with caution from 6 months. Ensure the yolk is hard until 12 months. Egg yolk contains cholesterol essential for your baby's devlopment, Vitamins A, B, D, E and K! They also contain antioxidants and Omega 3 fats. From 6 months your baby's iron reserves start to deplete so it's important to add Iron to your little ones diet. Eggs are a great start and other iron rich foods can be added in the coming weeks as weaning progresses.
*If there are any egg allergies in your family do not give egg in early weaning. If any reactions occur, stop giving egg to your baby.
Prep - Place an egg in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 6 minutes and then run under cold water. Remove the shell and then remove the egg white. Mash the egg yolk with baby’s, normal milk and a little coconut oil.
Broccoli - Full of Vitamin C and K, folic acid, potassium and fibre Broccoli is full of nutrients. Florets are soft and easy to grasp which makes broccoli an ideal finger food for little hands.
Prep - Steam individual florets until they are tender. Allow to cool before serving to baby as a finger food. Find further advice on feeding Broccoli as finger foods here
For more detailed recipes and more first food options take a look at Annabel Karmels website or get one of her hugely popular weaning books.
Read our full article on Baby weaning - First tastes here. It's full of helpful information about starting weaning and some of our top tips on making weaning fun.