There is nothing like watching a sweet baby grow day by day. So many milestones and new things to take in, moms wish they could just bottle it all up! One important milestone for the little one is eating solid foods!
Every mom is different when it comes to feeding solids to her baby. Some moms like to wait almost an entire year, while other moms start almost too early. But one thing is for sure, eventually, those babies will all have to eat solid foods! When we hear solid foods, we know it really is mushy foods. Or small, teeny tiny, baby-sized finger foods. Start with the mush and get up to the little pieces. It is part of a baby’s eating life!
But what foods should you ensure that your baby tries before she celebrates her first birthday? Believe it or not, it can be important to give baby certain foods before the age of one. According to Parents.com, eating solids is important because breastmilk or formula can no longer offer all the nutrients your little one may require. Read on and discover which foods, some surprising, that baby should sample before that all important milestone birthday.
Strawberries are sweet and delicious. They are packed with nutrients too, full of fiber and vitamin C, making them a star fruit to give your baby early on. Babycenter.com even recommends strawberries to be one of the beginner fruits in your baby’s diet, and that four to six months is really the ideal age to give your little one this super fruit. Start off with the puree and move on to tiny pieces that your baby will be able to grasp by the time they are one year old. Strawberries are often a winner with many babies, just like they are with adults!
Did you know that avocado is one of the best first solid foods to give your baby? It is true! The creamy avocado is full of heart-healthy fat, the fat that your baby needs to grow and develop. A fun fact is that the avocado also contains over 20 vitamins and minerals, as well! This smooth fruit tastes great to most babies too since it might make them think of the familiar breast milk or formula when it is nice and pureed. Avocado is easy to mash, and then easy to turn into nice bite-sized pieces as baby gets older.
Your little one should definitely be eating carrots by the age of one. Carrots are a great solid food for babies that can start off as a deliciously smooth puree, before moving on to cooked, small pieces. Carrots are such a good choice for little ones, and starting them on carrots as babies, at just a few months of age, increases your chance that your toddler will want to snack on easy to serve carrot sticks! Carrots are super healthy, packed full of vitamins and minerals. Make your sweet babe into a little bunny by giving her some healthy carrots!
You may have heard that babies should start off on cereal. Well, that cereal is not the kind that we grab for our breakfast, it is usually a mushy concoction of oats! It can vary, but oats are a big favorite, and for a reason. Oats are very healthy for babies, and it’s a great start for them to get used to solid foods. Oats are a must before the age of one. And if your baby is used to and enjoys the taste of oats, real oatmeal is in their future, and that is not just easy to make, but very healthy, too!
All types of squash are great solid foods that not only should be given to the baby by the time she is 1, but baby can even eat squash as one of the starter foods, as earlier as 4 months of age. No squash is really off limits, butternut, acorn, winter, and more squash types are full of important nutrients that your baby needs to grow and develop. Squash varieties are packed full of vitamins and minerals. A big plus is that many babies love the taste of squash, and it can be easy to make the puree yourself if you wish!
Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving! Giving your baby turkey by the age of 1 is a great idea, and much more important than many people may realize. When we think of solid foods, we often think about vegetables and fruits, but babies need some protein, too! According to Wholesome Baby Food, turkey is usually recommended by the ages of 8-10 months, and definitely by the age of 1. Turkey has lots of good things, including vitamins and minerals, and can help give your little one some energy (not like they need more of that!). Your sweet baby will be gobbling away in no time.
Peas are one of the best choices in solid foods for your baby. Peas are great mashed up for very little ones, and make awesome finger food for when baby can grasp and feed (or attempt to!) herself. Little ones especially love peas, too, it seems. They are just super fun when they can feed themselves! It is important to get baby used to the taste of peas by the age of 1, because it will be a great snack to give the baby that they can enjoy eating themselves. Peas are full of vitamins that are vital to your baby’s growth.
Eggs are a very healthy choice to give your baby. They are packed with protein and other important vitamins and minerals. However, according to Parents.com, eggs need to be given with some amount of caution. Eggs are considered a high allergy-triggering food, meaning that babies could have an allergic reaction. It is recommended to try to give your baby eggs by the age of 1, ideally very close to that first birthday. If you are worried about your baby have an allergic reaction, you can actually ask your pediatrician and give eggs for the first time in the doctor office.
We previously mentioned that one of the first solid foods you will give your baby is cereal. Oats is one version of cereal. Another healthy choice is rice. Rice cereal is a great option for your little one. Once baby gets the hang of the rice cereal and likes the taste, real rice is in their future! Rice should absolutely be given by the age of 1. Once the baby is old enough, you can easily cook some rice and they are learning how to feed themselves. Rice is full of fiber and other vitamins and minerals. And it tastes great to little ones!
Peaches are yummy no matter what your age is! Therefore, giving your little one peaches is a wonderful idea and should definitely be given by the age of 1. Peaches can be started at just 4 months of age, so there is really no reason to delay giving your baby peaches for the first time. According to Medical Daily, peaches do not just taste fantastic, they are also a great source of important nutrients that add the development and function of our cells and nerves. Seems like peaches are a pretty important fruit! Definitely, do not skimp out of giving your baby some juicy peaches.
Cheese for babies? This one may surprise some of you. Again, when we think of giving baby solid foods, veggies and fruits come to mind, but not usually cheese. Well, good thing you are reading this then, because cheese is a great solid food to give your baby starting as early as 8-10 months, too. So what kind of cheese do you give to a baby with little to no teeth? According to Wholesome Baby Food, cottage cheese is a great starter option for little ones. Soon, they will be able to move on to small pieces of cheese, such as American, and they can even feed themselves!
9 Green Beans
Green beans are considered one of those great baby foods that can go from a yummy green puree to a wonderful choice for a finger food once the baby is old enough to grasp and feed himself. Wholesome Baby Foods recommends that green beans be given around 6-8 months of age, so definitely by the time baby turns that all important 1 year old! Green beans are a fantastic source of fiber and other vital vitamins and minerals to help your baby grow and develop. Just think about it, soon enough you will be able to hand your little one some string beans as a super healthy snack!
You may be scratching your head at this one. Lamb for a baby? That seems crazy! Well, lamb is a choice for your baby and one that should be given by the age of 1, if you choose to do so. Lamb can be pureed for a baby as young as 6-8 months of age, just as with any other meat, such as chicken or turkey. Lamb can taste great for little ones and gives them vital nutrients that help their development, such as protein, zinc, and so much more. Think outside the box and try to give your baby some lamb at your next meal!
Here is another baby food choice that may seem outside the box. Salmon for little ones?! That definitely might come across as a little strange. Even parenting.com talks about how salmon may seem like a grown-up food, but it is far from that! They even say salmon can be given around the age of 6 months, so well before that 1st birthday. Salmon is uniquely full of nutrients that cannot be found in some other foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Try something a bit different with your little one, and go for some tasty salmon from the sea!
Garlic may be an odd choice, but it is a food that all babies need and should have by the time they turn 1 year old. A fun fact from Mom Junction, “Babies seem to like garlic even before they start solids! Studies conducted in 1991 showed that babies nurse better when their mothers have eaten garlic!” Garlic has some awesome nutrients, such as manganese and vitamin B6, as well as a ton more. We aren’t saying to give your baby a clove of garlic and watch them go crazy, but definitely introduce them to the taste before their first birthday.
Pumpkin puree is a terrific solid food option to give your little one before they turn 1. You can even give them the taste of pumpkin as early as 6 months. And, there is no need to wait for Halloween! Pumpkin is one of those tastes that some people like, and some don’t, but babies can and will enjoy the taste. You can even season your baby’s pumpkin with some cinnamon or mix it will yogurt or cereal to get some added nutrients. Pumpkins are not just fun, they are chock full of all kinds of important vitamins and minerals.
We know. Spinach is one of those tastes and even some adults can’t get on board with. But for babies, it is very important to try spinach before they reach their first birthday. Spinach is so good for you, full of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, iron, protein, and the list goes on and on. Greens are very important in a healthy diet, and with babies, there is no exception. 6-7 months of age seems to be the ideal time to introduce spinach. You can serve it as a puree alone, or mix it with another vegetable or fruit, or stir into yogurt.
Lentils are part of the legume family, like peas and beans. They are very high in protein, making them a fantastic choice to give your little one, especially if your baby tends to spit out any meat you may try to give her. Lentils can be pureed for the very little ones, but are also very small, so they can be given to your baby just as they are once your bundle of joy is old enough. As Wholesome Baby Food puts it, “Lentils may be small, but they sure do pack a lot of nutritional wallops.” Try some lentils today!
Beef is another meat choice, along with chicken, turkey, and lamb, that can and should be served to your baby before their first birthday. Beef has a lot of iron, among other nutrients such as protein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and more, which can be highly beneficial to your growing and developing baby. You can serve beef pureed (we know, yum) as early as 4 months of age! Once the baby is old enough, you can do simple things, like break up a cooked hamburger into baby bite-sized pieces, and watch them go to town feeding themselves (or trying to, at least!).
There is great fear over peanut allergies. You may be thinking, why would I ever give my baby peanuts at such as young age?! Well, according to NPR.org, there are relatively new guidelines for introducing peanuts to babies. The thinking now is to start young, well before their first birthday, at just 4 months of age. Studies "have found that babies at high risk for becoming allergic to peanuts are less likely to develop the allergy if they are regularly fed peanut-containing foods in the first year of life." So go ahead and try a little bit of peanut butter or a mashed peanut. If you are worried, do it in the presence of your baby’s pediatrician.
References: Parents.com, Babycenter, Wholesome Baby Food, Medical Daily, NPR.org