“She was definitely unsure,” said Mai Le, recalling the first time she introduced a fork-mashed banana to her daughter, Holly. “At first, she would turn her head away. But once we put a little bit of banana on her lips and she tasted it, she opened her mouth.”
Introducing solid foods to your baby can be daunting. While it’s exciting that your baby has reached another milestone, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by what’s involved. Your mind may be flooded with questions, like “What are the best first foods for babies?” Or, “Is there a right or wrong way to prepare these foods?” And, “Just how messy is my kitchen about to get?”
What you’re feeling is completely normal. And luckily, there are experts and resources to help walk you through the exciting new world of applesauce, mashed banana … even pureed broccoli.
See what experts recommend:
Then, think of it as an adventure — and a messy one, at that. By introducing your little one to new tastes and textures, you are ensuring she will look forward to meals with your family and enjoy trying new foods throughout her life.
That enthusiasm starts early, as mom Mai Le discovered. Le notes that Holly, now one year old, has a routine that reflects her anticipation and delight around mealtimes.
“In order to put the tray on her high chair, she has to have her arms up, and she waves them around and kicks excitedly,” Le said. “And once that tray is attached, we’d better have her food ready, because she expects to be served immediately!"
Give Peas a Chance
Starting your little one on solid foods
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods to your baby at about 6 months old.
Your baby is ready when she:
Nutrient-packed Foods That are Easy to Prepare
Foods should be soft. Be sure to puree or mash well.
Allergenic Foods: Be Alert!
As Your Baby Grows ...
6 months: Start off with iron-rich foods, like peas, rice cereal and meat or poultry.
9 months: Widen the variety! Include a range of fruits, vegetables and meats
1 year: Safe to introduce whole milk and honey.
If possible, continue breastfeeding until your baby is at least 1 year old.
Hungry for additional info? Find all of this — and more food for thought — at kp.org.