The time has come for your baby to no longer have a mostly milk diet. As she progresses toward the toddler years she will need and at times crave solid foods and eventually regular table food. With the countless baby food recipes that exist today, you are wondering which foods are the best for your baby when starting her on solid food. The foods should be pureed if your baby is at least six months old but if she is almost a year and has teeth, she might be able to handle slightly chewy foods.
Fruits and vegetables are important
Pureed fruits and vegetables are excellent for a baby's first foods because they contain the necessary vitamins and minerals for proper growth. Some babies might reject certain fruits and vegetables when you give them the first time but don't give up. Babies can be picky eaters but if you feed them certain foods frequently and in different ways, they might enjoy what they once rejected.
Pureed oatmeal works great for a first food and can be served along with the baby's milk at breakfast. To make the oatmeal taste interesting, you can add some pureed bananas or apricots to it and see if the baby will like it. Oatmeal is a healthy source of fiber and good carbohydrates.
Pureed meats or fish
For older babies, pureed meats are a nice choice because they get the proteins that build their energy levels and that provide good brain health. Chicken, fish, turkey and beef are all good sources of protein for babies. You can puree chicken and add some slightly seasoned mashed potatoes to it to feed the baby for lunch. Or you can make a beef and cheese macaroni puree for dinner.
Don't add excess seasonings
While you want to prepare baby food that is flavorful, you should not add excess seasonings to it because this is not healthy for the baby. Baby food should only be slightly seasoned if not bland for nutrition reasons. In addition, it is not recommended for babies to have honey until after age one.
Check ingredients in store bought baby foods
Store-bought baby foods are convenient but it is important to review the ingredients before purchasing them because certain brands contain additives that might not be healthy for the baby to consume. Look for baby foods that are made with natural ingredients.
Soft pasta with sauce
Pasta is cooked until soft and this is why it makes for a good first food for your baby. But you do not always have to serve it with tomato sauce. Other ways to serve pasta to babies include cheese sauce and pureed vegetables, brown gravy or with a white sauce. This adds pizzazz to the baby's meal.
Don't get discouraged if your baby seems to prefer his milk over the above mentioned first foods. It is never good to rush him into eating solid foods. When he is ready he might show interest by digging his hands into bowls of your food. Patience is essential.