Is there a magical first bite of food when starting solids?
Jen’s on a mission. Her baby seems to be ready for starting solids and she wants to get the best food for her littles one’s first bites.
But after reading a gazillion articles, the only thing that is clear… is that her head hurts.
Starting solids with your baby is a minefield.
You want to get your little ones first bites ‘right’…
But which food is best? Is there a magical first food?
Let’s back up a wee bit.
Eating healthy is often seen in black and white terms…
But healthy eating is more like a continuum, like age.
While we can clearly see that a 70-year-old is older than a 50-year-old. But the difference between a 70 and 71-year-old becomes hazy.
Food is the same. While chips and ice-cream are clearly not the best first foods, to find one magical food that will be the best of the best for a first bite… is debatable.
It is easier and less stressful to put foods on a continuum.
After eyeing the list below, you may find that the foods on the specific baby foods list are not doable for you. Or you may have something else in mind but falls on the Ideal or next best list. You are not doing your baby a disservice by introducing them to these foods first.
Your baby will still thrive.
- ‘Real food’, aka as close to nature as possible. For example, no processed foods. This can also extend to homemade v store brought. [Example homemade apple puree is better than sucking on a pouch of apple.]
- Mashed avocado is better than a stage one jar food. Most ideal here is food that has not been tampered with by machines.
- Vegetables – especially root vegetables as they will be easy to digest for your baby.
- Meat – either in a puree or put into a pouch.
6 Specific foods for Baby’s needs
1. Egg yolk
High in the fat your babies brain needs. Good fat will help your baby’s brain and nervous system develop. They will be reaching those milestones in no time. Either boil an egg removing the white once cooked or flash fry the yolk in some coconut oil or quality butter). Add in the white once they start to increase the amount they eat.
At around 6 months of age, your baby’s iron stores will start to decrease. Liver is such a nutrient-dense food which is not only high in iron but iron your baby will easily absorb.
Your baby does not eat large amounts at the beginning with, so, liver is the perfect choice to start solids with, as what your little one does get, will be jam-packed of nutrients.
The best bang for your buck!
Buy the cleanest source you can, pasture raised organic if possible.
3. Fermented Foods
When babies start solids, their gut goes through a microbial shift, meaning their gut bacteria explodes in number and strains of bacteria (good bacteria). For short-term and life-long health gut bacteria needs to be favoured towards the good guys, eating fermented foods during your baby’s first bites will help this.
NOTE: Learning to ferment foods is daunting but it doesn’t have to be, it’s super easy – give it a go… Check out the link to get my favourite, versatile, super easy to make fermented baby food – Fermented Kumara. It takes about 30min to make, and it lasts for months in the fridge.
Smooth, creamy – the perfect food to stimulate your baby’s developing palate.
Like egg yolk, avocados are high in the fat your baby needs – their brain development and nervous system development will get a huge kick out of these beauties.
5. Kumara (or sweet potato)
This little goody of a root vegetable is being researched at the moment for potentially being the perfect start to solids. Kumara or sweet potato is a great prebiotic, which basically means it helps your good bacteria flourish – a big tick in our house.
Sweet potato mash is a must for every baby starting solids.
6. Chicken Stock
Chicken soup to help get over a cold is not just be an “old wives’ tale”. Real chicken stock (aka homemade) contains minerals that are easy to absorb.
I used chicken stock when cooking all my purees in my babies first 12 months. If you cook a large batch you can freeze it into ice cubes. It is then easy to get out of the freezer when you need a small amount to add to purees.
While there is not a ‘magical fist food’, the diet you provide your baby within their first year helps to
- develop their gut
- trains their taste
- gets them used to different textures.
You cannot get healthy eating ‘perfect’ – but to strive for the higher end of the continuum is a great goal.
When in doubt think, ideal – as close to nature as possible or not tampered with by machines. When buying meats and vegetables think – what environment did this food grow in – you are what you eat… eats.
You won’t go wrong.
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