The Best Foods for Baby’s First Meals

Smiling Baby Eating Dragon Fruit for the First Time

When it comes to feeding your baby ‘first foods’, it’s not about presentation. Pureed veggies may look unappetizing to you, but your baby will most likely love them.  Getting the knack of first meals is all about what’s easy on your baby’s tummy and appropriate for her digestive development.

If you’re new to motherhood and trying to figure out what should be on your baby’s mealtime menu, we’re dishing about the right foods for each stage of your baby’s development. Let’s dig in!

Stage 1:  4-6 Months

The first meal your baby eats will be pureed, strained or kind of runny.  The recommended texture for her first “solid” foods is smooth and easy to digest. She’ll be excited to taste new flavors for the first time. If she doesn’t like certain things, don’t give up. Just keep re-introducing them.

Fruits

Peeled apples, avocados, apricots, bananas, mango, nectarines & peaches, papaya, pears, plums & prunes, pumpkin

Veggies

Green beans, carrots, peas, sweet potato, squash

Grains

Rice, oatmeal, barley

Stage 2: 6-8 Months

Your baby is an eating machine by now, so she’s ready to try food combinations like oatmeal with fruit or meat with veggies. You can introduce many new foods that are more fibrous, a bit more acidic and contain a higher amount of protein.

At this stage in mealtime, her food is chunkier in texture, but should still be in small pieces that are easy to chew and digest. You can also start to add some mashed spices to her food to see what she likes.

Fruits

Strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, cherries

Veggies

Spinach, kale, red beans, red peppers, lentils

Grains

Multigrain baby cereal, oatmeal with fruit and quinoa

Dairy

Soft cheese, yogurt, milk

Meats

Soft pureed meats like chicken and beef

Stage 3 - 8-12 Months

By the time she reaches 8-12 months, your baby has developed the ability to pick up finger foods (pincer), so your mini foodie is ready to explore even more. This is when you can cut your food into small bites and she can try things mama likes. Give her one piece at a time and encourage her to chew each piece before she puts another one in her mouth, because babies are great at packing un-chewed food in their chubby cheeks!

Just remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics does advise staying away from foods that are choking hazards during the first 12 months like hot dogs, nuts and seeds, big chunks of meat or cheese, whole grapes, hard candy, popcorn, peanut butter and chewing gum.

Bon appétit!

What was your baby’s favorite (or least favorite) first food? Let us know in the comments section on our Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® Facebook page!