Even the most mainstream nutritional advice today says to minimize or avoid refined white carbs, like white flour, white pasta, and white rice.
So then WHY on earth do they recommend a refined, powdery, white rice cereal for baby’s first food? It’s positively baffling. Rice cereal has practically no nutrition, and 6-month-old babies don’t even have the required enzyme (amylase) for grain digestion. It’s just not a good choice, friends.
There are many better choices for nourishing (not to mention delicious!) first foods for baby to enjoy. We went the rice cereal route with our firstborn, but once we learned more about real food (including real food for babies!) we did things drastically different with our second and third kids.
We ditched the rice cereal and started offering real foods via baby-led weaning when they started showing an interest and could sit up on their own.
When we couldn’t do homemade food (like when out of the house) we would often use pouches of fruit and veggie purees like these ones from Plum Organics® – certified organic, non-GMO, minimally processed whole ingredients. I would hold off on the blends that have grains until after a year old, but the veggie-fruit combos are great for starting out.
Here’s a list of fifteen of the first foods that we offered in the transition to solid foods. Keep in mind that this was a gradual and slow transition that took months (my babies didn’t really eat a lot of solids until after their first year).
15 Real-Food Ideas for Baby’s First Solids
1. Avocado (high in healthy fats – perfect for baby’s developing brain!)
2. Steamed carrots with butter and sea salt
3. Soft-cooked egg yolk with a pinch of sea salt (I usually scrambled it)
5. Plain yogurt
7. Homemade muffins (grain-free for the first year)
8. Organic, non-GMO puree pouches (great for on the go)
9. Large chunks of soft meat
10. Homemade broth (this can be mixed in with other foods for a nutrition boost!)
11. Sweet potatoes, steamed and cut in chunks, or mashed with butter and salt/pepper.
12. Herbs and spices. Okay, technically not a food in and of themselves, but they deserve a spot on the list! Babies don’t need to eat boring and bland food – jazz it up with herbs and spices!
13. Berries (awesome finger foods)
14. Winter squash, steamed with butter and sea salt (mashed or in chunks as finger food)
15. A wee bit of homemade sauerkraut juice – an amazing and natural source of probiotics. Just a dribble of the juice to start out.
Introducing solids to a real food baby doesn’t have to be a bland, boring, or highly-processed experience! Give your babies whole, real foods to help them develop great lifelong eating habits.