The 7 Best Foods to Start Solids with your Baby
Congratulations, you have received the green light from your pediatrician to start introducing solids to your baby! The adventure with your little one is about to begin. But where to start? Cereal, fruit, vegetables? If you haven't read my previous article about starting solids I recommend you to check it out, so you can get my tips for starting the solids introduction stage.
For many parents, this time can be a bit overwhelming because they just don't know how or which foods to introduce. I hear that many of the parents receive a paper guide with strict indications of foods and the order in which they should be introduced. "At month X you start with 20g or 2 and a half tablespoons of apple or pear porridge... After dinner you can only give green vegetables and not mixed with fruit..." What logic does this have? Why only green vegetables and not other colors? Do you only eat fruit for breakfast and don't mix grains with fruit and vegetables? I understand that for many parents having a sheet can create a sense of calm, however, it is a fictitious peace of mind because when you go out of the guidelines you enter into chaos. Also, you may be depriving your baby of important nutrients like calcium, fiber, zinc, vitamin D, and iron that they might not get if you follow this order.
My philosophy is very different. I don't believe in giving food in a certain order; I believe in giving foods rich in nutrients and with great variety. This philosophy is based on the specific nutritional needs of children ages 6-12 months and is also based on new medical research and pediatric recommendations. Babies after 6 months require twice as much iron to maintain blood production during this period of growth. Therefore, it makes sense that the first meals are foods high in iron.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization never mention any specific order, rather they indicate "to start solids after 6 months of age and" to start with foods high in iron ". NO research has proven that there is a "best order of starting foods." In other words, there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of starting broccoli porridge before apple or vice versa. There is also the misconception that certain foods are prohibited such as strawberries, eggs, cereals with gluten or papaya due to the risk of developing allergies. However, the new recommendations say the opposite. The earlier you introduce egg, gluten, and peanut products, the lower your risk of developing food allergies.
One of the key pillars in the process of introducing solids is not in the order of meals, but in the variety and exposure to new foods. Children develop eating habits at 2 years of age. Which means, your window of opportunity starts now. You have these first 2 years to expose your baby to new foods. Instead of worrying about whether to feed papaya or zucchini first, the important thing is to introduce a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods throughout these 2 years. Remember to start introducing one food at a time and try to give it for 3 days in a row. That way you will be able to observe any allergic reaction and see how he tolerates this new food. Don't be in a hurry if your baby gets only 1-2 teaspoons initially, this will gradually change as your baby grows. Let's begin the adventure of new flavors and textures and above all: Trust your baby!
7 Best Foods to Start Giving your Baby Solids
- Sweet Potato- This vegetable is one of my 7-month-old daughter's favorites. Its texture is smooth and sweet taste. Super high in vitamin A, which influences vision, and is also a rich source of iron. You can introduce it in the Baby Led Weaning method since it is easy to eat with your fingers.
- Lentils- Excellent source of iron. A protein and carbohydrate of non-animal origin. The meat can be difficult to introduce because of its "chewy" texture. Lentils are easy to blend too.
- Avocado- Babies need fat for cognitive development. In this case, avocado is rich in omega 3 and 6 and its consistency is very easy to mix. You can try mixing it with a vegetable or a fruit and its flavor is easily molded.
- Salmon- Definitely a superfood. Excellent source of healthy fats, moreover, it provides vitamin D, calcium and iron. Babies and children do not get enough fish. I recommend twice a week to offer the fish of preference.
- Bananas- One of my favorite fruits. The texture is super soft and you can include it in medium pieces so that your baby begins to experiment with its texture. High in potassium, fiber, and B vitamins. Try pairing it with cereal or other fruit for a little breakfast.
- Eggs- Previously prohibited in children up to 2 months of age, the recommendations have now changed. So much so that it is now recommended to introduce eggs from 6 months of age to prevent food allergies. High in iron, zinc, protein, vitamin D. You can offer the liquid yolk with cereal or breast milk. If you choose to give him chunks of food, he's also easy to eat with his fingers.
- Wholegrain Cereals- The classic food that it is recommended that you introduce due to its high iron content. I like it because it's easy to combine with all kinds of food and thus you guarantee that your baby is receiving the necessary iron. Opt for a higher fiber cereal like oatmeal, multigrain instead of rice cereal.
Remember to cook foods without salt, sugar and fats, since they do not need them. If you want to know what accessories can help you in this process of introducing your baby to solids, you can click here so you can see what I always recommend to my Moms at Nutrichicos. I hope it will be very useful to you.