Parenting is a practice of highs and lows, the late-night feedings and diaper changes offset by the thrill of many “firsts” you’ll experience with your child. From the first time your baby rolls over to their first words and steps, you’re comforted by the knowledge that your guidance, patience, love and care has enabled them to add these skills to their growing list of triumphs. An important “first” for every parent and child is the journey into solid, mashed, and pureed foods which unfortunately occurs around the same time as your baby starts teething. However, with extra care in preparing your baby's first meals by making sure the purees are smooth, cool and served straight from the fridge, this milestone can be very rewarding for both you and baby.
Paediatric experts advise to start your baby on solid foods between four and six months, ensuring they receive a balanced blend of healthy, nutrient-dense home-prepared meals to supplement their diet of breastmilk or infant formula. Mild, easily mashed and pureed foods such as avocados, cooked eggs, and bananas are perfect starters for gentle digestion.
Where to Start?
If your baby is older than four months old, sits well when supported, and shows an interest in what you’re eating, then slowly introducing a variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains is an excellent way to get your child used to a range of nutrients. Delaying the introduction of foods beyond six months of age can result in iron deficiencies, motor delays, and an increased risk of allergies.
While you may want to experiment with as many foods as possible right away (yes, it is exciting!), it’s best to start your baby off with homemade, healthy options spaced far enough apart to rule out any adverse allergic reactions. There are a number of recommended first solids/purees that will keep your baby full while providing ample nourishment for their constant growing and learning.
Mashed bananas/banana puree - a digestive aid full of vitamins A and C, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium.
Cooked egg yolk - a great source of cholesterol, choline, and healthy fats which are necessary for baby’s rapidly developing brain.
Pitted, mashed avocados- the absolute best source of healthy fat and a nutrient-dense superfood! Mashed avocados or oil are a fantastic source of folate (¼ provides 90% of your daily recommended intake!), fibre, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus,manganese, antioxidants, and vitamins B, C, E and K.
Cooked, peeled and mashed squash - provides an ample amount of vitamins A and C, and is also a great source of potassium.
Bone Broth- this fortifies your baby’s diet with gelatin and calcium to strengthen quickly growing bones.
Introducing solid foods to your baby is an exciting and joyous time - there’s no need to stress! In taking care with both the selection and production of your baby’s first foods you can enjoy the satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re nourishing your child’s body and mind. Have fun developing their palate with a variety of healthy, wholesome choices.