What Do I Feed My Baby? The standards and recommendations on what babies should eat change each year, so consult your naturopath or pediatrician for the most up to date guidelines for creating your baby led weaning first foods timeline.
The current American Academy of Pediatrics statement on nitrates states not to feed babies “under 3 months of age” carrots, squash, spinach, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, and beets.
Every child is different. Talk with your pediatrician about any specific allergy considerations your infant may have prior to creating your own food plan. The following list will give you tons of ideas for healthy meals for your little one.
Best Baby Led Weaning First Foods
Starting at 6 months, one “meal” a day. At 7 months, they can have two meals a day.
These early meals can be as simple as an infant-sized serving of a vegetable, or a vegetable and a potato.
- Zucchini (green or yellow)
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes or yams
- Any potato variety (red, gold, white, fingerling, Yukon gold, Idaho, etc)
Grains can be skipped until 8-10 months, but if you want to try them early:
- Whole grain infant cereals, mixed with breastmilk or formula
If you want to incorporate fruit, rotate it in once every four days:
- Binding, as in, will not cause loose baby poop:
- Apple (Big slices they’ll gnaw on for baby led weaning, otherwise, pureed.)
- Banana (a large, grab-able and gnaw-able size, otherwise, pureed.)
Loosening, as in, the opposite of constipation:
- Pears (Large slices for baby led weaning, otherwise, pureed.)
- Prunes (Only if you do pureed. Otherwise, regular size is a choking hazard.)
- Commercially prepared Stage 1 baby foods (check labels for unnecessary ingredients like sugar or gelatin)
- Animal proteins may be introduced (lean meats, beef, etc)
- Cooked egg yolks (not egg whites)
- Plant proteins like beans, lentils, tofu
Vegetables (steamed, pureed and diluted with water, or in small soft pieces):
- Greens: kale, chard, collard greens
- Snow Peas
- Haricots verts
- Brown rice
Fruit (every two to four days):
Finger foods like peas (instead of Cheerios), or small chopped soft vegetables like bell peppers can be introduced to work on fine motor skills during mealtime.
Commercially prepared Stage 2 baby foods (checking labels to avoid unnecessary items like dairy, sugar, and gelatin)
Vegetables are still the foundation of the meal plan, served mashed, soft cooked, or in pieces for finger feeding
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Fava and lima beans
- Onion/scallions/leeks may be used as seasonings in cooked dishes
Seafood proteins like wild-caught Alaskan salmon can be added.
For updates on the current safe seafood for infants, go to http://www.seafoodwatch.org.
Wheat products may be introduced (if no history of gluten intolerance):
- Wheat, oats, and barley
- Pita bread
- Rice (black, wild, Jasmine varieties)
Fruit (servings still staggered every two to four days):
- Melon (all varieties)
- Berries (all varieties)
Cheeses (not cow’s milk, but all other alternatives) may be introduced
Alternative milk may be introduced (not cows or rice milk, however)
After 10 months, there’s no need for any commercially prepared Stage 3/Toddler baby foods.
Avoid Prior to 12 Months
- Cow’s milk or yogurts/ cow’s milk cheese
- Egg whites
- Chocolate and nuts
- Acidic fruits (oranges, grapefruit, tomato, pineapple, strawberries)
- Seafood high in mercury (like canned tuna).
- Visit http://www.seafoodwatch.org for up to date recommendations.
Foods to Avoid
- Adding salt or sugar to an infant’s food is never necessary.
- Juice or Juice and water blends. Prior to a year, infants only need their breastmilk or formula and water. Water can be added once they’re eating solid food. They’ll drink it when thirsty. Toddlers need only whatever milk or milk alternative they’re drinking and water. Juice and juice blends only serve to provide sugar for little ones, increasing the future risk of diabetes and obesity. It’s just unnecessary, from any angle.
- White flour. Adults don’t need it, toddlers and infants definitely don’t. There are so many whole grain and rice options for carbs that white flour is best avoided whenever possible.