Baby First Food

My philosophy with regards to baby first food:

1. Nutritional value:

I prioritise food that required minimal cooking or processing. For example, I prioritize avocado and banana as baby's first food, because it can be eaten straight by very young babies. As for cooking, a far as possible, I go for steaming, double-boiling or baking, as they retain the highest nutritional contents of food. That also means that hot dogs, sausages, salami, commercially prepared meat-balls, fish balls, etc. are a NO, NO. (We also don't eat them ourselves).

2. Simplicity and time-saving:

Cook an item simply and individually in large quantity, e.g. carrots, and freeze in ice-cube trays. Some books recommend stir-frying vegetables before cooking them for babies to make it tastier. In my opinion, it adds more work, is unhealthy and babies age one and below do not need to appreciate fried stuff. It will only spoil them. The natural flavour and sweetness of food extracted from simple cooking methods such as steaming is good enough.

3. Variety:

By following principle no. 2, you can then easily mix and match food ice-cubes to create variety, and thus providing a balanced meal for baby. This is also a good way to reduce baby's boredom as in this way, baby does not have to have the same food for all its meals in a day.

4. Long term good over short term:

I look at a food's long term impact on taste-bud shaping. For example, I prefer to introduce skimmed milk over full-cream milk, because of its impact over habit forming. Another example, a friend of mine who took the easy way out and gave only fried food to her baby girl is now in a spot, as the girl is now 3 years old, but refuses to eat anything that is not fried. It would be an up-hill battle to correct eating habits, if it is not started "right" from day one.

In general, I prefer to skip packets of baby cereal altogether, because it is processed food, and because I think brown rice or oatmeal is a more natural alternative. Just my preference. I only use instant baby cereal as a last resort, if I have to go out with baby. The only “processed” food I allow is milk powder (as my own milk production is insufficient). So far, i haven't had the need to resort to instance baby cereal yet :-).

The first food I started was avocado, as it is full of health-promoting monounsaturated fats and vitamins necessary for baby's brain development. It is also a food that is least likely to cause allergy. Avocado can be served straight without cooking unlike other vegetables. Avocado is an acquired taste, thus start before 6 months, before baby begins to be picky about food. If baby dislikes it, try adding some milk to make the taste a little more familiar. Don't give up, try again a few days or a week later.

It would also be good to start giving baby homemade brown rice cereals or oatmeal. This is a good replacement for baby cereal, as it contains lots of vitamins. If you wish to fortify it further, you can add milk powder or breast milk. Adding milk also makes it more readily accepted by baby. Tip: If baby dislikes oatmeal, I waited a while later after carrots have been started. Then I blend carrots and oatmeal together. Joshua began to like it :-)

Next I start with vegetables. I add milk powder (you can add breast milk if you have enough) to the vegetables to replace the fortified vitamins found in baby cereal.

I prefer to introduce fruits last, as baby tends to like the sweetness of fruit and it would be harder to introduce vegetables after baby has developed a sweet tooth with fruits.

The first fruit I prefer to introduce is banana, after all the above food has been established.

IMPT: Do not add salt or sugar into baby’s food during baby’s first year. I strictly do not allow Joshua any salt or sugar. The food’s natural sweetness and saltiness is good enough for baby.

Adding vegetable fat/oil is recommended by the Danish Health authority for babies less than 1 year old, as babies at this age need a lot of fat (but only good fat) for brain development.

Among the different types of vegetable oil, olive oil is one of the best. If baby doesn't like it, wait for a while and substitute it with other vegetable oil, and then re-introduce it. Joshua didn't like olive oil at first, but I tried again 1 month later, and he now loves it :-). Some books recommend using butter or margarine. In my opinion, it is not very healthy, although it will taste good to baby. The choice is yours :-)


In summary, this is the order of introducing what I consider as Essential Baby's First food to baby, doing away with commercial baby cereal altogether:

1. Avocado (from 4 months)
2. Millet (from 4 months)
3. Buckwheat (from 4 months)
4. Olive Oil (from 5 months)
5. Broccoli (from 5 months)
6. Green peas (from 5 months)
7. Brown rice (from 5 months)
8. Carrot (from 5 months)
9. Chicken (from 6 months)
10. Cod fish (from 6 months)
11. Salmon (from 6 months)
12. Ginger (from 6 months)
13. French Bean (from 6 months)
14. Oatmeal (from 6 months)
15. Barley (from 6 months)
16. Potato (from 6 months)
17. Pumpkin (from 6 months)
18. Corn (from 6 months)
19. Banana (from 6 months, but only after vegetables above are established)
20. Sweet potato (from 6 months)
21. Red bean (from 7 months)
22. Mung bean (from 7 months)
23. Black bean (from 7 months)
24. Parsley (from 7 months)
25. Spring onions (from 7 months)
26. Dild (from 7 months)
27. Chives (from 7 months)
28. Pear (from 7 months)
29. Apple (from 7 months)
30. Quinoa (from 8 months)
31. Rye bread (from 8 months)
32. Egg (from 8 months)

33. Blueberries (from 8 months)
34. Brewer's yeast (from 8 months) - 1 teaspoon
35. Wheat germ (from 8 months)
36. Natural Yogurt (from 9 months)
37. Tomato (from 9 months)

You can find the recipes for the above-mentioned food in the category of posts called Basket of Essential Baby First Food.

I got a lot of inspiration and ideas for healthy baby food from using the Super Baby Food book. It does not contain fanciful pictures, but it is jam-packed with a lot of creative and yet simple and healthy recipes that I have never thought of and are easy to follow. I have been so glad to find this resource, which I want to share with everyone. You can also find them in Amazon:

Here is the link to an index on all my posts on baby food:

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