Introducing baby’s first foods can be fun. It is after all, a big step in your baby’s development and it can be enjoyable to explore new flavours together! Once your child is ready to start weaning, it is important to start with thin purées so that your child will accept the first few spoonfuls. I always recommend preparing homemade baby food as it means that you know exactly what your baby is eating. In order to ensure that you have the right tools to help you along on this journey I have put together this guide for baby's first purées.
Tips to Remember
Weaning is a gradual process and your baby’s palate is delicate. Remember that everyday foods such as broccoli, carrots, apples and pears will appear strong in flavour to them; this is why I recommend starting with single ingredient purées and then moving along to combination purées after a few days.
Our Top First Foods
Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and sweet potato are great options. Other good first foods include butternut squash, beetroot, cauliflower and broccoli. Avoid any canned vegetables as these have salt added.
Fresh vegetables should be washed, peeled and sliced before steaming until tender. Blend in a food processor with some water until you have a smooth puree.
How best to prepare first foods
I would always recommend steaming your fruit and vegetables as you loose less nutrients through the cooking process. Steaming vegetables would usually take 15 minutes in a steamer but for first tastes I would increase this until the vegetable is nice a soft with little texture when blended.
It is best to begin steaming your fruit for a very young baby but then move onto grating the fruit and then mashing and offer whole pieces as finger food.
What if My Baby Refuses to Eat Solids?
Parents often stress when their baby refuses to eat solids. It’s important to note that it’s very common for babies to refuse food when it’s first introduced to them. Respect their decision to refuse the food and never force feed as this can create a negative association with mealtimes for your child.
If your baby seems uninterested, give them a break for a few days and try again. Positive encouragement is key so try not to get frustrated! Some babies also do not like being spoon fed; it may be that the spoon is too hard or wide, so offer spoons that are narrow and soft instead. If this fails, your baby may do much better with finger foods. This will allow them control at meal times and they will have an enjoyable experience with food.
Remember that off days are normal so 1-2 days of smaller feeds is okay. Once your baby seems well there is no need to worry. If you are still concerned after close monitoring or if loss of appetite or sudden refusal of feeds continues and your baby is irritable or crying, see your child’s doctor.