Best First Foods for Baby

Iron-fortified rice cereal for baby's first food? No way! Here are the top five REAL and HEALTHY foods to start your baby on ;)

Once you know your baby is ready to try some foods, the question becomes, what do you feed them? (Not sure if your baby is ready for solids yet? Here are five signs that he or she is!)

Most pediatricians recommend iron fortified rice cereal for baby’s first food, but Mama Natural ain’t buying it. First, it’s a processed food, which isn’t good for anyone. Secondly, I think the iron found in breast milk is a lot easier for baby to digest.

Here are my top five suggestions for babies first foods.

1. Avocado

This is a wonderful food, loaded with monounsaturated fats, vitamins, and enzymes. This is the first food Griffin ever tasted. We live in such a sugar-laden world, I loved giving him something that was filling and creamy as his first taste.

2. Bananas

An electrolyte dream, filled with calcium, magnesium, potassium, and on and on. It’s also really easy to serve. Just peel, mash it up with a fork, and serve. It’s a great treat for your baby and really easy to digest.

3. Carrots

Iron-fortified rice cereal for baby's first food? No way! Here are the top five REAL and HEALTHY foods to start your baby on ;)

These are a great first vegetable for baby. If you steam them, they’re really easy to digest, easier than greens and other vegetables. They’re also sweet, which babies like. And they’re loaded with vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other wonderful vitamins and minerals.

4. Squashes

I’m choosing these over yams, oatmeal, and other complex carbohydrates. Squashes are monosaccharides and easy for babies to digest, as opposed to the more complex polysaccharides found in those other foods. They’re a great source of carbohydrates as well as loads of vitamins.

5. Pears

The least acidic fruit, pears are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and copper. And they’re delicious.

The great thing about all these foods is you can mix and match and create a whole host of flavors for your babies.

What were your baby’s first foods?

About Genevieve

After battling weight, digestive, and immune system issues for years, I know firsthand the harmful effects of conventional life. Through a long road of detox, I discovered the healing power of natural living. This transformation spread into every area of my life - physical, emotional & spiritual. Now I'm on a mission to help other mamas live happier, healthier lives.

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Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

32 Comments

  1. Erin June 2 at 5:06 pm

    Please do BLW soon! I stared off with the same cereal you have in your video 4 days ago for Nova’s first food because my pediatrician recommended it. I am regretting it, as I wanted to also start her with Avocado and BLW. As a first time mama, I was scared. Scared she wouldn’t get the iron needed. And scared I won’t do the BLW right.

  2. Karen June 2 at 12:01 pm

    I’m scared to starting my baby on solids! He’s so ready though! He salivates when he watches us eat! I feel so bad, but I’m afraid that he will become constipated with solids… He’s 4 1/2 months. Exclusively breast fed.
    Help!

    • Taylor June 2 at 2:11 pm

      Baby’s gut isn’t ready until at least 6 months. I’d say keep on breastfeeding, momma. It could result in gastrointestinal issues for your little one.

    • Genevieve June 4 at 1:56 pm

      Definitely wait!!! No rush! You want your child sitting upright with no support before you even consider it.

  3. Melissa June 2 at 11:53 am

    I have to disagree about bananas being easy to digest– I pretty much had to avoid bananas with my son until he was around 9 months because they made the poor guy constipated :(

    I do incorporate oatmeal cereal but I skipped the rice– the rest fruits and veggies. We did mostly purees with my son and some whole foods– I’m thinking of doing more whole foods (BLW) with future children and less purees.

    • Genevieve June 4 at 1:57 pm

      Bananas are nice because they contain an enzyme that helps break the starch down. Good point, they do constipate some.

  4. Amy April 9 at 6:09 pm

    We started with carrots! Plain whole fat yogurt after that, and then butternut squash and sweet potatoes!

  5. Jenn B September 26 at 2:09 am

    Do you recommend any particular squash? And how do you cook it? Steamed? Baked in oven? Thanks for the advice!

    • Genevieve June 4 at 1:58 pm

      Butternut is nice. Baby usually likes the best :) I would peel, cut into cubes and then steam. You could also bake with a touch of water. Mash with fork and you can add breast milk or coconut/olive oil.

  6. Erika July 28 at 11:16 pm

    We’ve been having the five foods you recommended for 2 months now – and my little one loves it. He’s now almost 7 months, and I was wondering whether you have any recommendations about what to give him next and when?

    • Genevieve June 4 at 2:00 pm

      Oh my, you could start branching out with your fruits and veggies. Mangoes, apples, pumpkin, different squashes, peaches, tart yogurt, etc.

  7. Organic products June 10 at 4:07 pm

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures
    aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a
    linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  8. Kimber March 28 at 8:32 pm

    My son is 8 months old and we started with soft-boiled egg yolks, avocado, and bananas. We’ve moved onto carrots, mango, chicken and pot roast pureed with bone broth, and organic whole milk yogurt. And since he was 5 months old I have given him a bottle with about 2 ounces of bone broth each night to drink before he nurses….he loves it and I really believe this has contributed to the fact that he has had no sickness yet, and hopefully it is aiding in developing a healthy gut! I just ordered some Great Lakes Kosher Gelatin and look forward to making him some fruit snacks with it soon!

  9. Ellen Kellor January 9 at 2:48 am

    I think we are on the same page! One thing I didn’t see anyone mention in the comments was the fact a lot of rice has been found to be high in arsenic. This can be naturally occurring or a byproduct of previous farming. Brown rice is higher than white. Some organic baby formula, etc. uses rice syrup as a natural sweetener and these types of products including cereals, etc. all can contain arsenic. This is such a scary thing that has recently been more prominently highlighted in the media, but most people still aren’t aware of this fact. I have also heard of this appearing in certain fruits such as apples (apple juice, etc.). Google it and there will be a plethora of info. Consumer reports offers a chart online that showed specific products with arsenic levels: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/11/arsenic-in-your-food/index.htm
    So scary to think that many babies are being fed rice cereal for their first food which may contain poison! My daughter is coming up on 6 months. I breast fed her for the 1st few months but sadly had to supplement with organic formula due to low production. I tried everything! I am still a “natural mama” doing the best I can with what I have. I can’t wait to start giving her a taste of wholesome foods in just a few weeks.

    • Genevieve January 9 at 10:38 pm

      Yes, great points! I’m not concerned with a little brown rice syrup here and there but in any significant quantity, no thanks.

    • Emily January 24 at 9:20 am

      I’m in your same boat! I too am unable to breastfeed and am doing organic formula. My sweet baby is 4.5 months and is already at the highest end of her formula (>32 oz). Of course, not knowing better we tried rice (organic whole wheat) but she wasn’t having it! She did eat it off the spoon but was in tummy trouble by the end of the HOUR! She is very sensitive to changes. We struggled going from breast milk to formula (even though we slowly weaned and mixed in breast milk to each bottle). Do you think she’s old enough for an avocodo challenge? She’s obviously hungry…….

  10. Manda September 19 at 10:42 pm

    I started using rice cereal at first when my baby was 5 months because I felt pressure from someone in my family (something I will never do again!) :( I stopped because my little one was having digestive issues, and I’ve never touched the stuff since. I just did squash mixed with breast milk for the first few weeks, and now she eats a rainbow of foods!
    I love your webpage! Great videos!

    • Keyla March 28 at 9:14 pm

      How did you mix the squash and the breast milk?

      • Genevieve June 4 at 2:00 pm

        Mash up squash first, let cool a tad, then add a teaspoon or so of breast milk and mash some more.

  11. lorelei January 2 at 8:47 pm

    My baby is 5 months old. She hasn’t started eating yet. It has always seemed weird to me to start with rice cereal. Even if I grind the flour myself, it seems like it would be much to difficult to digest. But I haven’t read anything about starting with different foods. Do you have any recommended reading? I have been putting my spoon in her mouth as she seems interested and it feels like a good way to get her used to the whole thing. I also have let her feel and taste some fruits. She hasn’t tried to eat anything yet. She does like sharing my spoon though.

    BTW – I found your website when I was doing a search for Genevieve. My daughters name. Love your blog and videos. Thank you.

    • Genevieve January 3 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Lorelei, Thanks for your message. How neat that my blog came up with Genevieve?! Yes, I wouldn’t recommend rice/grains for baby’s first foods (per my video.) Soft fruits and well-cooked vegetables are much better suited for their developing digestion. Nourishing Traditions (a cookbook) has a nice section on baby’s first foods. You can also find some good content online. (search wholesomebabyfood). Hope this helps and enjoy your little Genevieve!

      • lorelei January 4 at 11:04 am

        Thank you! I have that book on my Amazon wish list. I will buy it now that I know it has baby food ideas in it. Thanks for your words and support. :)

        I was searching Genevieve on YouTube. Looking for songs.

  12. Francesca Nishimoto March 26 at 9:28 am

    My baby will be 7 months old on Monday. Definitely post about baby-led weaning. I’ve heard of it but not too familiar with it. My baby LOVES to nurse and I plan on nursing for another year, but he is definitely interested in food too. He gobbled up everything that one week he ate solids!

  13. Genevieve March 25 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Francesca, Sounds like you trusted your mama intuition about the rice cereal. One week is nothing! Going back to straight up breast milk is a great idea to reset his system. How old is your little guy?

  14. Francesca Nishimoto March 25 at 4:19 pm

    Unfortunately, my baby had rice cereal as his first food. But only for a week! I stopped because it messed up his digestive system. He’s also had green beans a couple times. Now he’s back to just mama’s milk until his tummy feels better and then we’ll try again with the foods you suggested. Thanks!

    • keyla March 13 at 4:42 pm

      What did you try after this incident? I have the same issue

      • Francesca March 13 at 5:03 pm

        I switched to the oatmeal cereal instead (though now I know to skip all the cereals). Then we tried avocado, mashed banana, and vegetable baby food–no fruit ones; I fed him fresh fruit or unsweetened applesauce instead. I didn’t like cleaning up the avocado diapers, so we stopped that too. I never went past stage 2 baby food, because by the time he came to stage 3 he could eat solids and I’d rather him eat my home-cooked meals. I also continued to nurse him as much as he wanted (until he was 2, in fact!). Good luck!

  15. gypsy March 8 at 3:44 pm

    I totally agree. Just 24 weeks pregnant, already reading about baby-led weaning. I really feel that a lot of things pushed by pediatricians, the media, and so on are just cleverly disguised advertising campaigns for corporate food producers and drug companies. (Formula is better than breast-feeding…that was a good one. Or – you need drugs to give birth.) So many of the authorities (FDA and so on) are in a triangle relationship with those corporations and the government. Shop in the perimeter of your grocery store…whole foods as close to nature as possible. This is what our family eats…just like families for thousands of years. Way to go Mama Natural.

  16. Natalie March 8 at 10:50 am

    We aren’t there yet because my baby is still only 3 months old but we plan to start with avocado and banana’s and go from there. We are skipping cereals and purees and doing the Baby Lead Solids or what in the UK is called Baby Lead weaning! It’s awesome..you should check it out!

    • Genevieve March 8 at 11:03 am

      Sounds like we’re on the same page, natural mama Natalie! We’ve experimented with baby-led weaning a bit and will probably post about it soon. Thanks for stopping by!

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