Best First Foods for Baby

Once you know your baby is ready to try some foods, the question becomes, what is the best first food?

(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 as the best first food, but Mama Natural ain’t buying it! First off, rice cereal is a highly processed food, which isn’t good for anyone. Secondly, the iron found in breast milk is a lot easier for baby to digest. Avoid rice cereal!

Here are my top five suggestions for babies best first food.

Best first food #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.

Best first food #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.

Best first food #3. Carrots

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.

Best first food #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.

Best first food #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?

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  1. Super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. This blog is awesome! Thanks for sharing

    May I know if quinoa is safe as baby first food? I just gave for two days 😨 Wonder if it’s harmful too.


  3. With my son, Noah, had early weight gain issues because we had nursing issues that were discovered at 4 months old (even after working with LCs and doctors). It caused him to be classified as borderline failure to thrive at that point. I was devastated. I made it my mission to find the best foods that would make him happy, healthy, strong and smart. I have been following your videos for years, and through you, God led me to the wisdom of Weston A. Price.
    He started with egg yolks and avocado, sweet potato and salmon, and liver mixed with grass-fed beef and carrots. He started THRIVING, and at a year, he measured 56% for weight, 72% for height, and 95% for head. Nutrient dense food is medicine. I sent WAPF a thank you this past Fall, and our story will be in the issue of Wise Traditions this month. I was also inspired to write an E-book of my recipes:
    There is no greater gift than a happy, healthy baby!

  4. I read your other article about introducing broth first at 6 months. My Little Guy is 5.5 but shows all the signs of being ready, do you recommend just starting with bone broth for the whole 1st month and how do you offer it to them?! Then move onto led weaning on the 7th month?
    -1st time mom trying to figure it all out!

  5. My pediatrician recommended getting my son used to “green” food first, and then introducing “orange and yellow” veggies, and fruits last. Simply because he said that when sweet food are introduced first, the baby gets accustomed to that, and it makes it harder for them to like green veggies that tend to be a stronger or more bitter flavor – and that fruits should be thought of more as a dessert for awhile.

    This theory seems to have worked like a charm, cause he is older now, and loves almost all veggies – and some of my friends who did not follow this have the PICKIEST eaters!

  6. I’ve googled around and come up overwhelmed, so I thought I’d ask my internet best mama friend that doesn’t know I exist but I follow her on all the social medias and cannot wait to get my hands on her new book even though my babe is almost 7 months old…

    Do you puree your babies food? Or do you just mash it with a fork until there aren’t any lumps left?

    Thanks in advance!

    • You could do either. Some babies like the texture of gently mashed foods better than pureed. You also don’t have to mash it at all if you just soft cook the food and cut it into hold-able chunks.

  7. My daughters first foods were homemade bone broth and puréed butternut squash with cinnamon 😄

  8. Hi Mama natural. I’ve been watching you videos for years. I’m a first time mom and my baby is having an allergic reaction to the oatmeal cereal. The doctor recommended barley cereal and he doesn’t want him to eat rice cereal. I can’t find Barley Cereal anywhere… The one that I found is in Amazon made by Healthy Times. Have you used this brand? or have you used barley cereal?

  9. Avacado and bananas it is!!

  10. When I had my older 2 boys we started with cereal after 6 mo as the ped recommended. When I had my twins 3.5 yrs ago we started with soft boiled pastured chicken egg yolk. I did a lot of research at the time and that felt best to us. Second food was avocado, we did some BLW also.

  11. when is it ok to give papaya? my baby is 7 mo old and we just started foods like the ones above 3 weeks ago. I ask because I know papaya is used as a natural meat tenderizer b/c it has acids, so is it safe for a baby’s stomach/intestines?

      • Oh wow, gave my first son papaya for his first food, he is 2.7 years now. My daughter just turned 6months, I will start with avocado as her fist food tomorrow. Thank you for sharing!!

  12. I was wondering if you were going to buy a store bought baby food purée which brand would you choose? I make all my own baby food right now but I will admit that being able to occasionally just grab a little jar and put it in the diaper bag on a busy day would be nice. However no matter how alluring the conscience is I still wanna make sure that I’m giving my baby girl REAL food. Any advice?

    • I loved Happy Baby frozen food!

  13. Hi,
    My boy is 5 months old and has been eating rice cereal for about a month. Not every day but a couple times a week. I didn’t know it was so bad for him. I have a baby food grinder but of course have not used it yet since he is not 6 months. I was just thinking today that I would like to start feeding him real food. Is it still to early he’s 5 months and a week today.

    • I’ve been letting my 4.5 month old baby start dabbling in food not really eating but tasting and a whole lot of playing, at first she just made a mess but now she will taste the foods as well.

    • My pediatrician said they’re ready to start solids when they hold their head up strong in a parallel line with their shoulders and show interest in food.

  14. So far I’ve given my baby pumpkin mixed with his formula and avocado mixed with formula which he loves. I’ve tries sweet potatoes mixed with formula but he did not enjoy it…

  15. Staring foods next week. But we want to make it ourself so we know exactly what’s in it. How do you make all of these for your baby mama natural?

    Just started natural life when I had my daughter and I’m loving it been natural for 6 months now. Since October 6th 🙂

  16. My little one has been on rice cereal since 3 months old. Recommended by pediatrician for severe reflux. Its been a month now and she really seems to love the cereal so i am quite keen on starting her on some steamed veg, something easy to digest and a little more exciting than cereal. She LOVES spoons. I have bought her loads of toys to play with and she will go straight for the spoon. I think its because she sees us using them. She has been sitting almost unaided for a while, another result of the reflux, we have had to keep her upright since birth while she is awake. Any thoughts?

    • Find a Chiro that knows how to adjust hiatial hernias. Our son has reflux issues from time to time. We have our Chiro ajust him and he’s great!

  17. I plan on skipping the rices/cereals as well. My little one is 4 months and is showing a lot of interest! She already has her first tooth. I plan on waiting a while, but I am starting to research what to start with. Would the bananas and carrots be too sweet? I don’t want her to only prefer the sweet stuff!

  18. Hey! So I’m totally new to all of this, and am having difficulty finding the time to do all of the research I want to do with 11 hour work days. So to get this right – definitely don’t do cereal – rice or grain even fortified? And is 4 months too early? My son Logan is exclusively breast fed, but definitely interested in my foods, is mostly sitting up on his own (he has trouble for the first 20 minutes after waking up), and might actually have a problem with iron because I’m usually anemic. And this won’t affect him wanting to nurse, right? I definitely don’t want to give up that bonding time since I have so little of it to myself!

  19. I recently read a study about baby’s ability to digest starches (posted below).. I’m trying to decide if/when I will give her grains. I know starting too soon can cause GI issues, but what about waiting too long? We’ve been seeing a GI specialist who’s brain I’ve been picking, he explained to us that in a study done of children whose relatives had Celiac’s Disease the occurrences of the disease in these children more than doubled when they postponed the introduction of grains beyond 2 years of age. There’s substantial evidence that shows waiting too long can cause them to have food allergies. So I’m trying to find the balance between the two, she already has a Cow’s Milk Protein intolerance and I want to be sure to introduce all the possible allergen foods at the right time so she doesn’t have any other issues.. Thoughts?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

    • 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.

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

  22. 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.

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

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

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

    • 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.

  25. 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?

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

  26. 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!

    • Oh Mama’s, baby is turning 6 months on Christmas and I too am feeling overwhelmed on what to feed him. I love the bone broth idea! Do you make yours or did you buy itAnd what’s your favorite brand? Also do you use the broth to mix in his solids or do you use breast milk? Thanks Mamas, love all the advice and help on this site!!

  27. 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:
    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.

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

    • 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…….

  28. 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!

    • How did you mix the squash and the breast milk?

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

  29. 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.

    • 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!

      • 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.

      • I find it interesting no one has mentioned meat as a first food? My first son had a reaction to organic rice cereal (recommended by Dr of course) but studies suggest that meat is actually a better first food over fruits and vegetables. We blended cooked organic chicken livers and breastmilk. Its one of the highest sources of Iron. The Canadian Pediatric Society and Health Canada actually recommend it now but it doesnt always filter down to oldschool pediatricians….So unless you are vegan or vegetarian its another option to 🙂

  30. 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!

  31. 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?

  32. 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!

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

      • 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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 should check it out!

    • 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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