First Baby Foods: Preventing Baby’s Sweet Tooth

It’s hard to know what first baby foods are the best. I didn’t want my little one to develop a sweet tooth because of his diet. What I found was surprising.

First Baby Foods Preventing Baby’s Sweet Tooth

Like lots of natural mamas out there, I want to keep my little one from becoming a sugar baby by giving the right first baby foods. You know, the kind of kid who will only drink milk if there’s chocolate syrup included and uses French fries as carriers for ketchup.

But as I scan the grocery aisles, it’s scary to see that everything from juice boxes, to packaged cereal, to yogurt are loaded with sugar—and, to think, these products are developed for (and marketed to) children.

With that in mind, Griffin’s first baby foods included avocado, then other fruits and veggies. From there, I tried to keep banana, pear, and apple to a minimum and instead stress the veggies. Granted at six months, babies can’t handle too many veggies—the fiber is a little too hard on their digestive tracks—but I was determined to stick to the ones babies can eat, such as carrots, peas, and squashes. I wanted fruit to be more of a garnish, as opposed to the main dish.

First baby foods reality: Griffin doesn’t like veggies

He gags. He spits. He cried at the taste of pureed carrots. Peas were a pure meltdown. I even tried a soft egg yolk once, and he looked at me like I had two heads (maybe it is a texture thing?).

And yet, when I tried an avocado banana mash, everything changed. Griffin opened his mouth. He swallowed. I even detected a smile. He was digging every messy bite of this combination.

Oh, no! Griffin’s a sugar baby.

I wanted Griffin to eat on his own terms, but I wanted him to like veggies, too. So what’s a worried mom to do? Search the internet for answers, of course.

As I was reading an article on a great breastfeeding site called Kelly Mom, I saw a few facts that set me free. The article said that you shouldn’t feel bad about first baby foods that include banana, or sweet potato, or other “sweet” foods. It explained that breast milk is actually quite sweet, so it makes perfect sense that babies gravitate toward that taste at first. As babies’ taste buds mature, they’ll branch out and explore other flavors.

Phew, that made me feel better… and it made sense. In fact, I find it no coincidence that Griffin’s favorite meal is the avocado banana mash, which is high in carbs and fat—just like breast milk is.

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Thank you Kelly Mom!

This natural mama feels better about her son’s first baby foods. And I wanted to pass along this perspective in case other mamas needed to hear it too. Just because your baby likes bananas today doesn’t mean he’ll be eating Pop Tarts in ten years! You can breathe a sigh of relief, mama!

Homemade Baby Food

And, if you’re looking for some ideas that go beyond banana-avocado, this guide to homemade baby food. In it, I’ve got lots of age-appropriate suggestions, complete with prep and storage tips.

Is your child drawn to sweets?

How do you steer him or her toward vegetables and savory foods?

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 130,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


  1. My little guy just had peas for the first time and as first food. He is 7 months, 5 adjusted ( he was a preemie). He absolutely loves them, much to my surprise. Maybe it’s because I mixed them with breast milk? We shall see…

  2. During my pregnancy, I began to not be able to stomach many vegetables including (and especially) spinach and kale which I have previously loved. Everything tasted bitter to me. My OB shared with me that within our evolution as humans, it is a protective factor many pregnant women develop as well as infants. When we traveled in groups, those most least resilient to suspect foods (e.g. pregnant women and young children) would not be the first to test or eat what was found along the way – primarily leafy greens and items growing in the wild. Others in the tribe or group would test set foods first and if found to be safe, then women and children would eat. She mentioned to me that this reaction to greens being especially bitter is very common among these two sets due to this evolutionary trait. She stated it far more gracefully than I am, but I found it interesting as part of understanding what is appealing to our taste buds at certain points in life.

  3. Jeronimo, now 3, is not drawn to sweets at all.. He does like chocolate but he is not addicted at all. I also started him on avocado but he had a lot of pears, apples and mango! He loves pineapple, mango and kiwi not so much apple or pear so go figure! Thank you again for your work!! I am about to start Amelia on solids so this is a great reminder of what I should be feeding her…

  4. I gave up the purees for baby #2 and have noticed a huge change in my baby’s interest in foods (compared to baby #1). She enjoys exploring the textures, picking it up, etc. Also good research to support departing from purees to avoid obesity as baby grows. If what’s prepared is soft enough or small enough, puree not needed. The act of touching the different textures and self-feeding also supports brain development. Give it a try!

  5. we started out by blending veggie purees with breastmilk to help with the flavor transition. it also helps with the digestion transition when blended with foods that are known to potentially cause gas (like the dark greens, broccoli and spinach…).

  6. My mother was never really in the habit of giving me candy as treats in the home – I was offerred sweets a lot at school and daycare, but by that time it kinda lost its appeal – my reward for being good were (still :p) hugs and kisses from mummy ;). Carb free warm fuzzy feelings. Win-win.

    • Love how your mom rewards :). Hope to do the same.

    • I did the same with my first and although he tries, because yes he tries, to like candy he just doesn’t have an appetite for it… I say he tries because he has even put lollipops in his mouth to later throw them out almost gagging. He is a funny one…

  7. Sharing some helpful comments from my Facebook page:

    Bettie Motter Pfeiffer
    interestingly enough, babies don’t come with a sweet tooth, they are introduced to sweets, so, keeping your baby from them in the first place won’t get them hooked on a chocolate milk bottle or sweetened juices.

    Bettie Motter Pfeiffer
    My sons became diabetic from the ages of 7,7 and 9. Their father also had diabetes, they weren’t exposed to sweets at home so it really wasn’t all that hard to stop a habit that wasn’t started in the first place.

    Anke Braun Weekes
    I hardly ever give my 23 month old daughter sweets… So little that she considers seaweed crisps (from Trader Joes YUM) candy and will eat a whole box if you let her.

    Sarah Rainey
    I get told all the time how “lucky” I am that my boy eats well. I just smile and nod because when the other Moms were shoving cool whip in their babies’ mouths and letting them suck on lollipops at 4 months I was feeding mine his vegetables and such. I got told how mean I was and how it won’t hurt him to try ice cream, candies and such and I just stayed firm. He’s only now starting to get an occasional sweet and the boy will sit and eat salad with me, loves all his vegetables, tofu ect. A lot of the other Moms I know are struggling to get theirs to eat any sort of vegetable…. Ok I am feeling a bit smug LMAO. It just feels good that after the name calling and mocking they are now questioning why my kid eats so well and theirs don’t.

    Bettie Motter Pfeiffer
    Good for you, Sarah, habits only come from something being started in the first place. Good ones and bad. kids only learn from others. It isn’t something they are born with.

    Jessica Fashun
    We have a veggiehead here. She prefers asparagus or green beans… she will eat these anyday. Although she does like a sweet banana too. 🙂 We were blessed with a very good eater, so thrilled!

  8. I found the same thing to be true with my little one. She would not eat the veggies I steamed and pureed for her, but found out she loves the organic jar food from the market, so I now mix the two. I gave in to the jar food because she is on the small side, so I want her to eat more, and if its jar food she likes, well then thats what she is going to get…as long as I can mix my spinach in with the jar of carrots. Oh well.

    • We do what we got to do! I wonder what makes the jar food taste better… is there any special ingredients? I think that’s a great idea to blend the two so mom wins and baby wins…

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