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Your Baby’s First Foods: Tips for Introducing New Foods

Offering your baby solid food for the first time can be such an exciting experience! So, what are the do’s and don’ts to offering new tastes and foods to babies? Here is some helpful information to assist you in making the best choices for you and your little one.

Making Sure They Are Developmentally Ready

It is important to wait until your baby is ready before introducing foods. It takes a few months for their little bodies to be ready to digest the more complex nutrients in foods. Consult your pediatrician to ensure your child is ready to start eating solid foods—typically around five to six months of age. Before introducing solids, babies should be able to hold their neck and head up well on their own. They should also be able to sit up with some support. When you offer food to your little one, they should be able to move the food into their mouth without pushing it back out or letting it dribble out of their mouth. If this doesn’t happen, just wait another week or so and try again.

Which Foods Are Best to Start With?

Pediatricians have debated this issue for years. It’s a wonderful question. As a first feeding, doctors typically advise giving infant cereal blended with breastmilk, formula, or even water because it is a good source of iron. Try adding one new food every two to three days so you can keep an eye out for allergic reactions. To find out which foods your youngster prefers, try a variety of different textures and flavors. Once your baby has mastered simple pureed foods and is ready for the next stage, you can start advancing their meals and mixing different fruits, vegetables and meats. Additionally, now is an excellent time to advance the foods’ consistency, making them less pureed and more chunky.

Thinking of Making Your Own Baby Foods?

It’s so much easier than you think to make your own baby food. It not only gives your child a nutritious start, but it also gives you peace of mind because you know exactly what’s in each mouthful—food that’s free of additives, extra sugars, and other fillers. As a bonus, you get to pick many different foods that aren’t available in traditional jarred baby foods. Finally, just think of all the money you will save!

Important tips:

Offer foods to your baby when they are sitting in the upright position, not in a bouncer or swing.  This can help prevent choking.

Easy timeline:

5-6 months – First introduction to baby foods. Here’s a great stage 1 recipe!

Lentil Puree

Lentils, a member of the legume family, are full of necessary nutrients. Try this recipe with different kinds of lentils, Red, yellow, french or green.

For older babies try serving this dish with chicken, carrots or small diced avocado.

Recipe Yields: 4 Servings


  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1/4 cup lentils (red, yellow, french or green)


  1. Bring 1 cup water or stock to boil add lentils, cover and cook for 30 minute. Add more water or stock if needed.
  2. Check tenderness of lentils, if tender remove from heat and cool.
  3. Once lentils are cool enough to handle, add them to blender or food processor, pulse to begin pureeing add additional liquid to thin out if desired thickness.
  4. Serve along with rice or rice cereal to thicken.

Lentils are high in fiber and are an excellent source of minerals. They are full of B-vitamins and protein.

Storage Time: 3 months in the freeze

6-8 months – Start experimenting with textures and combining different foods. Try this stage 2 recipe.

Pear Puree

Pears are a good source of potassium and calcium. They also contain vitamins A, C and folic acid.


  1. Make sure the pear is ripe and soft, then peel and remove seeds and stem.
  2. Cut the fruit into small pieces.
  3. Blend until smooth with immersion blender or masher. Add breast milk or water to thin to the desired consistency.

As your child grows into stages three and four, mash the pear for a chunkier consistency, or simply dice the pear into pieces sized for little fingers to pick up.

9-12 months – Babies start using their fingers to pick up foods. Babies usually try to start feeding themselves before this point but usually they are using the whole hand to pick up foods and push them into their mouths.

Here’s a stage 3 and 4 recipe your little one will love.

Baked Apple Oatmeal

A great breakfast recipe for all ages!

Recipe Yields: 6 Servings


  • 2 2/3 cup Old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 3 2/3 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar, packed
  • 2 whole Apples, peeled, cored and shredded
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider
  • 1 whole Banana (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except the banana, in a 2 quart casserole dish.Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed into the oatmeal.
  3. Serve with banana slices as a topping.
  4. Serve warm to family. Allow time for oatmeal to cool to room temperature for baby before serving.

Storage Time: 4 days in the refrigerator

Mushrooms with Sweet Red Pepper Hummus Dip

Mushrooms make a great snack for little fingers and this recipe is a good source of vitamin b, niacin and riboflavin.

Recipe Yields: 10 Servings


  • 2 cans 15.5- ounce no-added salt chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup sesame seed paste (tahini)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms


  1. Mix chickpeas, crushed garlic, broth, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and roasted bell pepper.
  2. Using an immersion blender combine all ingredients until smooth.
  3. Serve with sliced mushrooms.

Storage Time: 7 days in the refrigerator

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