Best Baby Foods for Beginners (Stage 1: 6-9 Months)

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June 29, 2023

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Continuing with my baby foods series, in this post we’re going to look at the Best Baby Foods for Beginners. When I say “beginners,” I’m talking about the time frame between 6-9 months, also known as Stage 1. Typically, this becomes the “safe age” for introducing babies to soft solid foods. Check out the first post in this series to learn if introducing your baby to soft foods now is the route to go and how to get started.

Best Baby Foods for Beginners (Stage 1: 6-9 Months)

If you’ve decided to start your baby on solid foods, you probably have lots of questions. I’ll tackle the most commonly asked below and by the end of this post, you’ll be ready to put together the perfect meal plan for your new eater.

What is the best baby food to introduce first?

Luckily, there is not a set and specific order for introducing solid foods to your baby. The biggest thing to keep in mind is what you introduce. Since your baby has most likely been getting their nutrients from breastmilk or formula, you want to make sure they continue getting those valuable minerals.

With this in mind, iron-fortified cereals, pureed beans, fruits, vegetables, and poultry are among the most recommended to start feeding your baby. I’ll provide a sample meal plan below.

How much solid food should you feed your baby?

Most pediatricians agree that babies should only eat about 1 to 2 tablespoons of soft solid foods per day. This may not seem like very much at all but you’ll want to keep in mind that their stomachs are super small and they are still developing eating reflexes like chewing and swallowing.

As your little one progresses, you can add more servings. My the 9-month milestone, your baby may be able to eat ¼ to ½ a cup 2 to 3 times per day. Throughout this transition, your baby will let you know when he or she is full or wants more. This is also a great time to teach basic sign language around eating and foods too.

How do you introduce the new foods?

Always start with one food at a time. The rule of thumb for this is to introduce one single ingredient every 3 to 5 days. This should give you plenty of time to notice any allergies and give your baby plenty of time to learn about the taste and texture of the food they have been introduced to.

The most common foods linked to allergies in babies include eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat, shellfish, and cow’s milk. 

First Foods and Puree Meal Plan Sample

Of course, what you plan to feed your baby is your personal preference. The sample below are ideas for the three primary eating times of the day. Keep in mind to introduce one food at a time.

Breakfast:

  • Mashed avocado
  • Pureed apple
  • Smashed acorn squash
  • Pureed peaches
  • Soft cooked pears

Lunch:

  • Root vegetable puree
  • Whole milk yogurt (unsweetened)
  • Pea puree
  • Quinoa cereal

Dinner:

  • Mashed banana
  • Tropical medley
  • Garden veggies
  • Beet puree

The above samples are for 6 month old babies. As your new eater advances (7-9 months), you can begin introducing some of the following foods:

  • Oatmeal cereal
  • Waffle strips
  • Soft scrambled egg
  • Soft cooked whole grain pasta
  • Cottage cheese
  • Steamed carrots
  • Steamed chunks of broccoli
  • Lumpy, mashed kidney beans
  • Lean beef

Use the food lists above to create the perfect new foods meal plan for your baby. Refer to the first post in this series to learn how to make your baby’s first solid foods from scratch. You’ll find it to be both easy and rewarding at the same time! 

Final Thoughts

As your baby continues to transition into eating solid foods, keep in mind that this is a big learning curve for them. Be patient and pay attention to their cues. If they do not like something now, they may grow to enjoy it later. Always supervise your child while they are eating and never feed them out of a bottle. Have fun during this journey and stay tuned for my next post on Best Baby Foods for Beginners (Stage 2: 9+ months).

Have you been on this journey before? What were some of the first foods you fed your baby? Let me know in the comments below!

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