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Starting Solids

Which Foods Should Your Baby Eat First?

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Which Foods to Try Once Your Baby is Ready

Most experts recommend rice cereal as the first food for your baby. It's got a lot going for it, too. It's bland so babies aren't offended by a strong taste, it can be thinned and thickened as necessary without difficulty, it's not highly allergenic and is easily digested.

Still, don't feel like you must start with rice cereal if you don't want to. Other good foods include pears, applesauce, peaches, bananas, sweet potatoes, potatoes and avocados. Some babies who start out on cereal can even experience a bit of constipation, so foods like peaches and avocados can help alleviate or prevent this. Potatoes are a good starter food because they're often part of your family's meal already. No extra preparation besides mashing and mixing with some liquid like formula or breast milk is necessary.

Another piece of advice you're likely to hear involves starting fruits. Word is if you introduce your baby to fruit first they'll develop a sweet tooth and refuse to eat anything else. I've personally never seen this happen and have yet to see a toddler out in the wild who consumes nothing but fruit. (Macaroni and cheese, maybe, but not fruit exclusively.) Most babies who refuse strained green beans and other vegetables are not spoiled by the natural sweetness of fruit, but rather haven't developed a liking for the stronger flavor of veggies yet. No matter what order foods are introduced, I think these veggie refusers just need time and persistence.

When it comes to your baby's first foods, you can make your own baby food or buy commercial versions. I prefer homemade because it's easy to control what goes into it and there's little waste. You can make a lot and freeze it in small batches. Commercial versions are great to keep around when you're short on time or for the diaper bag, however, so they both have benefits.

Prepare about 2 teaspoons of very thin food. It should be only slightly thicker than breast milk or formula. Think heavy cream or buttermilk. It could coat the back of a spoon, but it should still drip off and not cling or stick to it. The consistency should be even with no lumps. If you're making your own rice cereal, this video can show you how, but be aware that the end product here is way too thick for a baby who is just starting solids. There are also some very thorough baby food books that can show you how to prepare your baby's first foods and will supply you with new food ideas as your baby grows.

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