Is your baby at least six months old, ready to move beyond milk and rice and embark on the wild and wooly world of solid foods?
Get your phones ready – there are few things cuter than watching your little one's expressions as they move beyond the bland culinary basics they've been subjected to thus far. I know I got some good pictures during this transition. Whether you choose to make your own or buy baby food in bulk, here are a few basic flavors to start with.
I found with my baby that once she got used to each flavor, blending two complimentary flavors kept things interesting for her budding palate – use your own taste for food combinations – and these pointers as a guide.
Apple. Apples are among the most benign fruits, flavor-wise, so they’re among the best to start with. Plus, they're fiber-full (to keep things in the belly moving) and have vitamins, too.
Sweet Potato. Puréed sweet potatoes were one of my baby’s faves, loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamin A and beta carotene. Some applesauce or cantaloupe will add some complexity to the dish.
Pear. Like apples, pears aren't too tart, making them a great starter food. They're loaded with vitamin C and, believe it or not, blend surprisingly well with carrots.
Avocado. Nothing beats a mashed-up avocado for well-rounded nutrition. They're full of all those heart-healthy "good" fats that prevent damage caused by free-radicals. And they're packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that help neurons fire to develop their little brains. Try blending with banana for a creamy treat.
Yogurt. Not only is whole milk yogurt easy for baby to get the hang of gumming, it's protein rich and all those live tummy-friendly cultures make it awfully easy for baby to digest. Mixing a little yogurt into too-sweet fruits – or veggies like sweet potatoes – can make them more palatable to tiny mouths, too.
Viv Schaffel is a freelance journalist and essayist who writes for a vast array of publications, including CBS Watch!, The New York Times, Working Mother and The New York Post. She writes/performs sketch comedy and is an upstanding member of US Weekly’s Fashion Police, poking fun at red carpet risks.
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider.