Guide to Healthy Baby Food

Avocado breakfast bake Guide to Healthy Baby Food

(Hint: healthy babies don’t start with rice cereal)

I am definitely stepping onto the soapbox for this one. Nutrition for the wee ones is a favorite talking point of mine, mainly because it is so important. Since babies and kids have much smaller bodies, any harmful foods can do much more proportionate damage, but this also means that healthy foods can do wonders for them. I also must confess, on this note, that I did follow the recommendations for first foods with our first child, and I think this is part of the reason why he is our pickiest eater, though he does eat salad and broccoli quite happily now at age 4.

I truly believe that the healthiest first food for babies is breast milk. Recent research supports this and even formula companies agree that breast milk is best. Breast milk is full of fatty acids, antibodies, nutrients, protein and fat and is a truly perfect and complete food for babies. While formula can provide basic food if a mother is unable to nurse, it is no match for a mother’s milk, which can change to suit the needs of the baby as it grows. Research also shows that breast feeding drastically reduces the instance of SIDS (of every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed babies). Studies also show numerous benefits to the mother, including decreased risk of cancers (breast, ovarian, cervical, endometrial), lower incidence of postpartum depression, and reduced chance of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

While breastfeeding is the perfect food for baby, at some point, baby will want or need solid food. Ask most mothers you know what their pediatricians recommend as first foods for their babies and most will say oatmeal or rice cereal. After that, most parents get the recommendation to add in fruit purees, starchy veggies like squash, various watered down mixtures of processed meats, over-steamed veggies and eventually a nauseating array of fluffy, puffy, and sweet snacks or juices.

For those of you who haven’t already guessed my response to this: forget the grains! If they are damaging to an adult body (and they are), imagine what they can do to the stomach of a small child who has never digested anything but breast milk! Doctors say to try oatmeal and rice first because they are least likely to cause an allergic reaction, which is ironic, since both contain lectins, water soluble proteins that have been linked to formation of allergies. From a previous post:

Gluten’s sidekicks, the posse of  Lectins, are mild toxins the inhibit the repair of the GI track. Lectins are not broken down in the digestive process and bind to receptors in the intestine, allowing them and other food particles to leech into your bloodstream. Nothing like pre-digested food circulating the blood stream! The body views these lectins and the food they bring with them as dangerous invaders and initiates an immune response to get rid of them. This immune response to particles of common foods explains the allergy creating potential of grains.

Also interesting is that starchy and sweet foods like grains and fruits are recommended first. It seems logical that habituating a baby to the taste of sweet foods first would make it difficult to introduce less sugary (yes, fruit does have sugar) foods like vegetables later. Speaking of vegetables, when is the last time you heard of someone allergic to spinach, or broccoli? It happens, but is very rare and usually associated with other autoimmune problems. I would wager that you have heard of someone allergic to peanuts (they contain lectins), wheat (contains gluten and lectin!), or soy (guess what, also has lectin!). To further confuse things, corn (a grain) and peas (a legume) are some of the first “vegetables” usually introduced to kids, and neither one is a vegetable (but guess what, they both contain lectins!) at this point, some of you are probably ready to point out that most foods contain lectins. While this is true, research has shown that some foods have higher concentrations of more problematic lectins than others.

Grains are not a necessary part of a childhood diet, or anyone’s diet, for that matter. So what foods should you introduce to your baby first? I recommend vegetables. There is a strange mentality among many moms that we should not force vegetables on babies or toddlers (perhaps because this adds to our own guilt for not eating them ourselves?).

Vegetables have a much higher nutrient content than grains and less chance of an allergic response. Unfortunately, the convenient jar baby food on grocery store shelves doesn’t have anywhere near the nutrients of fresh steamed and pureed vegetables. Ever read the labels? Besides the token vegetable or fruit, jar baby food contains mostly water and small amounts of added fillers to keep everything the same consistency. This is one case where it truly is, hands down, cheaper to make your own baby food. What you pay for in the store is so much water and filler that you could make huge amounts of fresh vegetables for your baby for less. All you need is a food processor or blender, some vegetables, and a little water or milk if you need to thin things down a little. Homemade baby food can be frozen in small amounts for later, making it convenient.

Obviously, a departure from the baby food aisle will require a little more thought, but is actually a simpler option once you adapt to it. Here are some helpful things I discovered when making the switch:

  • Give avocado as a first food. It has enough fat to keep baby satisfied longer and a few spoonfulls of avocado put a whole bowl of rice cereal to shame on nutrient content. I always carry a ripe avocado and a spoon in the diaper bag. If baby gets hungry, I just peel a little of the skin off, scoop out avocado and feed him. Any extra can be stored in a ziploc until you get home. No bowl or bottled water needed!
  • Other great first foods are sweet potato, winter squash, asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, spinach, greens, or green beans.
  • Baby foods don’t even need to be pureed. Once baby is 6 months old (earliest you should introduce solids anyway), you can just cook vegetables until soft, cut into small pieces and put in front of baby. He or she will eat when hungry.
  • Go organic whenever you can. Even small amounts of pesticides and chemicals can have a damaging effect on little bodies!
  • By 7-8 months, you can introduce cooked (but still soft) egg yolks to baby. This is a great source of protein, cholesterol and fat. Also by this point, you can start introducing small pieces of meat to baby… they love protein!

I hoped to include some resources for switching to healthy baby foods, but unfortunately, there aren’t many! If you have any questions, ideas, suggestions, or rants, leave a comment below!

Reader Comments

  1. Mandy says

    Katie,
    the only other site that I feel is worth looking at is Wholesomebabyfood.com – great suggestions on how to prepare your own. After using commercially prepared with my first (organic, but still not fresh! :( I’ve decided to make my own for Alden. He’s 7 1/2 months and although I’d love to feed him finger foods and/or small chunks, he seems to have a STRONG gag reflex :/ so, steam, steam away I go! I just LOVE all your recipe ideas and your site is amazing, keep at it!

  2. Karen says

    I just found your site. What would you recommend as a beverage for my dairy-intake-produces-rashes 2.5year old? I have been feeding him a toddler soy formula since I stopped nursing when he turned 1. I feel so terrible after reading about how bad soy is for boys! :(

    • says

      I would suggest coconut milk or coconut smoothies (coconut milk, coconut oil, small amount of fruit). You could also try making water kefir or kombucha for the probiotics, and most kids like the bubbly texture (similar to soda). In reality, if you are limiting his grains and processed foods, he won’t need as much calcium anyway, and will be absorbing it from food better. I have noticed that many kids with dairy allergies have an underlying gluten sensitivity as well, and benefit highly from going off grains. This especially sounds like it could be your son, because it is manifesting as a rash. Just make sure he gets lots of good proteins (meats, etc) and fats (coconut products, avocado, olives, etc) and veggies, and he won’t be missing anything from the dairy.

  3. Terri says

    You give great advice! My son’s first food beyond breastmilk was apple because he took it out of my hand and put it in his mouth, but avocado quickly followed, and at almost 1 yr he loves pretty much any vegetable we put in front of him.

    We went gluten free a month ago for allergy reasons (my son is also allergic to eggs, dairy, fish, pineapple) and now we’re going paleo. Since it is all fresh in my mind I was curious…you suggest giving babies green beans but aren’t they legumes? Is there something different about them that makes it okay?

    • says

      From what I understand, since they are in the younger stage and still protected by the pod, they have much lower levels of phytic acid and lectins. Since they are also usually cooked, which reduces this further, they are not nearly of as much concern as beans. That being said, some very strict paleo eaters won’t eat them, and some will.

      • Terri says

        Thanks so much for the info! I’ve been expecting green beans to be something we’d occassionally “cheat” with anyway, because they are a favorite food of ours. It is nice to know they are at least better than the alternatives!

  4. Yojyado says

    When you say children don’t need grains, are you intending this to be crackers, bread and “snack” type stuff, or do you mean whole grains?  What do you recommend for them for energy without WHOLE grains like brown rice, millet, kamut, quinoa, etc?  Wheatberries, for example, are an excellent source of energy and still gluten and wheat free.

    • says

      There is nothing in grains, whole or otherwise, that is not found in bigger amounts and more bio available in meats, vegetables, fruits
      and beneficial fats. There is absolutely to biological or other need for children, or anyone to eat grains.
      Wheatberries, for instance, may be a source of energy, but so are nutrient packed veggies or grassfed beef!

  5. saultite says

    I did tons of research before deciding what to feed my baby, and started with egg yolk, cooked but still soft, at 4 months. He reacted at first, but after a brief pause, he loved it. I started him on meats next, since babies have all the equipment to handle meats and fats… because that’s what breastmilk is made of. So, after that we did the vegetables and fruits, one at a time, and at 10 months I started plain yogurt, the fattest and best I could find. (I got most of my information from the Weston A Price foundation.) Now he’s 11 months, and absolutely solid. Everyone comments on how good an eater he is,  and of course raises their eyebrows when I say he has never had cereal, pablum, teething biscuits, cookies… et. c. :) I don’t think I will ever go back to an agrarian diet again! Not to mention that my (mainly) grain free pregnancy was like a walk in the park, with 7 hours of labor and only 25 minutes of pushing for a 10.5 lb baby! :D

  6. Veronica says

    Katie -
    I fed my daughter based on Weston Price information – breastfeeding, egg yolk first, banana, avocadoes, etc and made 90% of her baby food.  We did move twice  so it wasn’t always feasible…  She was very healthy as an infant and a great eater as a toddler.  She loves meat, I do feed her raw cheese and try to minimize her grains.  However, since she was about 14 months old she has had a runny nose almost constantly.  Several ear infections, etc.  After she turned 1 she did start eating grains – more than I would like, but we were on vacation in Spain for 2 weeks and it was hard to find easy to travel with alternatives.  And once she discovered crackers she wanted them…  She has been (mostly) grain free again for the last 3 months  which did seem to help, but now her runny nose is back with vengeance and I think even a sinus infection.  I’m so frustrated!  Any ideas?  She eats a little dairy (storebought kefir, raw cheese mostly).  The doctors here just say it’s allergies, because everyone has allergies here…..  There still has to be a better alternative than drugs all the time.  

    • Seeme55 says

      Vit C Vit C Vit C!!  A natural antihystamine, water soluble and available in may fruits and veggies, as well as clean supplements.  You take (or give) to bowel tolerance, and then back down a bit.  I use it for myself and my girls, all have horrible allergies and haven’t had to use an allergy medicine in 2 years.

  7. says

    Excellent summation! Both my daughters started with homemade organic vegetables at 6 months, and I echo the comment from Mandy. Wholesomebabyfood.com and homemade-baby-food-recipes.com were excellent resources for preparation instructions and combination ideas. I breastfed my girls until they were about 15 months. I did introduce oatmeal cereal to my first later on, mainly because I’d read that breastfed infants retain iron better when cereals are introduced later. But with my second, I had learned that cereal was really unnecessary in the first place and she never had a bite. Both my girls are very healthy and good eaters. They’ve since taken to crackers and other grains as toddlers, but I’m working on cutting back on grains in the entire family’s diet as I was recently introduced to WAPF. Looking forward to keeping up with your blog in the future!

  8. Wendy says

    What do you recommend giving babies when breastfeeding is no longer an option?  My 15 month old has been breastfed from birth but am no longer producing enough milk.  He eats like a champ (paleo) but I’m not sure what to give him as a breast milk replacement.  Thanks for the help! 

    • says

      Coconut milk is a great alternative if he is over a year old and you can add extra coconut oil to his foods to make sure he is still getting the medium chain fatty acids and the lauric acid. Hope that helps…
      -Katie

      • Christy says

        What if the baby is NOT over a year old (8 months) but we don’t drink cow’s milk? Breastfeeding is still primary food source, but I’m wanting to mix baby cereal with something…almond/coconut or rice milk? She is not very interested in eating food yet but I’m slowly introducing real foods to her along with oatmeal…can I mix it with one of the other milks? I gave her vanilla rice milk with the oatmeal and it’s the only time she seemed interested in eating it.

  9. Deborah says

    My daughter is almost 5 months old so I’m just learning more about what they need to eat so THANK GOD a good friend showed me to this site!! I have many questions but my main one is how often should they eat purred/solid foods along with their formula?(I was only able to breast feed 1 month, unfortunately because I got very sick)

  10. anna says

    With my first child, we fed him just what the doctor ordered (tons of rice cereal, store-bought baby food).  He turned out to be rediculously picky and has amazing texture issues.  We’re working on it ;)

    With the next two I nodded politely at the doc, and then went home and made my own baby food. Soon as they were big enough, we gave them finger food (baby sized) of the same veggies/fruits/meats they had been eating (gasp!  we even used herbs and spices).  Both of these kids are great eaters.

  11. Amy S. says

    We skipped cereals and started with avocado at 6 months.  Around 7 months, my son no longer wanted to be fed, so we just cooked everything and cut it up small for him.  Now that we’re going grain-free, I’d like for him to be grain free as well.  The only time I’m having trouble, is breakfast.  He (14 months now) usually has a banana, kiwi, or apple and a piece of toast with almond butter or an egg free waffle.  He’s allergic to eggs, so I’m having a hard time thinking of an alternative for his breakfast.  It seems like he would need something in addition to fruit, but maybe I’m wrong.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • says

      Could you cook extra of whatever meat or protein you have for dinner, and then cut it up to serve with breakfast? Mine love leftover chicken or meat dipped in guacamole or even just plain. It is tough with an egg allergy… but it sounds like he is a good eater.

      • Amy S. says

        I didn’t think about avocado for breakfast, but I could give him that with his fruit.  I’ll also try the meat.  Thanks!

  12. Ivys says

    My doctor sent the baby cereal to put in his formula because he was spitting up too much. What is another alternative for cereal in his milk so he can hold it down?

    • MamaSchulze says

      I would be concerned with a different issues as to why he’s not holding it down. I was shocked by your comment because I’ve always been told to NEVER put cereal in a bottle because it can cause them to choke. My daughter vomited regularly on formula she just had a sensitive stomach and got better when we went to real milk. How old is your boy?

  13. Courtney says

    My dr. is recommending the baby cereal for the iron content and he wants her to take a vitamin D supplement.  She is 9 months old and we have only given her veggies, fruits, and meats.  Do you give your babies any kind of supplements?  We are going grain free Feb. 1st although baby has been grain free so far.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!!

  14. Tamara says

    I have a question similar to the one from Karen below…
    My baby (9.5 months now) has a dairy allergy. I have cut all dairy out of my diet as he is breastfed and it has made a big difference for both of us.
    I too have a background and extensive knowledge in health and nutrition, but I am finding some challenges going forward with my baby when he starts drinking something other than breast milk and water. I have been unable to find good information about what combination and amounts of liquids to mix (and any other healthy additions) to provide him with the nutrients, fat and calories that are best for his health. I am a big fan of coconut products (milk, oil and water), but want to ensure the drink I prepare meets all the nutritional needs of a baby to toddler.
    As far as coconut milk, if looking at canned, there is only one brand I have found so far that does not have BPA in the cans, but I’d probably just make the coconut milk myself anyhow.
    Suggestions would be appreciated!

    • Adrienne says

      Coconut milk can also be bought in paper cartons. There is an organic brand I bought once to try out, as I have been trying to cut out dairy as much as possible since I BF my son & he has a s light intolerance to dairy, it seems. I typically use almond milk, but wanted to try something different, so I tried the organic coconut milk (I found it in the milk section next to the lactose free milk). Personally, I thought it was gross! However, I only used in a bowl of cereal. I’m guessing if it was mixed with fruit, avocados, etc. it wouldn’t have been as bad. I just went back to almond milk, which I love, but I do love coconut products (oil, water, even coconut milk from the can). I would definitely try the organic kind that comes in the paper carton. I think if you are mixing it with other things it would taste just fine. =) Wish I could remember the brand I bought, but just check your milk section of the grocery store & you should be able to find it. I got mine from safeway… not sure what stores you have where you live, but you can probably find it @ most grocery stores. Good luck!

  15. Charlotte says

    I did the same thing with my second and third babies, and wish I’d known about it for my first! I can testify (since they were so close in age and I didn’t forget anything!) that my first had all sorts of digestive issues people said were normal, but the others had none. It has to be the rice cereal! He ate tons and tons. My daughters absolutely loved avocado as babies, even though my pediatrician and his nurse laughed and said that sounded crazy but harmless. They loved it!

  16. says

    we are so excited to be starting our baby out paleo.  she is baby #4 of 4 and 7 1/2 months old now.  we have been talking to more and more people about our food choices and some have been wanting to change their families over to eat more like us but are coming up against a wall with their kids.  we haven’t had that problem since our diet has been pretty diverse even before we went paleo/primal.  i remember you had an article up that you wrote with advice along these lines but i can’t find it now… has it been removed?

  17. says

    “Real Food For Mother And Baby”, by Nina Planck.  Excellent resource for pre-pregnancy/fertility diet, pregnancy diet, breastfeeding diet, and babt’s first foods.  Every mom-to-be should have this book- I’ve given it as a gift at every baby shower I’ve been to since discovering it.  Absolutely indespensable!

  18. cwilliams says

    My little guy started on egg yolks at 6 months.  Then we added veggies and meats and finally fruit.  He does occasionally have grains, especially since we eat some at our house (my husband used to live in the Phillipines and craves rice).  But he is an amazing eater.  When eating purees he would eat about 2 1/2 cups at a time at 12 months.  His only sugar intake has been when other people have given him food without me knowing.
    People are always stopping me to tell me how healthy and happy he looks.  He has the most beautiful skin of any kid his age around.  He is so healthy that a runny nose or a couple of tiny red bumps on his skin surprise me.
    He’s been taking fish oil supplements and now thinks of them as a special treat.  If I need him to cooperate I can just offer a vitamin and he is eager to do what I ask.
    Real food rocks!

  19. Jessicajfish says

    This was so refreshing to hear! When my son was 4 mos we offered rice cereal as doc recommended. Then stopped bc he just wasn’t interested. A month later I began my journey of learning to make healthy choices in (and out of) the kitchen. So when I got sick and my milk supply lessened, I started him on avocado.
    At 10 mos he has had avocado, an array of fresh steamed veggies and coconut cream. Nothing processed, no grains, no sugar! And people think I’m weird. (oh, he has had tastes of banana and blueberries, but not a meals worth). As he gets older I’ve wondered about proteins.
    Thank you!!

  20. Loretta says

    It makes me so happy when people feed their babies real food (and that includes the best of all, breast milk; the original baby food!) My baby didn’t start any solids until about 10 months and even now at 12 months, she likes a taste here and there. It’s been good for us, because if I won’t let her eat it, I have to really question if I should be eating it too! Another ‘food’ she’s been getting a lot of is dirt! She’s got the immune system of an ox and has never been sick. I only wish I had been raised this way as well…

  21. Oliviaco says

    Ahhh…my son is 7 1/2 months old and I’ve already started oatmeal.  I try to follow wholesomebabyfood.com for advice and such.  I make his food, but I use a lot of frozen veggies to puree.  Is that bad?  Also, I’ve tried avocado many times and he does not like it.  I’ve tried different thicknesses of puree, but no luck.  He literally squints and spits it out.  Should I just keep trying?  It was the first food I gave him and he’s been like that from the start.  Also, should I just stop giving oatmeal alltogether?  Thank you for your help…I’m definitely following your blog.

  22. says

    We’ve never done oatmeal with our last two kids and just started them on the avocado, veggies and meats at 6-8 months. If you’re going to try to be grain free I’d remove the oatmeal now as it will be a lot easier. That’s great that you make his food, though to make it easy, you wouldn’t even necessarily have to puree, just cook really soft and cut into tiny pieces for him to pick up himself. He will be able to feed himself soon and it’s good for dexterity…

  23. says

    I plan on starting my baby with avocado next month for his first food. Such a great idea! What is a typical serving size for a 5 to 6 month old? Also when is it appropriate to start adding new vegetables or maybe mixing in some banana?

  24. Amy says

    Wow!! So nice to have someone share the same opinion about grains and babies. My family and friends have been horrified that we don’t feed our little girl cereals. She eats so many avocados that we call them “Ava-cados” in our house. She’s 11 months old now and is beautiful and healthy and eats a diet of organic veggies, fruits, and healthy proteins (including egg yolks that nearly send her dr. over the edge). Thank you for your website and for sharing the “Wellness Lifestyle.”

  25. says

    I remember friends telling me to start putting cereal in the breast milk in the evening when my son was 5 months old. I tried rice cereal but it upset his stomach really bad and that night he threw up and didn’t sleep at all. I should’ve known that he was too young for solids and had to wait another month. Anyway at 6 months I gave him steamed carrots. I cut them in chunks, steamed them and just put them in front of him. That’s what I did with all other veggies and fruits. The only times when I had to spoon feed was avocado or soups. By the time he was 15 months old he mastered the fork. Now at 19 months he is doing really well with the spoon and I don’t have to feed him. Hi gets occasionally grains , mostly gluten free since I can’t eat gluten. He especially likes my quinoa pudding which I prepare with water and quinoa flower and use organic apple sauce as sweetener. I also add some berries. Actually the whole family loves it. I think starting our son on veggies and not spoon feeding him helped a lot for his development and also learning to eat real food.
    Thanks for this blog there are awesome information and recipes which I’ll use here soon.

    • Emilie says

      fennugreek, Mothers milk tea, and lots of pumping and feeding from the breast as often as you can. Three days of this and your supply should go up!

  26. says

    My 8 month old eats masses of avo, it’s one of his favourites! Kumera – sweet potato – pumpkin and broccoli also feature highly on his list. I tend to give him unsalted, baby friendly versions of what we are eating, as otherwise he looks so indignant. Solids are going well for us, and he’s still getting a lot of breastmilk :) My only concern is that he’s got constipated in the last 3 weeks… I don’t feed him a lot of bread, but he does have the odd bit, as I do… something tells me you might think the constipation and the wheat are connected!

  27. sarah says

    I just read that the FDA has now approved canola oil as an ingredient in baby formula. If they start putting that poison in our infants’ food, what are we to do? Especially with that being the only food they eat. I am ex pecting my second child and would like tp nurse, but I don’t know if I will be able to since I wasn’t able to nurse my daughter because I produced very little breastmilk.

  28. Taylor says

    My only comment, and i otherwise LOVE this post: vegetables have protein. And great proteins at that! We use protein from food (amino acids) to rebuild our own proteins – and we process plant-based protein much slower than animal proteins – BUT studies show that it is just as effective. I know i know, im opening a can of worms here. No need to start a big debate, just want everyone to know that their baby IS getting protein via plant-based foods (vegetables) – especially the dark green leafy kinds!
    :) That’s all.

  29. MrsAré says

    I was wondering what your opinion on food containers are for real food eating on the go or preparing food ahead of time to freeze. Do you ever use the BPA free small portioning containers or do you stick to the wide mouth glass containers for freezing? The BPA free portioned containers seem convenient for food variety and keeping the food fresh through the week in the freezer but I’m wary of the BPA plastics and nylons as I believe they can contain other substitute chemicals that are equally disruptive. Your thoughts would be appreciated! Thank you!

  30. says

    I know these comments and post are older but I had a question concerning protein. My 11 month old is ebf with veggies, fruit, egg yolk, coconut oil and raw butter making up her solids. I have no intention on introducing grains. But one holistic Dr. wanted me to wait to introduce proteins until 1 year. I really feel like she is ready for meat and I know you mention here 8 months. If we are using your plans is she old enough to eat to meals I’m cooking (ie: meatballs in the crockpot?) Thank you so much!

  31. Alanamd says

    I say skip the purees! Baby led weaning is healthiest! And, my daughter has a spinach allergy among many others. It’s high in nitrites. She didn’t eat Anything before 8 months and spinach was one of the first things she had, but broke out in hives!

  32. mrskaboom says

    Do you have any food / supplement recommendations for our 8 month old? He is currently on a soy formula because the dairy one was making him sick. We know that formula is awful, but we do not have primary custody of him and his mother stopped breastfeeding. He is constantly ill with runny nose or congestion, but we only have him on the weekends right now. We are sort of at a loss as to how to try to help nutritionally. When he’s here we give him organic egg yolks, avocados, other pureed veggies and a probiotic supplement. Is there anything you’d recommend adding? Is he too young for coconut milk/cream?

  33. elenska says

    No, there are no resources on this, at least not in english. I was soooo dissapointed when I came to N.America. Where I come from (Europe), veggies are the first thing you give to baby (or were 10 years ago). then fruits. then meat, eggs, and then somewhere at the end grains.

    As for the purred veggies in the jar from the stores, have you ever tasted it? it really tastes horrible. When I ask other mums, they do not like it either, but think their little one is just “fine” with it. If you make your own veggies, they taste delicious, provided you buy good quality.

  34. Lana says

    I have sensitivities (not allergies..but more of an auto-immune response) to asparagus, egg yolks, broccoli, etc. Wondering if I should be hesitant to introduce these foods to my baby? Im still only breastfeeding, but will be introducing solids shortly.

  35. says

    Have you ever heard of a baby having a bad reaction to egg yolk? I gave it to my 7 month old and we ended up in the ER. He would not stop puking and we were scared and afraid of dehydration.

  36. Emilie says

    Weston A Price recommends egg yolks as first food at 6 mo. What are your reasons for waiting till 7-8m??

  37. Teegan Arthur says

    What are your opinions on raising a child vegetarian? How would I make sure they get enough iron if not feeding them cereal?

  38. Shivashankari Vaiyakani says

    I do not understand this hatred towards grains. We’ve been eating grains for eons. I understand that you don’t want to give it to very small babies. But, they can’t be bad for you. In India and all other asian countries the kids eat double boiled rice as their first food and once they are around 8-9 months they are fed boiled pulses with rice and ghee, kids have far less allergies in those countries compared to the states. I’ve never even heard of peanut allergy till I came here couple of years ago.
    I am a vegetarian and I grew up eating grains 3 times a day and I am as healthy as any 34 year old could be. Many cultures don’t even prepare separate food for the babies, they eat what parents eat and those kids are healthy too.
    Everyone should do what is good for their babies and what works for them, there is no need to feel terrible because you are not feeding what the experts say. As long as you are not feeding them junk your kids will be alright.

    • Mary Penn says

      I appreciate your comment, because all this information is so overwhelming and it does often make me feel terrible to think I’m doing it all wrong! I’m glad you’re healthy! I like your advice!

  39. Danielle says

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve just started giving my 4 month old veggies (all homemade) a week ago. She’s had carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. Our pediatrician suggested/told me that I should add Raps Oil to the homemade baby food. What is the benefit of this? We are living in Austria and so it’s quite different raising an infant over here. Thanks!

  40. Amy at {Life to the Full} says

    Thank you for the information! I’m starting to research starting “real food” as my son is 4 1/2 months old now. People ask if I’m feeding him rice cereal yet and always act surprised when I say we’re skipping the rice cereal!

  41. Nike 85 says

    I am getting addicted to your blog. I am reading it all the time. I am planning to make the homemade diaper rash cream, baby body lotion, baby soothing powder and baby body oil based on your recipes. I have placed order for all the ingredients.

  42. Jessica says

    at my son’s recent 4m dr apt, his dr recommended starting with fortified rice cereal at 5m since its a safe inb/w (between 4-6m). Other than reading a lot of blogs (which aren’t necessarily credible) I don’t have any proof or good argument for my dr on why I want to start with avocado and avoid rice cereal altogether. I politely tried asking him about it, and he said rice cereal was better because it’s fortified. I’m wondering if you have any good resources to prove otherwise. I think I’m going to just ignore his kind advice and do what I feel is best, but I feel so scared and guilty doing that. I want what is best for my child and the dr. did go through medical school which I did not. Any advice is appreciated!

  43. Courtney Kohavi says

    I am always trying to learn more about what food is best for my baby!! I naturally opted out of feeding him rice and grains. Unfortunately it seems like doctors tell u to avoid “gassy” foods like cauliflower, beans, and eggs!! I am shocked because I think those are healthy. I luckily have been feeding him many things u suggested….. But this article gave me so many ideas! Thank you, you are an inspiration to me!

  44. Courtney Kohavi says

    My son likes avocado but sometimes I mix it with banana just to add more flavor:) that might help your baby!

  45. Jennifer L Valdez says

    I have always made my own baby foods to give to my daughter. She did start with brown rice cereal and cheerios but only for a very short time because I found your site.We have since gone paleo. She loves everything abd eats mostly what we eat cut up into small pieces. I am still nursing her 4 times per day and she eats 3 solid meals with snacks. She is going to be 12 months in September and I need to start supplementing with something. I work 48 hour shifts and I’m not pumping as much as she’s eating and have run out of freezer stash. I don’t want to do formula and was thinking goats milk but am unsure how to. Do you have any suggestions?

  46. Laine says

    I am breastfeeding for 6 months or at least as long as I can before introducing solids. My son has shown some interest but want to wait a little longer as I have read that it is best. I would like to start with avacado or some veggies…was wondering if I waited until 6 months if he could just eat it mashed or cut into tiny pieces. And as for all the other veggies could they all just be cut small or do they need to be pureed? Also what about snacks when you go out. Do you all just take your little tiny pieces of avacado cut up in a baggy and feed that as snack? That in place of the grain type snacks that you see all kids have. And are there any sites for making meals or books for making meals for the little one? I wanna make stuff and know they dont need a lot but would like to make then freeze and want it to be seasoned but dont know what is ok and whats not and what could be harmful. Any help would be great!

  47. melsimmons says

    our 3rd baby is 7 mo, BF, and eating foods like a champ. do you have any comments regarding random *hives*?

    He seems to develop hives for no reason (just a few here and there, that come and go within an hour. they don’t show up at any routine times…not immediately after eating…just at RANDOM TIMES….and not following the intro of any new foods).

    we had a bigger hive episode when i prepared a pastured egg yolk for him at 6.5 months….he developed hives all over his trunk and lips within a half hr after eating part of the egg. i am wondering if some of the egg white got mixed in by accident.

    our 2nd son has a dairy allergy which manifests as lung inflammation/windpipe inflammation, but we’ve never dealt with hives. it’s so bizarre

    • christen says

      My daughter also had random hives … we finally figured out that she was reacting to some plastics touching her skin! She is also sensitive to eggs (both yolk and white), dairy, corn, and cashews. Sometimes she reacts when people holding her have used fabric softener on their clothes. Hope this helps!

  48. Chelsea Linscott says

    How often do you introduce a new food? I have a 10 month old that is just starting solids. She doesn’t eat that much right now. She seems to like avocado a lot. When I introduce a new food, can I continue to give her what she’s already tried, or should I stick with one food at a time? Also, is butternut squash okay? I know you’re busy, so thank you for your time!

    • Kristin says

      I space new foods out every few days to a week. Once given and there is no adverse reaction, you can continue to feed her that food on a regular basis.

  49. Berri says

    Hi wellness Mama, I’m a first time Mum and I adore your website. my question is about textures. My breast fed baby is 7 1/2 months old, we started him on solids at 5 1/2 months (as he was desperately hungry and more than twice his birth weight) and I make all his food. We are now giving him lots of fruit, veggies, meat, fish and some dairy. He is having 3 meals a day plus 4 breast feeds. I’m having difficulty getting him to eat anything which isn’t puréed really smooth as he retches badly and will bring up what he’s eaten if it’s too thick or lumpy. I’d love to stop pureeing everything, any suggestions? He’s also waking for 2 additional breast feeds at night which is so frustrating as he used to sleep through the night from when he was 7 weeks old to when he was 5 months old. I’m trying to fill him up as much as possible during the day and trying to settle him without feeding overnight but it’s not working. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

  50. Carmen Miller says

    I’m interested in starting my 6 month-old on egg yolks (cooked soft boiled as Sally Fallon suggests). But I’m concerned about the risk of Salmonella in under-cooked eggs. Any thoughts?

  51. Danielle Reid-Cofta says

    My son is 14 months old and for the past few months he has been getting blisters in his diaper area. I know it’s a food allergy, either egg, or dairy… Or both, but it seems to be taking forever for them to clear up! They are gone one day and show up the next. If it is an allergy, as I am pretty certain, are there any suggestions as far as diet to speed up the process of ‘cleansing’ his system? The Pediatrician and the urologist are stumped… So I’m doing my best to learn as much as I can to help him at home! I do still nurse, and have cut dairy out of my diet with the exception of butter. I do still eat eggs on occasion, too, as breakfast is tough without grains!

  52. Christy G says

    Hi! I’m a little late to the game. I adore your writing, a friend just emailed me a link to your site today. I have a 4.5 mo old boy & was wondering what you feel is ok to feed him now? I give earths best formula because my milk dried up at 3mo. Everybody tells me different things and all I really want to do is set him up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Thank you so much.

  53. Melissa says

    I have a 4 month old breastfed baby and want to learn how to introduce real food to him and am glad I found this post. I have read some articles from the Weston A. Price foundation about introducing meats first since the percentage of fats and protein is similar to the fat and protein found in breastmilk. Is this a healthy option? Also what resources do you recommend related to baby feeding? This website has been a great resource. Thanks for doing what you do.

  54. Shanel Sudha says

    What do you recommend giving babies when breastfeeding is no longer an option? My 4 and Half month old has been breastfed from birth but am no longer producing enough milk and he is stay in lactogen 1 milk

    Best regards
    Sudha

  55. Ellie says

    Hi There,

    I have been making all my own baby food and shunned the cereals to start with as I have a sweet tooth myself and really wanted to get my baby into veggies and meat as a base. I have however been feeding homemade oatmeal and I have just cooked up a big batch of lentils…What do you think about lentils? Generally my baby (7 months) will have fruits and veggies and meat but i do feed oatmeal with fruit puree. She has eaten everything I have given her so far :)

  56. Kay says

    Hi Wellness Mama,
    I love your site. Lots of great tips and comments coming in from moms everywhere. I especially want to try feeding my 7 month old baby coconut milk soon so that she will learn to take liquids in a bottle/cup. Currently, the only liquid she is willing to drink is breastmilk straight from the breast. Any advice on how to teach my baby to drink coconut milk or other liquids from bottle/cup? Thanks in advance!

  57. Blanca says

    Have a question? I read, I think on weston website that we can give raw liver to baby because ir has more vitamins. I want to feed my baby good nutricional food, but i am not sure about the raw liver. What do you think Katy?

    • Lara says

      Ok Katie, I’d love to hear your response on this. Spirulina or Chorella? Also, just the thought of liver makes me gag. I’m not sure I could even bring myself to buy liver and prepare it for my baby to eat, even if I’m not eating it. Maybe if my mom had introduced it to me at a young tender age… Is egg yolk good enough?

  58. Jason says

    I have a meeting with our Pediatrician coming up in a few days about the first foods for my baby. He is a good docator and can be ver reasonable, but he does not understand why I am against giving grains to my baby and is concearned about her getting enough iron without using enriched whole oats as a first food. He is at least toatlly against rice cereal. Do you have any information that I can use to support this lifestyle and to replace the iron content of outs? This is mainly to set my wifes mind at ease.

  59. Katina says

    Hi Katie,
    Thanks for a great article. I am just getting ready to start solids with my son and am wondering if raw gf butter should be introduced at 8-9 months? Same as coconut oil?

    Thanks!
    Katina

  60. Tanya says

    Hello! I am just starting to introduce food to my daughter! I did however start with oatmeal already for one week, based on my doctors recommendations, but would like to start with veggies and fruits and try to eliminate grains. She’s a BIG girl and likes to eat! My question is, what is a typical feeding schedule like? i.e. avocado and banana for breakfast, butternut squash and apple for lunch, peas and peaches for dinner????? Could you provide some example daily meals? and approximately how much of each? (I know every baby is different, but just approx). I’m sooooo confused!!!!

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