Getting Started

If you’re reading this you must be getting ready to start solids with your baby.  It’s an exciting and fun time for both you and your baby.  Here’s where to start!

Is your baby ready for solid foods?

  • Can your baby sit up and hold up their head unassisted?
  • Does your baby push solid food out of their mouth or gag on food?   Tongue-thrust and gag reflex should lessen when your baby is ready
  • Has teething begun?
  • Does your baby sit erect in a high chair?

Look under Ages & Stages for detailed recipes.

Only introduce one solid food at a time and wait for 2-3 days to see if there are any allergic responses such as diarrhea, rash or vomiting.  Start with a tablespoon or two of food and increase the amount as your baby wants more.  Your baby will stop eating when they are full.  Use breast milk or formula to thin out solids.

A few nutrient dense basics to start with include:

  • Avocado – mashed well
  • Soft boiled egg yolk
  • Sweet potato
  • Pear or Apple puree – steamed with skins removed
  • Ripe banana – mashed well

We prefer to avoid grains the first year unless your soaking them to make it more easily digestible.  Rice cereal doesn’t have much nutritional quality to it and may be hard to digest for babies under one year of age.

Here’s a list of suggestions for when to introduce certain food items:

4-6 Months

Cereals & Grains: Avoid for the first year

Fruits: Avocado, Apples, Ripe Bananas, Pears

Protein: Egg Yolk (no egg whites until 1 year old)

Dairy: Raw Milk, Cream (Not ultra pasteurized)

6-8 Months

Cereals & Grains: Avoid for the first year

Fruits: Avocado, Melon, Mangoes, Banana and Papaya can be mashed and given raw.  High pectin fruits like Apricots, Apples, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Cherries and Berries should be cooked to break down the pectin which can be irritating to the digestive tract at this age.  Prunes can be stewed and pureed to ease constipation as well.

Vegetables: Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Beets, Green Beans, Peas, Zucchini (yellow and green).  Steam and mash with a generous amount of fat such as butter or coconut oil to provide nutrients and aid digestion.

Protein: Pureed chicken, turkey, tofu or mashed egg yolks (no egg whites)

Dairy: Plain whole milk yogurt

8-10 Months

Herbs and Additional Seasonings: Herbs and Spices can be introduced to your baby now. Always check ingredients and don’t add anything with MSG or other chemicals to food.

Cereals & Grains: Although it’s believed to avoid grains the first year, soaked and thoroughly cooked brown rice is an option for a very mature baby.

Fruit: Blueberries, Figs, Dates, Cranberries, Cherries, Melon, Kiwi, Papaya, Grapes

Vegetables: Asparagus, Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Leeks, Onions, White potatoes

Protein: Beans/Legumes, Beef, Egg Yolk, Pork, Chicken

Dairy: Hard Cheese (no soft cheeses like Brie), Cottage Cheese, Not Ultra-Pasteurized Cream

10-12 Months

Cereals & Grains: Although it’s believed to avoid grains the first year, soaked and thoroughly cooked brown rice is an option for a very mature baby.

Fruits: Citrus, Grapes, Dates, Cherries, Berries

Vegetables: Artichokes, Beets, Corn, Cucumbers, Spinach, Tomatoes

Protein: Whole eggs (at 12 months), Fish

Dairy: Whole Milk (at 12 months), Cheese (soft cheeses such as Brie after 12 months)

One year and older

Now the real fun begins!  You can offer your toddler any type of food you’re eating.  Remember to be an example and make excellent food choices for vibrant health.


Here’s a list of foods to AVOID during your baby’s first year:

Honey (may cause botulism in infants under 1yr old)
Peanut Butter
Tree Nuts
Citrus or Acidic Fruits
Raw Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries
Egg Whites
Whole Milk – as a drink
Cereals and Grains

One controversial topic is the introduction of cereal to your baby as a first solid food.  One thing to remember is the amount of breast milk and/or formula decreases when solid foods are introduced.   When you introduce solids, it’s the first step in weaning even if you’re planning to do extended breastfeeding with your child.  Nutrients that may be insufficient are protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins.  Grains and nuts have the most potential digestive disturbances or allergies.  babies do not produce the enzymes to handle cereals, especially gluten containing grains like wheat before the age of one year.  Even then it’s traditional to soak the grains and nuts in water and a little buttermilk for up to 24 hours which begins to break down some of the harder to digest components.  Brown rice is gluten free and can be introduced at 8 months when soaked, cooked with plenty of water for a long time and made into a thin porridge.  You can even mix this with other foods.

To increase your babies palette, take some of the same food you prepare for the family (before seasoning) and puree for baby.  This is when the mini food processor or Baby Food Mill.  This Baby Food Mill comes in handy if you’re eating out as well, depending upon the food you order. 

Nitrates: Certain vegetables such as green beans, carrots, spinach, lettuce, radishes, beets, turnips and collard greens, may contain excessive nitrates, which can be converted into nitrite (an undesirable substance) in the stomach.  These naturally occurring nitrates can reduce the baby’s hemoglobin.  When cooking vegetables that may contain these substances, do not use the water they were cooked in to purée due to the possible concentration of nitrates in the cooking water.  These vegetables are safe for home preparation if fed to infants 6 months and older when prepared as described above.  The American Pediatrics Association recommends avoiding these foods until a baby is 3 months old.  Our recipes here are for babies at least 4 months old, although 6 months is an ideal time to start solids in our opinion.