Introducing New Foods

6-9 Months_
Start by giving baby cooked and pureed fruits and vegetables such yams, squash, carrots, beets, broccoli, potatoes, green beans, peas, apple, berries (no strawberries, though) pears, peaches, bananas, apricots, nectarines and avocados.

*I gave my son, Kenya, the same food every morning for 4 days in a row, just in case he had an allergic reaction. I starting with pears, then carrots, yams and so on. It’s important to introduce one food at a time in the first month or two so you can distinguish easily what your baby can and cannot eat.

I’ve heard different opinions about whether you should give babies fruits or vegetables first. Some believe that if you start to early with fruit, baby will acquire a sweet tooth. Personally, I disagree. It’s fresh fruit after all. My concerns come later when people introduce refined sugar too often, too soon. The sooner you introduce fruit, the more your baby will love it.

At this time, you’ll also want to start giving your baby rice cereal everyday. Rice cereal contains the highest levels of iron, a basic necessity for fast-growing infants. Mix one teaspoon of rice cereal for every 4 to 5 teaspoons breastmilk or formula to make it easier to digest. Kenya still loves rice cereal.

9-12 Months_
This is when you get into slightly more texture and bigger flavors. You can start giving different grains such as barley, rye and oats. Introduce new fruits and vegetables in month 9 and when baby seems ready you can add yogurts, cheeses, egg yolks (no whites), chicken, fish, meat (no smoked meats), beans and tofu.

*Kenya was really adventurous when it came to trying new foods. He truly likes almost everything I’ve given him. I also feel like I have a good barometer for choosing foods he will enjoy at the right time. I never wanted to push him into trying something too rich or intense too soon. No one knows your baby like you, so this is something every parent should judge for themselves.

After 12 Months_
Baby can now have whole milk (stay away from low fat products, it’s extremely important at this age babies eat full fat products being they’re growing everyday), whole eggs, honey, tomatoes and strawberries.

Finally your baby can eat what you and your family are eating. As long as it’s in small pieces, chopped or mashed, baby will enjoy being part of the group.

*I was really concerned about giving nuts to Kenya. Nuts are fantastic sources of protein and vitamins. No one in our families has any food allergies, so I went ahead and gave him almond butter (a tree nut which has a low allergic potential so they’re an ideal first nut to be introduced) around his first Birthday.

Safe Finger Foods_
O Shaped Cereal
Rice Cakes
Diced Cooked Carrots
Whole Wheat toast
Cooked Beans and Peas
Tofu Chunks
Steamed Broccoli Florets

Not So Safe First Foods_
Nuts
Seeds
Popcorn Kernels
Hot Dogs (Whole or Chunks)
Raw Carrots
Whole Grapes
Meat Chunks
Stringy Foods (Celery)

Image by Maren Caruso

comment on this post
Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

leave a comment

37 comments

  • Lori Shaw

    please add me to the mailing list. thx

    leave a comment

  • Erica

    Please add me to your mailing list.

    Thank you

    leave a comment

  • Vikki Hughes

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thx

    leave a comment

  • Maria

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you :)

    leave a comment

  • Lismit

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      There is a box on the right side of the homepage that says \"Sign up for free daily recipes\". Enter your email address and press \"submit\" and you'll be signed up!

      leave a comment

  • Dora Scruggs

    I have a 1 year old grandson and would love some healthy ideas for him. thanks

    leave a comment

  • M R

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thanks

    leave a comment

  • Michelle Moyer

    please add me to your mailing list. Thank You!

    leave a comment

  • Jessica

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Jeri

    Pls add me to your mailing list! Thx

    leave a comment

    • Hannah

      Begun, the great internet ediactuon has.

      leave a comment

  • Crystal

    Please add me to your mailing list.

    leave a comment

  • Diana Frank

    what kind of rice cereal brand do you recommend?

    leave a comment

  • Jenelle

    Just a word of caution... we started my daughter at about 7 months on rice cereal. Her first real food was bananas and then carrot. She did fine on the rice cereal, but when we started givin her rice cereal and banana 2x a day she got plugged up. After passing a somewhat hard stool, she is now holding her bowel movements! I did a bit of research and read that banana and carrots can constipate (also just starting solids can do this). My advice would be to start with something like pears which has fiber to help the rice cereal through. The avocado banana puree sounds great too... if you don't mind starting 2 foods at once, I think those 2 might balance each other out in your tiny one's new digestive tract. I'm not a doctor though, so I say do lots of research! I was hoping for a better first food experience!

    leave a comment

    • Claire Schultz

      Jenelle,
      Thank you for sharing your experience! That is a very good point that we will need to be mindful of what might plug them up. Especially if they are transition from easy-to-pass breast milk!

      leave a comment

  • Jennifer

    I found this very informative...I have a 4 month old and I want to make sure that in two months, she starts eating healthy.

    leave a comment

  • arshia29

    Hi! I have a 14 month old boy and I'm having a tough time with finger food and eating overall. He will still eat when I feed him ( usually I give his mashed/ smaller diced food) but will stop after a few bites and doesn't want to be spoon fed anymore. When I try to give him finger food he doesn't want to try anything new or tough anything soft or slimy. I always to introduce finger food before every meal but that doesn't seem to work. At the moment he likes bread sticks, veggie sticks, o-cereal, corn flakes and of course any puffs out there. I'm always trying new foods le fruits and veggies but he'll turn his mouth away

    leave a comment

  • arshia29

    Continued ...
    Any ideas would be much appreciated to get him to eat finger food/toddler!
    Thanks!!!

    leave a comment

  • Sarah

    My doctor was very specific that meat should be a very early food - so that they aren't just getting their iron from cereal which apparently isn't very nutritious otherwise. In fact, she wanted meat to come before fruits and vegetables, for that reason!

    leave a comment

  • Courtney

    My Dr said if baby is grunting and having hard stools to introduce a food with a \"P\" (pears, peas, peaches) to help them \"go\" ... she mentioned even mixing a little pear juice in with rice cereal, however, I am not going to feed my 6mo old rice due to the concern of high levels of inorganic arsenic found in rice (that includes organic rice too). So it's breastmilk and fruits/veggies for him. Do you have a recipe for an infant cereal that is safe for baby (oatmeal gave him a rxn due to gluten)?

    leave a comment

  • Abby Page

    to the poster commenting on oatmeal having gluten. - Oats are a naturally gluten free grain.

    also just an FYI all store bought rice cereals have Zero nutritional benefits. i make all my own rice cereal and rice milk from grinding my brown rice fresh and my babies \"go\" great!

    leave a comment

  • Kate

    I have a question - is it necessary for the first fruits to be cooked? I have given my daughter raw nectarines, pears, bananas, and watermelon (she's 7.5 months). Is there a reason it specifies cooked fruit and vegetable purees? (I've also given her cooked sweet potatoes and apples)

    And as for the question about gluten and oats, while oats themselves are naturally gluten-free, a lot of them are cultivated and harvested alongside wheat, so there is cross-contamination. Gluten-free oats are cultivated and processed separately from wheat to avoid cross-contamination and therefore are labeled gluten-free.

    leave a comment

  • Mary

    Please add me to your mailing list.
    Thank you

    leave a comment

  • Heather

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Brooke

    Thank you for this!

    leave a comment

  • Taylor

    awesome help for when to introduce new foods :)

    leave a comment

  • Melissa

    Please add me to the mailing list.
    Thank you.

    leave a comment

  • Melissa

    Please add me to the mailing list.
    Thank you.

    leave a comment

  • Melissa

    Please add me to the mailing list. Thank you.

    leave a comment

  • Mercy

    so painful i can't get almost all of this interesting food in my country, my area

    leave a comment

  • Imelda

    This site looks great - please add me to your mailing list,

    leave a comment

  • Lisa

    I have been thinking a lot about nutrition for my baby. She is not due until May, but I want to make sure that I am prepared ahead of time. I also want to start making my own baby food and your website has a lot of great ideas.

    leave a comment

  • Jennifer

    Great site! Please add me to your mailin list!

    leave a comment

  • Jennifer

    Great site! Please add me to your mailing list!

    leave a comment

  • Danielle

    Please add me to your mailing list. Also I would love if each recipe had an age next to it, so you knew at what age the recipe was appropriate for baby. This is a fantastic site :)

    leave a comment

  • Megan

    I love your site! I would love to be apart of your mailing list! Thank you

    leave a comment