Top 10 First Foods to introduce to your baby
The Baby & Toddler Show is excited to have Piccolo, the organic baby food brand that draws inspiration from the Mediterranean approach to health and wellbeing, at their shows this autumn and to celebrate the launch of their new range of delicious stage 1 and 2 purées.
The Baby & Toddler Show speaks to Piccolo’s infant nutrition specialist, Alice Fotheringham, about some great first foods to try this August and September.
Top 10 First Foods to introduce to your baby this autumn
Weaning or complementary feeding is that exciting stage of introducing a range of different tastes and textures to your baby at around 6 months. At this stage breast or formula milk is still giving your baby the majority of their nutrients and calories, and will continue to be an important part of their diet for the first year, but those first tastes are more about introducing your little one to the world of solid food and the exciting different tastes and textures that make up a balanced, healthy diet. It really is about experiencing tastes over quantity.
There is no evidence to show that one food is better than another to introduce first and first foods differ all around the world. The general advice is to try starting with a single vegetable or fruit, which is a great way to go.
Purée or finger food
You can either start with a soft finger food or a purée when offering first tastes, or give a combination of both. Finger foods are an important part of the weaning journey, but you can do either to start with, it is totally up to you, whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Top 10 seasonal foods to introduce your baby to this autumn
These are just some ideas of vegetables and fruit that are seasonal going into autumn, but there are plenty of other delicious fresh fruit and vegetables you can introduce year round.
Wonderful orange fleshed vegetable, full of vitamins and minerals such as immune boosting vitamin A and C. To cook either cut in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and roast in the oven until soft, then scoop out the flesh and mix with formula or breast milk. Or peel with a peeler and cut into thick finger length chunks and steam or roast in the oven in a little olive oil until soft and offer as finger food.
Another delicious nutrient packed vegetable, pumpkin is a great source of vitamin E and the B vitamins. Cook in the same way as butternut squash.
In season at the end of the summer, cucumber is a great first finger food containing lots of minerals and vitamins. Peel and cut into long spears that are easy to handle. Cucumber spears are also soothing on gums when your baby starts teething.
A good source of fibre and minerals such as potassium, courgette can be a little bland in a purée on its own, but lovely mixed with peas or leeks. Babies love courgette sticks or thick disks cut in half and fried in a little olive oil.
Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A, particularly in the form of beta-carotene, which gives them their vibrant orange colour. Delicious peeled, chopped and steamed and either puréed or as finger food.
A powerhouse of nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium, steaming is the best way to cook broccoli. Either cut up little florets or ‘trees’ as finger food, or purée.
An underrated vegetable, celeriac is a delicious white creamy vegetable and is a good source of fibre, and nutrients such as B vitamins and magnesium. To cook, peel and either steam or roast. Delicious on its own, or mixed with potato (it makes a lovely mash with potato to top dishes such as shepherd’s pie.)
Coming into their own in the autumn. From Pink Lady to Braeburn you can introduce a range of different eating apples to your little one. Peel and chop the apple, then you can either steam the apple for around 8 minutes or add the apple to a microwavable bowl with a little boiling water and microwave on full power for a couple of minutes until soft. Delicious with a pinch of cinnamon, apple purée can be given on its own or mixed into a full fat natural yoghurt, baby cereal or porridge from 6 months.
A good source of minerals such as magnesium and potassium, peeled ripe pears do not need to be cooked and when cut into spears make great first finger foods. Pears on their own make quite a thin purée, so you can mix with apple purée or add to full fat natural yoghurt.
A delicious autumnal fruit full of minerals which can help with constipation, avoid giving if your baby has diarrhoea as they do have a mild laxative effect. Plums make quite a thin purée, absolutely delicious on their own, but also lovely added to other fruit purées such as apple or mixed into cereals or yoghurt. Very ripe plums can simply be whizzed up in a blender, but make sure there are no big bits of skin, or you can stew with a little water.