Why I didn’t feed my baby fruit or cereal as her first solid food – and what I gave her instead

As you probably noticed on my profile picture on the website, I have a beautiful baby girl who just turned 6 months a few days ago!
It went really fast, time flies when you have a cute little baby at home!  ๐Ÿ™‚

I have to admit I have a picture of her from every single day of her life. My phone memory is full because I didn’t have time to put those pictures on a memory card! We took her newborn pictures ourselves as well. If you need ideas how to do it, check out this post.

When she turned 4 months, we started to introduce her to her first solid foods. Her first time eating solid food was so much fun! We took a bunch of pictures, I made a video and we let her dip her hands in the bowl and play with the food.   ๐Ÿ˜€  There was food everywhere, but we wanted her to have fun and I didn’t care about the mess. 

When you have a baby, everyone wants to offer their advice. All of my friends and parents at school told me that cereal, apples and bananas are the best first foods. That’s what I should feed my baby too. I asked our pediatrician, and he said S can eat whatever we eat, even with spices and salt and all.ย 

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But wait, what? A baby that has never eaten anything but breastmilk can have absolutely anything to eat from the day one? I disagree with that.

The first solid food

S’s first foods were vegetables. Only vegetables. That’s what my family has been doing for generations, that’s what my husband’s family has been doing for generations, and that’s how we do it in my country. Maybe I am the weird European, but ask any doctor in Slovakia and they will tell you that the first solid foods should be vegetables. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why so many kids struggle with obesity these days – because they are being fed with whatever since the day one. 

Your baby’s taste buds never tasted anything but milk, whether it’s breastmilk or formula. You should use it into your advantage and get your baby used to vegetables first! Don’t feed your baby fruits. Your baby will develop preference for sweet foods and you will have hard time getting him/her eat veggies and other things. 

Babies who have vegetables as their first solid foods are much more likely to like vegetables later on as well.  Plus, vegetables are healthy and gentle on that brand new baby belly!

baby food
Butternut squash for me and S
baby food veggies
Preparing food for my baby!

If you are interested in healthier feeding schedule, here is what we did:

Feeding schedule

I’ve read many articles and I’ve done a lot of research before I started with solids. I wanted the best for my baby girl and besides, I research. That’s what I do. I’m a queen of research when it comes to healthy food. I wish I could get paid for it, we’d be rich! ๐Ÿ™‚  

The schedule we followed worked great for us, and if you try it, I hope you will love it too!

1. Vegetables

S’s first food were carrots. I don’t buy baby carrots, I only buy organic regular carrots. 
I cleaned the carrots and steemed them until they were super soft. After the carrots are done, I let them cool off a bit, put them in a blender and put a little bit of the water from the steamer in too. Blend it until it’s smooth and not too thick. 

Some of the best vegetables to start with 
  • carrots
  • peas
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • pumpkin
  • butternut squash
  • sweet potato

Later on when your baby gets used to these vegetables, you can add some other veggies, such as

  • potatoes
  • zucchini
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • green beans
  • celery
  • leek
  • avocado

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Cook and serve

You should always try only one kind of vegetable and serve it for 3 days. That way you can make sure your baby is not allergic. After 3 days you can move on to another vegetable. You can also make combinations of veggies your baby already tested.

I clean and steam every vegetable I make for S. Then I let it cool off a bit and put it in the blender. I always save the water from the pot where I steamed the vegetables and I add it to the blender. I always aim for a smooth and not too thick consistency.

Do not add salt or spices. Salt is bad for your baby’s kidneys!

2. Meat and fish

After about 2-3 weeks, you can start adding meat into the vegetables. Finally more fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

What I did was I bought organic chicken breasts. I cut all the fat out and I cooked it in the water (no salt or spices) until the chicken was super soft and practically falling apart when I stabbed it with fork. 

I put the chicken into the blender, put a bit of water in as well, and I put in steemed vegetables. Make sure the consistency is smooth and, there are no chunks of meat or veggies. If it’s too thick, add more water. You can add either the broth from the chicken or the water you steamed veggies in.

After a few days, I made London broil. S LOVED London broil! Once or twice a week I make salmon as well. Make sure you check for bones! I pull the meat apart in between my fingers before I put it in the blender. You can also make an egg yolk and veggies! I usually boil the egg. Make sure you cook it good, runny yolk is not good for the baby. I put egg yolk and veggies in my blender, add water from veggies. 

3. Grains and cereals

About 2-3 weeks after introducing meat, I started adding grains. I usually make a little bit of organic whole wheat pasta, rice or quinoa and mix it with vegetables and meat. It’s starting to be more like a real meal, just very smooth! ๐Ÿ™‚ Still no spices or salt though!

Cereals are a great snack food as well. I’m not buying baby cereals from the store, instead I’m making my own. Please keep in mind that baby cereals you buy at the store are usually fortified with iron. If you’re cooking at home, you have to make sure your baby gets all the vitamins. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about this!

What I do is I cook oats, quinoa, or rice. Once it’s cooked I put it in the blender and I add boiled (and cooled off) water. Once it’s smooth, you can add breast milk, formula, or fruit (once you start with fruits, that’s the 4th food group I added)!

4. Fruit

Last food group I added is fruit. You can start with fruit about 2-3 weeks after you introduced previous food group – grains. I waited with introducing fruits until S was almost 6 months old. She had days when she wasn’t very excited about her solid food, no matter what we made her. She just wanted to nurse. That made me worry that once she tastes fruit, she won’t eat vegetables, so we waited. 

Once we did start fruit, I usually made cereal and mixed fruit in that, or I mixed fruit with plain yogurt. Your baby should not eat cow’s milk until 12 months, but plain yogurt is ok. 

S likes mashed banana mixed with yogurt, or strawberries and cereal. You can get creative and try any fruit. You can try to give just fruit to your baby, or you can mix it in yogurt or cereal. It’s up to you! Fruit and veggie combo is yummy too! 

Fruit is usually S’s afternoon snack. I never feed fruit as a main meal. I always mix fruit with cereal or yogurt. I feel like that way it’s not too sweet. I really want her to eat more veggies than fruits, and I don’t want her to be a picky eater later on so I try to cook variety of foods and variety of combinations.

We have a Baby Bullet and I absolutely love it. It’s really nothing special, it’s just a cute little blender. But It’s fun and it’s smaller than regular blender which makes it much easier to make small amounts of baby food. Plus it comes with those cute little containers with smiley faces painted on them and with the freezer tray. I always make more and freeze it. I usually make a few different meals, label them and freeze it. That way I can defrost a different meal every day. S doesn’t want to eat two days in a row the same stuff so this makes it super easy. 

I also got more glass containers for food storage. I love having all her meals already ready in small little containers, that way I can freeze everything and defrost only what I need.

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Me and my husband counted how much we’d spend on food for S if we’d buy organic baby food from the store. And then we added up how much we spend if I make the food from organic ingredients at home. It’s so much cheaper! If you make more and freeze it, it’s also super easy. I usually spend one day cooking and steaming everything I can think of, it takes some time to make a few different meals of course, but then I don’t have to think about it for at least 2-3 weeks! That’s really not bad. 

Many times I’ll make quinoa or oat cereal, freeze it and add fresh fruit right before I’m going to feed S. I like it better this way than mixing fruit in before freezing it. But both ways is fine.

I really do hope this will help some people who can’t decide on those first foods… To cook or not to cook? ๐Ÿ™‚  I say “to cook”! It really is super easy once you get started!

How do you make food for your baby? Are you making everything homemade or are you buying? I’m curious what other people do, what are their struggles and what are their advices on how to make it easier or what to watch out for!

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