More About Starting Solids

“Around the globe, a variety of foods are used as baby’s first solid food.  In Oceania babies are given pre-chewed fish, grubs, and liver.  The Polynesians prefer a pudding-like mixture of breadfruit and coconut cream.  Inuit babies are started on seaweed and seal blubber, while Japanese healthcare providers recommend a thin rice porridge, eventually made thicker and topped with dried fish, tuna, tofu, and mashed pumpkin.”

from page 32 of Cynthia Lair’s excellent book “Feeding the Whole Family:  Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents”  —(I highly recommend this book, it is about cooking once for    everyone and what to do from your meal for baby.  Here is the Amazon link:

These are some recommendations for what solid foods to bring in when according to Ruth Yaron’s “Super Baby Food” book and “Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine” by Gabriel Cousens.  I suggest you look at these books for yourself and see what resonates.  The listings here are NOT to be taken as medical advice, just ideas from what others have said.  If you have ANY history of food allergies, food sensitivities, it is always good to talk to your pediatrician before introducing those foods.  Go slow and introduce things one at a time before you combine food.

Also, this is a pretty vegetarian list, so you  will have to decide how you feel about meat and where that goes.  This list also includes homemade  grains, which many families delay.  Families may start with pureed food and around eleven months when children are more adept at picking up foods move to that.  Some families wait on solids a bit and the infant self feeds from the beginning.  La Leche League typically recommends making eating solids your infant’s own  project.  As far as amounts,  Cynthia Lair notes in her book, “Babies who have been eating solids for several months can be served about one-third to one-half cup of food at a sitting.”  Ruth Yaron’s book has many suggestions as well.  Please do take what resonates with you about this and do what works best for you and your family. 

Check this back post regarding signs for readiness to eat solids and other suggestions:

More articles of interest:

About raising a vegetarian child:

First foods:

Fresh Young coconut water, banana, ripe avocado, sweet potato,  peeled and cooked/pureed apples or pears

Six months and older:

Single grain homemade cereal: brown rice, millet; winter squash; cooked and strained apricots, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, prunes and raw mild fruit: papaya, mango, pears;

** Carrie’s note:  I am not sure how I feel about mango; mangoes are related to the cashew family, so if that is an allergy in your family, ask your physician before introducing

Seven months and older:

Coconut pulp blended with water, homemade mixed grain cereal; hard cooked egg YOLK only ; peaches; cooked and pureed asparagus, carrots, green beans, peas, summer squash, white potatoes; diluted and strained mild fruit juices: apple, apricot, pear, grape, papaya, peach, prune,

** Carrie’s note:  Eggs can be a major allergen

Eight months and older:

Tahini; ground nuts (almonds, pistachios are mentioned by Gabriel Cousens); ground seeds (sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp, chia); brewer’s yeast; powdered kelp in tiny amounts;; apricot; apple; cantaloupe; honeydew; kiwi fruit; plums; watermelon; broccoli; okra; cooked parsley; peeled and quartered grapes; finger foods (I am going to use freeze dried fruits), peeled figs, pitted cherries is mentioned by Gabriel Cousens,

**Carrie’s note:  Nuts and seeds can be major allergens; tahini is made from sesame seeds so if that is an allergen, ask your physician before introducing

Nine months and older:

Dried beans, lentils, split peas ground and cooked; pineapple; Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, beets, kale, eggplant, rhubarb, turnips, finely chopped raw parsley, cooked greens, cooked onion,  summer squash, turnips and rutabaga, rhubarb,  celery, buckwheat, sea vegetables  (Carrie’s note: Usually sea vegetables are given in one teaspoon or less amounts)

**Some families do whole milk  yogurt here; I think that depends how you feel about dairy

Ten months and older:

Thinned creamy nut butters; homemade bulgur cereal; homemade whole grain cornmeal cereal; whole grain pasta; ground sprouts; finely grated raw summer squash, carrots, greens, sweet peppers

**Carrie’s note:  Nuts can be a major allergen, so ask your physician if this is a concern in your family

Older than one year:

Dairy, citrus, tomatoes, hard cooked egg white,  strawberries, blueberries, and other berries cut into pieces (not whole)  Carrie’s note – these all  have allergen potential.  Go slow!

Happy Eating!  If you would like to help other mothers out and write when you have introduced some of the foods not likely to be found in typical baby books, please leave a comment below..


3 thoughts on “More About Starting Solids

  1. Hi Carrie,
    We eat a fairly seasonal diet, so often if there is a baby in my house coming into solids, I make sure to have a freezer full of some fun foods from other seasons as we enter into winter. But generally, I let baby lead the way and introduce what I am feeding everyone else at the table. Whatever is mash-able or they can handle chewing depending on experience. Having watched many children through this stage with daycare- I find this approach produces the happy result of children who like lots of foods, enjoy eating in community, and don’ t often choke. I have found that when babes get very pureed foods, especially long term, then tend to have trouble chewing even into toddlerhood. Baby usually says when they are ready, when they ask- we give a taste- pretty soon they are eating my whole lunch!

    I didn’t know mango was from the cashew family! We haven’t had a problem, but I’ll keep it in mind- thanks. I often give babies the core of firmer fruits, like apples to suck and mouth ( with careful supervision of course).

  2. I used the “so easy” baby food book with Emerson…she never ate commercial baby food…

    and by a year, she was eating just what we were…favorites included black beans, mango (never had an issue either) papaya, blue, black and strawberries, whole fat organic yogurt (we started on kefir at 10 months becuase I had trouble pumping enough milk for her), avocado, spinach, broccoli, tomatos, peppers, hummus etc.


    Quinoa is a seed but you can use it as a grain (like rice), but it is mostly a protien. Emerson LOVES it. it is quite versitile…you can prepare it sweet or savory depending on what you are making.

    Emerson eats just about everything becuase we gave her just about everything (age appropriate, of course) and she will try new things without much coaxing.

    I plan to do the same for this baby too.

    You can check out my blog for some neat recipies for family dinners. I’m enjoying cooking these days…I didn’t always.

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