Starting solids is such an exciting and fun next step in your baby’s development! But let’s be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating at first! Starting with 5 SIMPLE PUREES and using those foods as a base to build upon is the simplest way to begin.
For both of my girls I prefered to use the Beaba Babycook to make their first purées. It is such a quick and easy way to make their first foods and I found it to be more cost effective than buying pre-made baby food from the store. Of course I still use store bought baby food jars and pouches for an easy on the go option and also for times that I’m behind in making my baby food purees (my favorite store bought baby food is listed below). Do whatever is easiest for you and works best for your family!
My favorite top 5 first purées:
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
The Babycook makes it super clean and simple to make these purées (and they come in the cutest colors). What’s convenient about a baby food maker is that you can both steam and blend all in the same place for easy clean up. If you don’t have a baby food maker, don’t worry! Fruit and vegetables can also be steamed in the oven, normal pot on the stove, Instant Pot or pureed using any blender or food processor (this just requires a little bit more clean up, but is still just as easy!).
For more step-by-step directions on how to use the Babycook and make your own baby purées, go to our Bumblebaby Store and purchase our e-guides:
- Purées for Beginners e-guide
- Purées Calendar – Lauren’s 2 month calendar for starting purées and introducing allergens
Using fresh fruits and vegetables is preferred and they have the highest amount of vitamins and nutrients, but a great time and money saver is to buy your fruits/vegetables frozen. They still provide a large amount of vitamins and nutrients and they will last much longer in the freezer if you don’t get around to making all of your baby food at one time. I will also try to buy pre-cut sweet potato or butternut squash if they’re available to make things easier!
- You can store your baby food in the freezer for up to 3 months and once you have defrosted the baby food try to use it within 24 hours. Be sure to date your bags once placed into the freezer to help you keep track of how long they have been frozen.
- Babyfood that has not been frozen is able to stay in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Never refreeze baby food once it has been defrosted due to the possibility of bacteria growth.
- Once you have defrosted your frozen purees be sure to use them within 24 hours to prevent bacteria from growing.
- Ice crystal formation is NORMAL to find on your frozen baby food, it is not freezer burned! Ice crystals form due to extra liquid used to make the puree’s that rises to the top of the cubes and freezes.
- Don’t double dip. If your baby didn’t finish all of the serving you gave him/her don’t put it back in the fridge to use later, be sure to throw it out. The bacteria and digestive enzymes from your baby’s mouth can get into the food and make it unsafe for them to eat later.
For more infant feeding guidelines check out the Mayo Clinic’s infant and toddler health section!
***Be sure to only introduce one new food every 3-5 days until you are sure your baby has no food allergies. Once you have eliminated concern for food allergies you can start mixing your purees together for your baby to experience new flavors!
Favorite purée combinations:
- apple + sweet potato or butternut squash + a sprinkle of cinnamon
- peas + carrots
- pear + avocado
- banana + pumpkin
- cauliflower + pear
- banana + baby whole grain cereal (oatmeal or quinoa blend) + a sprinkle of cinnamon
- mango + carrot
- peach + cauliflower
- beets + blueberry
- apple + spinach
- broccoli + asparagus + pear
- banana + blueberry + avocado
Adding breastmilk or formula
Another option is to add breast milk or formula to your purees to add extra flavor and change the consistency of the puree, usually about 1-2 Tbsp per serving This is also a good option if your baby seems to dislike certain fruit or vegetables. Breast milk and formula are naturally sweet so adding them to your baby’s puree can help improve the taste for baby to make sure they aren’t missing out on the healthy vitamins and nutrients that different fruit and vegetables provide.
If the breastmilk is fresh, you can add before freezing the puree, to fresh purees, or after thawing the puree. If the breastmilk has been previously frozen, be sure to only add the breast milk or formula AFTER you unfreeze the food, not before. We want to avoid having the breastmilk thawed twice to prevent loss of nutrients and bacterial growth. Your Haakaa is a great and easy way to collect some milk to add to your puree!
Common allergens include but are not limited to milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, and nuts/nutbutters.
**Call your doctor if your baby shows and signs of a reaction such as:
- Baby’s cry changes (shrill or hoarse-sounding) (this could indicate an airway issue)
- Fussiness/crying after eating certain foods
- Runny nose, congestion, cough and/or sneezing
- Difficulty breathing (CALL 911!)
- Skin irritations – rashes and hives, or eczema
- If your parental instinct is telling you that something is off
A good guideline to follow is to “feed your child the rainbow,” meaning give them a lot of different fruits and vegetables of all colors and flavor palates. You will be amazed at the many different types of foods and flavors that your baby enjoys! Have fun discovering which foods your baby loves and creating new recipe combinations for their taste palate!
Lauren’s feeding favorites
- My favorite utensils to use when first starting puree’s are the Boon double sided spoons. They are small and are the perfect size for when your baby is just beginning to eat.
- Once your baby becomes more experienced at eating purees I enjoy using the Beaba silicone spoons or the Munchkin safety spoons which turn colors if your food is too hot!
- Reusable pouches
- For an easy on-the-go option I like to use reusable baby food pouches. They are reusable and dishwasher safe, which make them both cost effective and environmentally friendly!
- Take a couple of your frozen baby food cubes and place into the double zip baby food pouch, let thaw in the fridge overnight or place under running water to thaw (or even in your diaper bag if it’s last minute!) Check out Kate’s Diaper Bag Essentials blog post for 0-6 and 6-12 months.
- These pouch toppers are great to use for baby’s because they have a valve that prevents them from squeezing the baby food out and creating a big mess!
- Store bought
- High chairs
- Oxo Tot Sprout is my favorite full-size high chair
- Inglesina is my favorite clip-on high chair that is good for small spaces and can be used at restaurants!
- Fisher-Price Space Saver is my favorite booster chair to use with beginner eaters because it has 3 reclined positions!
- Summer Infant Travel Booster is perfect to use outside or keep in the trunk of your car to use on-the-go!
***For more favorite eating essentials head to our Amazon store page, “5+ month eating essentials for beginners.”
Have more questions? Schedule a text or video chat consult with Kate, Lauren or Natalie (NICU RNs) and they can help answer any questions that you have
We also have a new solids bundle – which includes the BLW e-guide, BLW calendar, purées calendar + our favorite mess-free bib! (only $40 for all of this which values over $54!)
It’s important to know CPR!
At Bumblebaby, we cannot stress enough the importance of knowing hands-on infant CPR and choking skills, especially when starting solids. Please brush up on your skills by booking Kate’s online infant CPR + choking skills refresher course (use code BUMBLE15 for discount) or book and in-home CPR session today (Chicagoland area)!
Want an easy way to introduce allergens to your baby? Try Ready, Set, Food! They’re daily supplements that gently introduce your baby to the most common allergens. Simply add a packet to breastmilk/formula/solids of your choice starting between 4-11 months and continue for 6 months or until your baby is eating these foods regularly in their diet. Deema did this with her daughter and highly recommends it! Use code Bumble40 for discount.
Other helpful blog posts:
- 5 common choking foods and how to safely feed them to your baby
- Baby led weaning for beginners
- Why learn CPR
- 5 easy finger foods for beginners
**Please follow the guidelines and advice that your Pediatrician has recommended to you. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above.