main.min_jhxetk.js The surprising best purees to start with (6+ months) – Newborn Baby
The surprising best purees to start with (6+ months)

When it comes to introducing a baby to solids, the number one question for parents is usually: What foods do I start with?

The go-to first food options such as banana, pumpkin, and apple are all good nutritious choices, but we need to keep in mind that a baby’s nutritional needs change around 6 months of age.

This is the time that the iron stores they were born with start to run out, so babies begin to require a blend of animal and plant blends. Because your baby’s digestive system is small and immature, they need the most nutrient-dense foods we can offer.

What about baby rice cereal? It’s a commonly chosen first food as it’s iron-fortified and easy to prepare. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option or even the best, though. Let’s look at some of the better (and perhaps surprising) first purees you can offer from the very first day of introducing solids.

The surprising best purees to start with (6+ months)

The following food suggestions are for informational purposes only, so we always recommend that you first consult with your MCHN, paediatrician, or paediatric dietitian/nutritionist.

Egg yolk

You might feel a little hesitant about offering a highly allergenic food to your 6 month-old, but we now know that early introduction is critical to reduce the likelihood of food allergies (according to ASCIA).

Benefits: They contain high quality proteins, fat, and other nutrients such as iron, zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, fatty acids, vitamins D, B12, E, choline, and folate.

How to prepare: Start with the yolk since it’s the easiest to digest and contains the most nutrients. Gently poach or cook yolks in a little butter, ghee, or coconut oil on the stovetop. Keep it soft and a little runny. Here are some more ideas to introduce eggs.

Avocado

Avocado is an excellent first food. It’s already soft, no cooking required, it’s portable in its skin, and loaded with nutrients.

Benefits: It contains lots of good fats, magnesium (crucial to our health but harder to get through diet), B vitamins including niacin, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, folate, and fiber.

How to prepare: Simply peel and mash, and then spoon feed. It’s yummy mixed with banana for some added vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

Blended red meat

Breastmilk is low in iron (unlike formula), so babies must get it through their diet. Plant sources of iron are difficult to convert to a usable form, so red meat is a great choice.

Benefits: Red meat contains three key nutrients that babies can be deficient in: iron, zinc, and B12.

How to prepare: If you can, buy organic grass-fed lamb or beef. Cook gently, and puree it in a blender with some homemade broth or a little water until it becomes smooth.

Lentils

Packed with plenty of plant-based iron, they’re actually one of the healthiest plant foods a baby can eat – they contain traces of almost every mineral and vitamin that children need to grow.

Benefits: These legumes are rich in B vitamins, and protein to fuel their little muscles, and fiber to nourish their gut microbiome.

How to prepare: Cook gently until soft (following packet instructions) in water or homemade salt-free beef broth. Why not try our Red lentil Dhal recipe that the whole family can enjoy.

Chicken liver

You may not have eaten chicken liver or other organ meats yourself, but it is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can give your baby.

Benefits: Liver contains iron, vitamin A, D, all B vitamins, folate, zinc, and CoQ10.

How to prepare: If you can, purchase high quality grass-fed chicken liver. Cook it over medium heat in a little ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan. Once one side has browned, turn it over and brown the other side. It doesn’t take long to cook, so once ready, puree it, and serve alone or with other pureed vegetables no more than once a week.

Sardines

Sardines make an excellent choice as they’re among the fish that’s lowest in mercury and highest in omega fatty acids.

Benefits: High in calcium, iron, protein, B and D vitamins, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acid (including the critical DHA).

How to prepare: Rinse canned sardines, and remove the backbone and other bone fragments (some hairline bones may remain but these are soft enough for your baby and contain calcium). Mash and mix with avocado or other pureed vegetables.

Yoghurt

Organic, full-fat Greek yoghurt is a great first dairy food.

Benefits: High in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, it is also naturally rich in probiotics to help colonise your baby’s gut with beneficial bacteria.

How to prepare: When introducing dairy, go slow and watch for reactions. It’s a good idea to start with offering a teaspoon of yoghurt, and wait a day or two before gradually increasing the quantity.

Pre-prepared on the shelf puree options

There are a range of great  baby purees in our supermarkets now. They’re a convenient for on-the-go meals and are a good back up to keep on the ready.

How all of these nutrients help your baby grow and stay healthy:

  • Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth.
  • CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, which protects cells from damage.
  • Fat creates energy, helps the brain develop, keeps skin and hair healthy, and protects against infections. Read how omega 3s can aid sleep for the whole family
  • Folate helps cells divide.
  • Iron builds blood cells, and helps the brain develop.
  • Protein and carbohydrates provide energy and fuel growth.
  • Zinc helps cells grow and repair themselves.
  • Vitamin A keeps skin, hair, vision, and the immune system healthy.
  • B vitamins help the body turn food into energy, keeps the brain, immune system, blood and nerve cells healthy.
  • Vitamin C protects against infections, builds bones and muscles, and helps wounds heal.
  • Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food, and keeps bones and teeth healthy.
  • Vitamin E protects cells from damage, and strengthens the immune system.

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