100 first foods for weaning: How to introduce them

By Penelope Henderson, MSc, RNutr/ 03/06/2024
how to start weaning

If your baby is ready to start weaning or introducing solids then it should be an exciting time as your baby is reaching another milestone. You want to know the best 100 first foods so you are not stressing about what to feed them, how much to feed them or worrying about allergens. 

This blog dives into when to know if you are ready to start weaning, what equipment you need, 100 first foods and how to introduce them. It also tells you which foods to avoid along with some tips to get your baby off to a great start. 

This blog contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on the links and make a purchase. I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This supports the running of my blog.

What is weaning?

Weaning is also known as introducing solids or starting solids. It is a time when your baby is ready to have more nutrition and the introduction of a wider variety of foods other than just milk. 

This is also known as complementary feeding so we are complimenting the milk in their diet, whether this is breastfeeding or formula milk. 

Am I ready to start weaning?

The advice to start weaning is 6 months however some mothers feel their babies are ready for more than just milk earlier than this. There are a number of signs to look for which will indicate if your baby is ready for weaning. 

3 signs your baby is ready for weaning. 1. picture of baby sitting in highchair holding head up right. 2. baby co-ordinating bringing food on a spoon to their mouths 3. can swallow food

Signs baby is ready for weaning

There are three signs:

  1. Baby can sit up unaided
  2. They can swallow foods
  3. They have some hand- eye coordination so they can pick up food or a spoon and put it in their mouths.

There are some other signs that you may think mean your baby is ready but it doesn’t mean you should start – these include;

  • Waking in the night thinking they are hungry.
  • Wanting extra milk feeds
  • Chewing their fists

What equipment do I need to start weaning?

weaning equipment for babies including a high chair with a plastic bowl, spoon and pot of baby food on the tray

You only need some basic equipment to start you off. You will definitely need the following:

  • High chair with or without a tray. My number choice would be a Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair that grows with your baby. You can use with a baby insert from 6 months for feeding up until adulthood if you so choose.
  • Books or something to act as a footrest if there is no footrest.
  • Bibs
  • Plastic spoons, bowl, plate and cup
  • Wipes or cloth such as some re-usable cloths. I love these super soft bamboo cloths from Little Gubbins that are easy to wash and re-use.

If you can’t stand cleaning the floor constantly then it can be really helpful to have a mess mat to cover the floor which is waterproof and easy to pick up and clean or throw into the washing machine. I love the CLCROBD baby floor mat for its ease of cleaning and saving time.

You can also get different types of bibs which are useful such as ones with scoops at the bottom to collect food. 

Trays or bowls with suction so that they stick to the table I found very useful.

When to start weaning

It is recommended starting solids or weaning at 6 months of age ideally and not before. (1)

Unless they are at high risk of any food allergy then there is evidence to suggest that they should start weaning before 6 months but not before 4 months and they are developmentally ready (2)

Why wait until 6 months to introduce solids?

By the time your baby is 6 mths old they are likely to be developed enough to be able to cope with solid foods, move it around their mouths and swallow it. 

Breast milk or infant formula provides the right nutrition until they reach 6 month of age. After 6 months they need more nutrition from solid foods such as iron, zinc and other nutrients. Even if they aren’t developmentally ready it would stil be advisable to start them off eating solids (weaning). 

Can I give my 4 month old baby food?

It is not advisable to start your baby on solid foods at 4 months old except in certain circumstances, like if they are at risk of allergies. Research has shown that babies who are at risk of food allergies are better off introducing allergens around 4 months to help prevent these food allergies developing (2)

a board with food allergies written in words surrounded by food allergens, nuts, eggs, kiwi, chocolate, fish & strawberries

First foods

First tastes of new foods are about babies getting used to new tastes and textures. They don’t neccesarily accept them straight away. They need the opportunities to explore first foods to be able to accept them. So it is important to allow a wide variety of foods into their diets. However you may be confused about where to start. 

What baby food should I introduce first?

You may be wondering whether to start with purees, do baby led weaning, which is more finger foods or a combination of both. There is no right or wrong way, just which is preferable to you and your baby. If you would like more information to help you decide then check out my blog: spoon fed or baby led- which should i choose for my baby?

Tips for starting out with first foods

  • Start when your not rushed for time and your both relaxed.
  • Make sure they are sitting upright in a highchair with a tray and their feet are supported so they are sat securely. This should be 90 degrees at the hips, knees and ankles. If there is no foot rest then something like some books or box would work too. 
  • Offer them a little food before their usual milk feed so they are hungry but not too hungry.
  • Only need to start with small amounts so they get used to touching and putting new foods into their mouths. Small amounts are only small spoonfuls or a few pieces – not 3 meals. 
  • Go at your babies pace and let them decide when they have had enough. For example if they start turning their head away or push it away then its best to try again another day. Your role as a parent is to be led by them as to how much they want to eat, so be led by your baby. 
  • Let them hold, touch and get used to new foods. So you could have some soft finger foods as well as some puree to start.
  • You can also introduce a cup with a little water at mealtimes.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum so that they are getting to enjoy eating and beginning to experience it as a social time.

What are the best first foods for babies?

  • The best first foods to start with are vegetables first and ones that are not naturally sweet. So by introducing the more bitter ones first they are not getting used to sweeter foods. Begin with ones like broccoli, cauliflower and green beans.
  • Make sure they are soft cooked vegetables to begin with either pureeds, mashed or as long finger size strips so they are easier to chew and digest.
  • When using finger foods think about them being firm enough to hold but soft enough to break up with squished fingers, with the exception of meat.
  • Introduce a new vegetable each day for at least one week up to two. 
  • After a week or two you can start introducing sweeter vegetables and fruit as well as other types of foods. Remembering that food needs to be soft to be begin with while they get used to moving food around their mouths and breaks up more easily in the mouth. 
  • After they have had vegetables and fruits in the diet you can start to introduce other foods such as fish, meats, eggs, cheese, bread, pasta etc. 

Here is a list of the first 100 foods to introduce.

Fruit and vegetables

  1. Apple
  2. Avocado
  3. Banana
  4. Beetroot
  5. Broccoli
  6. Cauliflower
  7. Green beans
  8. Butternut squash
  9. figs
  10. Mango
  11. Melon
  12. Pea puree
  13. Peach
  14. Parsnip
  15. Pear
  16. Potato
  17. Pumpkin
  18. Prune
  19. Sweet potato
  20. Squash
  21. Watermelon
  22. Coconut
  23. Carrot
  24. Onion
  25. Strawberry
  26. Spinach
  27. Tomato
  28. Orange
  29. Brussel sprouts
  30. Kale
  31. Papaya
  32. Lemon
  33. Lime
  34. Starfruit
  35. Raspberries
  36. Blackberries
  37. Courgette
  38. Kiwi
  39. Pineapple
  40. Cucumber
  41. Celery
  42. Aubergine
  43. Garlic
  44. Parsley
  45. Artichoke
  46. Basil
  47. Mushrooms
  48. Corn
  49. Peppers
  50. Sugar snap peas
  51. Blueberries
  52. Grapes
  53. Asparagus
  54. Watercress
  55. Oatmeal
  56. Porridge
  57. Rice
  58. Toast
  59. Pasta
  60. Millet
  61. couscous
  62. Crackers
  63. Buckwheat
  64. Polenta
  65. Cornmeal
  66. Barley
  67. Brown rice
  68. Bulgar wheat
  69. Quinoa
  70. FreeKeh
  71. Spelt
  72. Egg
  73. whole milk plain yoghurt
  74. Cottage cheese
  75. whole milk
  76. Cream cheese
  77. Cheddar cheese
  78. Ricotta
  79. Mozzarella
  80. Lamb
  81. Salmon
  82. Cod
  83. Red lentils
  84. Turkey
  85. Tofu
  86. Chicken
  87. Almond butter (smooth)
  88. Peanut butter (smooth)
  89. Cashew nut butter (smooth)
  90. Beef
  91. Pork
  92. Tuna
  93. Liver
  94. Edamame beans
  95. Black beans
  96. Chickpeas
  97. Kidney beans
  98. Sardines
  99. Green lentils
  100. Yellow lentils

100 first foods chart

You may have been told to introduce 100 foods before 1!. Is that necessary? it sounds alot of foods right? The idea is about introducing a wide variety as possible, so your baby gets used to different tastes and textures which can make them more accepting later on. It can also mean that they are more likely to meet their nutritional needs.

If you find this all overwhelming trying to remember which foods you have introduced then help is at hand. I have put together a checklist of 100 first foods to guide you through them and tick them off.

The ages from 6 -10 months are used only as a guide. You don’t have to do them in this order. The foods below for 9 – 10 months plus have some foods that are more advisable for older babies simply because of their texture or size, which can make them more difficult to eat or pick up if you are using the baby led weaning method.

100 first foods chart including foods from fruit, vegetables, starchy foods, dairy and proteins

To make it more manageable, I suggest introducing one new food each day for 5 days of the week. This adds up to 20 new foods in a month. 100 foods in 5 months.

Best first finger foods for baby

If you are doing baby led weaning (blw) then these finger foods are my recommendations to start with at 6 months before you move onto others listed above.

12 best first finger foods for baby led weaning such as broccoli, banana, squash, avocado, salmon, egg, lentils, pasta, cheese, chicken, beef and toast

Weaning foods to avoid

  • Anything hard and crunchy for example like raw veggies, crackers, whole nuts
  • Slippery foods that make it hard to hold
  • Added sugar including honey and salt
  • Undercooked eggs
  • Unpasteurized dairy products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt
  • Low fat products 
  • Cows milk before the age of 1 as a drink. Can be used in mixing and add to cereals but not as a main drink. 
  • Rice milk should be avoided because of its levels of arsenic

How to introduce allergens

Introducing allergens is often the scariest part of weaning for parents. Beginning the journey of weaning and not knowing if your child may have a reaction to a food or not. 

You can start to introduce allergenic foods (6 mths +) but its best to start with vegetables first. Then introduce fruit for a week or so before introducing these foods. Also its best to do them one at a time so if there is a reaction then it is clear what it is.

Foods only have to be given in small amounts to start with and if tolerated then they can stay in your babies diet. 

If you would like to know exactly how to introduce allergenic foods then I have a mini guide called: How to introduce allergens to your baby.. It will reassure you that your giving the right amounts with a diary template to record what your introducing. 

Stages of weaning

There are four stages of weaning. If your baby can move through them in a seamless way, it will make it easier to get used to different textures and flavours.

What are the four stages of weaning?

These four stages are:

  1. Stage 1 weaning – ready, steady veggies, mashed and pureed (6 – 7 mths)
  2. Stage 2 weaning – more textures and tastes with soft lumps (7 – 9 months)
  3. Stage 3 weaning – more variety and chopped foods (9 – 12 months)
  4. Stage 4 weaning – family foods (12 months +) 

All stages of weaning are important. Its important that you progress through them at the right times so they get used to new foods and textures. This will make them ready to start on family foods around the age of 1.  

Conclusion

Its important to start weaning no later than 6 months. Whether this is in the form of purees, finger foods or a combination of both. 

Introducing vegetables first will give greater chances of your child carrying on enjoying vegetables later on in life. Then you can progress to other foods.

By making mealtimes relaxed and enjoyable, letting them explore foods and new tastes it will make weaning more successful. 

If you do find weaning stressful or maybe you are worried about how much they are eating and would like some further support. I offer a free clarity call to see how I can help. Click on the button below to get started.

Ready?

LETS GET STARTED

Book a free clarity call today!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

MEET THE AUTHOR
Author Penelope Henderson

Hi I’m Penelope Henderson RNutr Registered Nutritionist specialising in children’s nutrition and responsive feeding therapy.

I am a mum of 2, with over 15 years of experience in nutrition. I support parents to feel confident in how and what to feed their child. I hope you find my recipes and nutrition posts useful, so you can enjoy stress free cooking and mealtimes.

More about me

VIEW CATEGORIES
DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE
free guide to 6 steps to calm and happy mealtimes

6 steps to calm and happy mealtimes

Say goodbye to dreaded mealtimes and hello to stress-free meals, where you can enjoy family time without the fuss!

Inside, you’ll discover:

> How to set up successful mealtimes

> Easy ways to get them exploring and eating a wider variety of foods

> How to get them eating more, so you’re not throwing it away!

Yes I need this!

VIEW RECENT POSTS

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This