It can be surprising to discover that your little baby is ready for “real” food after months of breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
This wonderful change may feel bittersweet and overwhelming at first, but we’ve collected a list of the top baby foods ready to help you get started on the right footwell, spoon.
How to Pick the Best First Food for Baby
If you buy commercial baby food rather than preparing your own, start with simple one-ingredient baby food. The texture and number of components in most commercial baby food determine the stage.
Like puréed pears, stage 1 baby food has the smoothest texture and contains only one ingredient. So start with stage 1 baby food for your 4- to 6-month-old.
This helps you track any unpleasant reactions or food allergies. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) suggests 3-5 days of food testing.
The choice is yours! Start with baby cereal (ideally oat or whole grain), animal purées (chicken or turkey), or fruit or vegetable purees.
How We Chose the Best Baby Food
We listened with pediatricians, studied research, polled real-world parents, read reviews, and used our own kids as taste testers (although we can’t claim their perspective on nutritional worth is particularly authoritative) to offer you some of the best baby food brands on the market.
Here are some best parenthood picks:
Beech-Nut Naturals Stage 1
These simple, cheap baby food jars are a hit. All-natural or organic, recyclable glass jars. Older babies have multi-ingredient blends with chunkier textures (such as butternut squash and plum).
These infant foods contain basic, natural ingredients. Also, most grocery stores have these small glass jars. Glass is great for recycling but dangerous for kids.
Gerber Natural 1st Foods (Pear)
Choose from a variety of organic and non-GMO baby food alternatives from Plum Organics.
Their BPA-free pouches come in a variety of fruits, veggies, and grains for all ages. Nutritious and easy to digest, these foods are free of added salt or sugar. They’re also commonly available and inexpensive in volume.
Gerber Organic 1st Foods
Gerber is a classic baby food brand that has made adjustments to make its food healthier (e.g., starting an organic line). Despite this, they remain one of the most economical prepared baby food companies available.
Glass jars, organic ingredients, and a large variety of foods are available without the high expense of other companies on our list.
Foods to Avoid
The AAP advises against giving babies under one-year-old cow’s milk, honey, unpasteurized dairy, or raw meat due to infection risks.
Avoid foods that are hard, sharp, or cause choking (for instance, chips, nuts, popcorn, raisins, raw apples, raw carrots, whole grapes, etc).
Even if you feel under pressure to choose the best food for your child (especially before they start requesting chicken nuggets and ice cream), there are many great, healthy options accessible.
There are many options available to assist you to feed your baby, whether you prepare your own, buy jars or pouches, or use a subscription service.