As an Accredited Practicing Nutritionist and mother of two, I'd like to open this can of worms (so to speak), what we should be feeding our babies. My professional opinion is it can be done better than what the current recommendations and guidelines are. It's about time they were updated.
By the time you baby is about 4-6 months, you will notice them starting to show an interest in food. He may open his mouth to a spoon, have lost his tongue thrust and/ or have better head control. Solid foods need to be introduced along side milk, whether it breast milk or formula for your baby to obtain the required amounts of nutrient to support health and growth. Your baby requires a variety of nutrients. The best way of obtaining these nutrients is by feeding a variety of seasonal and locally sourced nutrient dense whole foods. Particular attention needs to be taken in making sure that your infant receives adequate iron, vitamin D, iodine, fats, calcium and proteins rich foods. These nutrients aren’t more important than other vitamins and minerals. They are just trickier to obtain so I have put particular emphasis on them. Solids can be introduced in any particular order, so long as they are real fresh foods including fruit, vegetables, nut butter and spreads (yes! I'll talk about this later), properly prepared whole grains, fish, eggs and meats. These foods will initially need to be pureed until very smooth to prevent choking.
My Top Picks For VERY First Foods
Pureed sweet vegetables (such as sweet potato or pumpkin) with COOKED egg yolk or an organic chicken liver (small amount) added. You can also add a little grass fed organic butter.
100% natural full fat yogurt. Note: most "baby yogurts" contain milk solids. Ingredients should only be milk and culture. You can add mashed banana to sweeten.
When starting solids, you'll literally be giving them a teaspoon, maybe even less. They will experiment with the texture, taste and their tongue. It's more of a culinary experience for babies! It's important though to focus on foods high in the nutrients they will begin to need as they are weaned and you may not be giving them though breast milk (such as iron and vitamin D). Formula fed babies generally get all the nutrients they need, unless they are on goats milk formula, which is low in iron.
There is no evidence to support delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods, such as nuts, eggs, wheat, and fish, beyond 6 months of age. Delaying the introduction of these foods may actually increase the infant’s risk of allergy and atopic disease. If you have a family history of allergies, proceed with caution but don't avoid.
Read more on peanuts and allergies here.
While I've probably given you a lot to think about, I have really only scratched the surface. I will be posting more of these blogs in the near future plus working on some webinars and guides for you. All the information I have provided is generalized and doesn't replace individualized professional advice. In the meantime, feel free to email if you have any questions.