By Sandi Hoover, BSN, RYT500, PRYT

I’m often asked what foods are best for babies from many of our mamas. I wanted to share a recent email conversation loaded with good references between myself, one of my previous prenatal and now postnatal student, C.S., and Christy, one of our new Roots Prenatal Yoga Teachers and parent to a 10-month old. Hope this is helpful to all reading and please share comments!

Email from C.S. To Sandi:
I’m seeking your advice on starting solids with the twins. Our pediatrician gave us the green light on beginning solids and I wonder if you have any words of wisdom when it comes to choosing a rice cereal. The Dr encouraged us to go with rice cereal because it would have a few more calories than veggies or fruit because we have struggled to get their weights up. Is there a particular brand that you think is better than others? Did you give rice cereal to your kids? I was really hoping the Dr would have said that veggies would be better, but I also see where he’s coming from with the added calories plus the blandness of the cereal.
Thanks!

Sandi’s Response:
Hi! Great questions. I understand what you’re dr. is saying about adding weight but there’s a huge movement of not starting babies with empty carbs as their first foods. Egg whites or avocados are a good first choice. And would have some protein to them.  Truly if you’re okay with breast-feeding that would be ideal until six months. I understand with twins that’s asking a lot of you so that might not feel like what works best for your family–just sharing my two cents worth.  Kelly mom and Dr. Sears I seem to remember as being reputable sites to research. Good luck!. I’m copying one of our teachers & new mom for her advice, too ?
Sandi
(*added at time of post: egg whites are controversial for babies, but yolks seem to be accepted. I always had great luck with both, but here is more info: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/eggsbabyfoodrecipes.htm)

From C.S. To Sandi:
Thanks Sandi! I love the avocado suggestion. Hubby and I are still debating over this a little bit, but I think we both agree avocado might be a good substitute as a first solid over rice cereal. It would also have a little more fat. I will continue to look into it.
Kind regards,
C.

From Christy (Roots teacher):
Hi C!
Congratulations on your babies! And good for you for seeking out and researching more into this topic. I know many doctors are still recommending to start cereal at four months, but it seems as Sandi mentioned that advice is becoming outdated. For baby led feeding (also called baby led weaning: http://www.mamanatural.com/baby-led-weaning/ there is a website and book too) it is best to wait till 6 months before starting solids (whether you do formula or breastmilk). I can’t recommend the Kellymom website enough there is a lot of information on starting solids and a really great one is the link for “is baby ready for solid foods?” It goes into a lot of the science and topics like open gut.
http://kellymom.com/category/nutrition/starting-solids/
My personal experience we didn’t start till almost 7 months when baby seemed more interested. We did avocado, pears (I would bake them in the oven for a few minutes), and zucchini first. We would do one food for a week (veggie one week, fruit one week, little of both next week, new veggie one week, etc) as far as not gaining weight from these things, baby didn’t decrease nursing at all. In fact trying solids was really just for fun, as his nutrition was still dominantly from nursing. At 9-10 months he’s started to really eat food rather than just taste and explore textures, but still nurses a lot. Eventually it turns into baby eating what you eat!
All babies are different and take to solid food differently! Some truly operate under ‘food under one is just for fun’ and others never look back once you give them solids. You will find what works best for your family and babies. Please let me know if you have any other questions, have fun exploring new foods!!
Christy