First Foods

Your baby  first tastes mark a big milestone in her life. The best advice is to take it slowly going at her pace. She’ll soon get into the swing of things and enjoy experimenting with a variety of different tastes.
Best First Foods

A plain puree of a single root vegetable pureed with a little boiled water or mixed with your baby’ usual milk is the perfect first food. Root vegetables are rich in betacarotene and have a naturally sweet taste and puree to a smooth consistency. Its fine to start with single fruit puree too, although its best to follow vegetable purees with fruit as canny  babies may work out that the fruit is sweeter and may reject the vegetables.
First Vegetables
Carrot  Sweet Potato   Potato   Butternut Squash  Pumpkin 
First Fruits
Apple, Pear, Banana, Papaya, Mango, Avocado
Healthy Cooking
Steaming is one of the best ways to cook vegetables as it preserves their nutrients.  Vitamins B and C are water soluble so are lost when you boil them in water.
Baking or Roasting If you are using your oven to cook a family meal, include some vegetables for your baby. Potato, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin bake to a nice consistency. Prick the vegetables  with a fork and bake until tender  (at least 1 hour usually), then scoop out the flesh and puree .
Once your fruit and vegetables are cooked you can puree them in a liquidiser or food processor or with a hand blender.
However potato should be pureed in a baby Food Grinder or pressed through a sieve.  First foods need to be semi liquid . Add a little of your baby’s usual milk or some of the cooking liquid from the pan or steamer to thin the puree.
If fruit purees like pear are too runny you can stir in a little baby rice to slightly thicken the consistency .
Batch Cooking and Freezing
It’s a good idea to freeze batches of baby food so you always have something fresh and nutritious on hand to feed your baby.  Fill covered ice cube trays or small individual pots and store in the freezer.  They should be fine for at least 8 weeks so label with the expiry date. 
To thaw take the food out of the freezer several hours before the meal and then reheat until piping hot and allow to cool before serving. Its important to cook food thoroughly. If you use a microwave, stir carefully and watch for ‘hot spots’.
How much and how often ?
First foods are simply tastes and her usual milk will remain her major source of nutrition. One or two tablespoons of puree is about right for the first week or so but every baby is different and she may want more or less
What Equipment
A multi layered steamer is good for cooking vegetables. You will need a blender and a hand held electric blender is good for small quantities.  A baby food grinder is good for pureeing potato and for foods like peas or dried apricots which have tough outer skins.  Covered flexible ice cube trays or small individual pots are ideal for freezing baby food. Choose a narrow headed shallow spoon that fits easily in your baby’s mouth and make sure your baby is wearing a large bib as things can get quite messy !
Bon A Petit 

Roasting butternut squash or pumpkin brings out their natural sugars and flavour. Both make good first weaning foods as they are easily digested and are unlikely to cause allergies.  Their orange flesh is rich in betacarotene the plant form of vitamin A and they also provide a good source of vitamins C and E . Pop some in the oven when you are cooking a meal for the family, and then whiz until smooth.
1 medium butternut squash (approx 700g)
A little sunflower oil
half a small pumpkin (approx 700g) cut into wedges
a little breast milk or formula (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C  (Fan 160 C) / 350 F /Gas 4
Cut the squash or pumpkin in half,  scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings.
Put the squash cut side down in a small shallow oven proof dish, pour in some water  so that it comes about 1 cm up the sides of the dish.  Cut the pumpkin into about four wedges. Roast for about 1 hour or until tender, the pumpkin will probably be cooked in about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Scoop out the flesh and puree. You can add a little of your baby’s usual milk to thin out the consistency if you like.
Variation You can also steam the butternut squash or pumpkin. Cut the squash in half , scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings  and discard. Then peel and cut each half into cubes. Place in a steamer and steam for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Puree until smooth.. 


Suitable For Freezing
Butternut squash and Apple
350g butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 medium sweet eating apple (eg: Pink Lady, Gala) , peeled and cut into chunks
Steam the butternut squash as in the recipe above but after six minutes add the chopped apple. Puree with about 2 tbsp of the water from the bottom of the steamer.
Butternut squash and Pear
350g butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 medium ripe pear, peeled and cut into chunks
Steam the butternut squash as in the recipe above . Four minutes before the end of the cooking time add the pear .  Puree the butternut squash and pear in a blender until smooth.  You probably won’t need to  add any liquid but you could add a tablespoon or two of the liquid from the bottom of the steamer if you think the puree is too thick.

Mangoes are very nutritious being rich in vitamins A and C and when sweet ripe mangoes are in season they make wonderful baby food as they don’t need any cooking. If you like to begin with you can combine mango puree with baby rice mixed with a little milk to give it a familiar taste.
All mango purees suitable for freezing apart
from mango and banana. Each of these should make 2 portions
Instead of mango you could use peaches when they are in season…
Half a medium sized  ripe mango
Remove the skin from the mango , cut the flesh into chunks and puree .  About 110g mango flesh would make about 2 portions.

Half a small mango
Half a small banana
Remove the skin of the mango, cut the flesh into chunks. Add half a banana, sliced and puree.
Half a small mango
2 tablespoons apple puree
Simply blend the mango flesh together with the apple puree
Half a small mango
2 tbsp full fat natural yoghurt
Simply blend the flesh of half a small mango together with 2 tablespoons of yoghurt.
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant content of any fruit due to their dark blue skin.  This combination is quite runny so you will need to combine it with baby rice and milk, a crumbled rusk or some mashed banana.
Half a small mango
40g blueberries or strawberries

Remove the skin from the mango and cut the flesh into chunks (you should have approx 110g mango flesh). Put into a saucepan together with the blueberries and simmer covered for 2 to 3 minutes . Puree using an electric hand blender. 
Combining vegetables with fruit is a great way to tempt your baby. Babies are conditioned to like sweet tastes as breastmilk is sweet.  If you are having problems getting your baby to take solids you can mix this puree with some of your baby’s usual milk as again the familiar taste of milk can encourage your baby to eat.
Suitable for Freezing
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small sweet potato (approx 200g), peeled and chopped
1 small apple, peeled and chopped
A little breast milk (or formula)
Steam the chopped carrot and sweet potato for 8 minutes. Add the chopped apple and steam for about 6 minutes or until all the ingredients are tender.  Puree in a food processor or using an electric hand blender. Thin to the desired consistency with a little water from the bottom of the steamer or  a little of your baby’s usual milk.
Freeze in individual portions. When needed thaw overnight or for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature and then reheat in a small pan until piping hot. Alternatively you can re heat from frozen in a microwave. Stir and allow to cool down a little before serving.


Apple and pear puree is an ideal first food being easy to digest and unlikely to cause allergies. Apples and pears contain pectin a soluble fibre which helps to keep your baby regular.
Suitable for freezing
First Stage Weaning 6 months
2 large dessert apples
2 large ripe pears
2 tbsp pure apple juice
2 tbsp water
Peel, core and chop the fruit and put into a heavy based saucepan together with the apple juice and water.  Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 6 minutes until tender. Blend the fruit to a smooth puree.
I don’t usually give Baby Rice on its own but some fruit purees like pear or peach are quite runny so it can be good to mix these with a little Baby  Rice or mix Baby Rice with a little milk and then stir into the fruit puree