These 10 Best First Foods for Baby are perfect either as a baby food puree or as finger foods for baby-led weaning. Full of essential nutrients for a growing baby, these irresistibly delicious recipes are great for babies 6+ months of age. What’s more, this guide also contains 6 tips for getting started and more than 30 easy-to-follow recipes!

Graphic of Post - guide for purees or baby-led weaning - 10 best foods for baby. Images are in a grid of colorful plates filled with healthy foods for baby.

Medically reviewed by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

In this guide, you’ll find: show

Best First Foods for Baby

Looking to serve your baby the best foods right from their very first bite?

Then this guide is for you! Filled with 10 of my all-time favorite foods for baby, all in one place!

These 10 wholesome foods are packed with vital nutrients for a growing baby, are full of flavor, and are hassle-free to make into a simple baby food puree or finger food for baby-led weaning. Plus, the ingredients are relatively easy to find in any grocery store.

10 of the Best First Foods for Baby

Let’s take a closer look into each of these mouthwatering foods, shall we?

First time making homemade baby food? Then, I would suggest that you start by reading my very in-depth Guide on how to Make Homemade Baby Food – which goes over all the important information such as the best cooking tools to have on handsafe storagehow to know when baby is ready for solidshow to introduce pureesthe best first foods for baby, and more! If you are doing Baby-Led Weaning, then be sure to check out my Complete Guide to Baby-Led Weaning – which covers what exactly is baby-led weaning, to every parent’s concern of baby-led weaning and choking, this guide goes over it all. I will also share how to know when baby is ready for BLW, the top 10 best first foods, a helpful sample blw feeding schedule, helpful tools to have on hand, and much much more! You can also check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes!

Best Foods for Baby Video

Watch this video to see how easy these 10 foods are to make for your baby.

10 best first foods for baby - baby food purees.

When Is Your Baby Ready For Their First Bite?

Whether you decide to go with traditional weaning (purees), baby-led weaning or a combination of both, look for these readiness signs in your baby:

  • Around 6 months of age
  • Sitting with minimal assistance
  • Good control of their head and trunk
  • Bringing hands and toys to their mouth
  • Appears interested in food, possibly by reaching for or leaning forward towards food

Before you start weaning your baby, you should consult with your pediatrician to make sure your child is developmentally ready.

10 best finger foods for baby led weaning for baby's first foods.

Tips for Getting Started

  • Start Slowly – Start by serving a small amount of one food item to your baby once or twice a day to see how they will react. If they are reaching for more, then, by all means, give them more. If they keep tossing it on the floor or refusing to open their mouths, then take that food away and try again in a couple of days. It takes some time before they are eating entire meals.
  • Cut Up Finger Foods – To avoid choking hazards, make sure you are cutting finger foods for baby-led weaning into long, 2-3 inch strips or small, mashable, pea-sized pieces. Usually, babies starting baby-led wearing prefer using their palmar grasp (holding onto the long 3″ piece of food), but you can also cut the food both ways to see which one your baby prefers.
  • Be Patient – It might take a while for your baby to get into their eating groove. They may also love the idea of eating but get more food on the floor than in their mouths. Babies might even seem interested in food but then turn their heads every time a spoon comes near their lips. It’s frustrating, I get it! But keep on serving healthy foods and be patient.
  • Eat as a Family – Whether you are doing purees or baby-led weaning, eating as a family promotes healthy food habits right from the start. By eating with your baby, you show them how to bring food from a plate to your mouth, chew, and swallow. And when babies see their mom or dad eating the same thing as they are, they are more likely to eat it!
  • Mix It Up – Please do not take these 10 foods and serve them to baby all at once and for every meal. Sure, they are loaded with nutrients and flavor for a growing baby. But babies also need to be exposed to various fruits, veggies, grains, and meats. So mix things up and try to serve them different items each week.
  • Add Seasoning I definitely recommend serving food with spices, herbs, and added healthy fats (refined coconut oil, high-quality olive oil, or butter). Not only do healthy fats aid in brain development and keep babies full up for longer, but they also make food taste way better! Fats are also needed to help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. 
Baby in highchair with baby puree all over her face.

Purees vs. Baby-Led Weaning

Regardless of what you read or hear, there is no right or wrong way to feed your baby.

Purees might work better for your family because you can prep a ton of purees in an afternoon and have a freezer stash of food ready for your baby to eat anytime they are hungry.

Perhaps Baby-Led Weaning might be a more flexible way to serve food to your baby right alongside everyone else.

Or maybe a combo of purees and baby-led weaning would work best.

Either way, it’s important to remember that this stage of feeding is all about exposure to new flavors and textures of foods.

So, you do you!

Again, there is NO right way to feed your baby! Play around and find out what works best for both your baby and family and go with it.

Helpful Tools

Kitchen Tools

Here are my favorite kitchen essentials to make the best homemade baby foods for your baby! These kitchen tools will help make the process of cooking, blending, and freezing baby food hassle-free. You can find a full list of my favorite baby food-making tools in my online Shop.

Feeding Essentials

Avocado

Avocados are often called one of nature’s superfoods because they contain so many nutrients a person needs to survive and thrive.

Benefits of Avocado for Baby

They are packed with all the B vitamins (minus B12), vitamin C, a wide array of minerals and are high in brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, 88% of an avocado is made up of healthy fats, helping us absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins, control blood sugar, and support a healthy cardiovascular system. In other words, avocados are so nutritious; they are also ideal as the first food for your baby.

How to Make Avocado Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Peel and pit a quarter of a ripe avocado and place it on a cutting board.
  • With the back of a fork, mash the avocado until smooth.
  • If needed, you can add a teaspoon or two of formula or breast milk to make the puree extra smooth and creamy.

How to Serve Avocado for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Cut a slice of avocado off of the pit.
  • Using a small knife, cut into the peel 1/3 of the way up the slice of avocado until you get to the flesh.
  • Peel off 2/3 of the peel and hand your baby the peel side of the avocado. This provides a nice handle for babies to hold while they eat the avocado.

Want more avocado recipes? Get 4 more ways to serve avocado to baby here!

Egg

Eggs are another amazing first food for babies and can be served any time of the day.

Benefits of Eggs for Baby

Egg yolks are packed with choline, an important nutrient for your baby’s brain development, and the whites are excellent sources of protein. Pasture-raised eggs are a good course of brain-boosting Omega-3s.

How to Make Egg Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Hard-boil an egg, then peel away the shell and white part.
  • Place the cooked egg yolk on a cutting board or baby-safe plate.
  • Using the back of a fork, mash the egg yolk until smooth, adding a teaspoon or two of breast milk or formula if needed to make it creamy.

How to Serve Egg for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Peel a hard-boiled egg and cut it into quarters the long way. Scrambled eggs, plain omelets, or egg roll-ups also work great as finger food for babies.
  • Place the egg quarters on baby’s highchair tray or in a bowl.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are also at the top of my list when it comes to the first foods to introduce to babies. The nutritional value of sweet potatoes is outstanding, and their naturally sweet taste makes them easy to introduce to your baby.

Benefits of Sweet Potato for Baby

Sweet potatoes are also high in beta-carotene and vitamin C and the ultra-important electrolyte mineral, potassium!  Sweet potatoes also contain good levels of vitamin E, calcium, and folate. Due to their high fiber content, sweet potatoes helps support a healthy digestive tract and promote regular bowel movements for your baby. 

How to Make Sweet Potato Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Peel and chop 1-2 sweet potatoes.
  • Place them in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 10-12 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.
  • Add cooked sweet potatoes to a food processor or blender, and puree for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth, adding water, fresh breast milk or formula, in 1/4 cup increments if needed. I had to use 1 cup of water for the puree above.
  • For more sweet potato recipes your baby can enjoy, visit these posts: Sweet Potato + Curry Baby Food Puree, Sweet Potato + Thyme Baby Food Puree, and Sweet Potato with Coconut Milk Baby Puree.

How to Serve Sweet Potatoes for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Peel and slice the sweet potato into long strips that are half an inch thick.
  • Place wedges a steamer basket and steam for 8-10 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Remember, you want them soft but not overcooked. Overcooked sweet potatoes tend to fall apart when babies fist them.
  • Let them cool and serve to baby. This recipe will last 5 days in the fridge.

Want more sweet potato recipes? Then head over to Sweet Potato for Baby – 6 Delicious Ways

Apples

Apples are a yummy, nutrient-dense first food for babies too. They’re easy to digest, high in immune-boosting nutrients, and perfectly sweet on their own.

Benefits of Apples for Baby

We’ve all heard the saying “An apple a day…” well, there may be some truth to this — apples are high in polyphenols and phytonutrients, which are potent antioxidants that help protect babies and kiddos from disease and illness. In addition to antioxidants, apples contain insoluble and soluble fiber, helping protect babies from diarrhea and constipation. 

How to Make Apple Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

How to Serve Apples for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Peel and slice an apple and place in a steamer basket over boiling water for 6-8 minutes or until just tender when pricked with a fork. You want the slices soft but not falling apart.
  • Let them cool and serve to baby. You may also add a pinch of cinnamon to the apple slices before serving, but this is optional. Steamed apple slices will last in the fridge for 3 days.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent them from browning.

Broccoli

Broccoli is definitely one of the best first food choices for your baby.

Benefits of Broccoli for Baby

This green cruciferous veggie has been shown to lower cholesterol, aid in detoxification, rebuild vitamin D stores, and help combat inflammation. Steaming ensures the broccoli retains the most nutrients and that it won’t become too mushy — a characteristic many kiddos frown upon.

How to Make Broccoli for Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Place 2 cups of broccoli florets in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 10-12 minutes until tender.
  • Transfer to a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding 1/4 cup of liquid (water, fresh breastmilk, or formula) until you have a creamy puree.
  • Here are some more amazing broccoli recipes: Broccoli + Chives Baby Food Puree and Broccoli + Olive Oil Puree Baby Food Recipe.

How to Serve Broccoli for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Place a cup of broccoli florets into a steamer over boiling water and steam for 8-10 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.
  • Let them cool and serve to your baby in florets or chopped up into pea-sized pieces. Here is a recipe for my fav roasted broccoli for baby.

Salmon

Wild-caught salmon is one of the world’s healthiest foods and believe it or not, is a great first food for baby.

Benefits of Salmon for Baby

This is because it is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamins D and B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3s! Combined, these nutrients help improve bone health, boost brain function, promote a healthy heart, and reduce ADHD symptoms in children.

How to Make Salmon Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • I used grilled salmon as that is what I had on hand, but any cooked salmon would work. Place 1/4 cup of cooked salmon along with 1 cup of cooked sweet potato or squash into a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding 1/4 cup of liquids (water, fresh breast milk, or formula) until smooth.
  • You can use any fruit or veggie your baby prefers in this recipe. Adding another veggie to the puree also helps the salmon blend into a nice, smooth puree.

How to Serve Salmon for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Flake some cooked salmon onto a baby-safe plate or their high chair tray, making sure to pick off any bones. Let your baby eat them with their hand or with this baby-led weaning fork.

Yogurt

Plain, whole milk yogurt is a tasty first food for your baby and is great served by itself or mixed into other purees.

Benefits of Yogurt for Baby

Produced by the bacterial fermentation of cow’s milk, yogurt is full of beneficial probiotics that improve digestion and constipation that help keep our gut in good working order. Yogurt is also high in protein (especially Greek or skyr varieties) and calcium, helping our bones and teeth stay healthy and strong.

Whole milk yogurt is recommended over low fat because fat helps with brain development. Plus, fat and protein can help maintain fullness for longer. Yogurt has also been shown to help improve blood sugar control (the plain variety, not the sweetened, fruit, or vanilla flavored) and help reduce total cholesterol levels while increasing our “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s best to avoid any flavored yogurt at this age so your baby does not get too much sugar. You can also serve your baby plain goat’s milk as a nice alternative to cow’s milk yogurt. I recommend waiting to serve plant-based yogurts to your baby until 7 months, but keep in mind; they will not have the same nutrient profile as dairy yogurts.

How to Make Yogurt Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Place a small spoonful in a bowl and serve to your baby.

How to Serve Yogurt for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Place a small spoonful of yogurt into a bowl, load up this self-feeding GOOtensil with a small amount of yogurt, and hand it to your baby.

Banana

Bananas and babies are pretty much synonymous.

Benefits of Banana for Baby

Bananas are sweet, mushy, and easy to digest, so they are ideal as first foods for babies. They are a good source of potassium and fiber, and here’s the best part: you don’t have to peel, chop, steam, or puree them. Just peel, pinch with your (clean) finger, and then serve! Spoons are totally optional. Older babies love to squish bananas on their own with a little pincer grasp. But beware of messy banana on bibs, faces, high chair trays, clothing, the floor, the dog, your hair. Oh, bananas! Many a happy baby has gobbled, gulped, and giggled his way through those first delicious bites of bananas! 🍌

How to Make Banana Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Take a ripe banana and peel.
  • Place half of it on a cutting board, and mash with the back of a fork until it’s rich and creamy.

How to Serve Banana for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Cut a banana in half, and then gently cut about 2 inches from the stem around the banana.
  • Peel the top off, but leave the banana attached to give your baby a handle to hold onto.
  • Hand your baby the stem part of the banana for them to hold onto while they eat it.

Looking for more banana recipes for your baby? I’ve got you covered: Banana Baby Food – 8 Ways (Puree & Baby-Led Weaning)

Squash

Squash comes in many delicious varieties and is one of the healthiest first food for babies. 

Benefits of Squash for Baby

Delicata, Acorn, Hubbard, Kabocha, and Butternut are all part of the winter squash family and are all high in carotenoids, a special class of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and inflammation. Winter squash may also help regulate blood sugar, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and improve mood, thanks to its high content of mood-boosting Omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, winter squash has a robust, naturally sweet taste that babies will enjoy year-round. 

How to Make Squash Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Place cubed squash (any variety) in a steamer basket and steam for 10-12 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.
  • Transfer to a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes on high, adding liquid (water, fresh breastmilk, or formula) in 1/4 cup increments until creamy. You can use frozen or precut squash to make your life a little easier.

How to Serve Squash for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Cut long strips of squash and place them in a steamer basket over boiling water.
  • Steam for 8-10 minutes until tender.
  • Let them cool and serve. I love using this crinkle cutter to make veggies easier for my baby to grip.

Green Beans

In just one serving of green beans, your baby will be getting a nice big dose of essential nutrients.

Benefits of Green Beans for Baby

Nutrients found in green beans can help prevent various conditions, including asthma, ear infections, and even the common cold and flu! Although green beans have a rich, green color, they also provide your baby with carotenoids, normally found in vibrantly colored orange fruits and veggies. These carotenoids are potent health-supporting antioxidants that will help keep your baby free from illness!

How to Make Green Beans Baby Food Puree

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

How to Serve Green Beans for Baby-Led Weaning

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Place a cup of green beans in a steamer basket and steam for 6-8 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.
  • Let them cool.
  • If they are too long, cut them in half before serving to your baby.
Grid of first foods for baby.

Get the recipe: 10 Best First Foods for Baby

5 stars (9 ratings)
These first foods for baby are great served either as a baby food puree or as finger foods for baby-led weaning.

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1-3 apples, such as gala, fuji or honeycrisp
  • 1-2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cooked salmon
  • 1-2 tbsp yogurt, plain whole fat or 2% fat
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1-2 cups squash
  • 1-2 cups green beans, trimmed

Instructions 

Avocado For Baby

  • For Puree: Simply peel and pit a quarter of a ripe avocado and place on a cutting board. Then with the back of a fork, mash the avocado until smooth. You can add in a teaspoon or two of formula or breast milk to make it super smooth and creamy.
    avocado baby food puree for one of baby's first foods
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Cut a slice of avocado off of the pit. Using a small knife, cut into the peel 1/3 of the way up the slice of avocado until you get to the flesh. Peel off 2/3 of the peel and hand baby the peel side of the avocado. This provides a nice handle for baby to hold while they eat the avocado.
    slice of avocado for baby led weaning.

Egg for Baby

  • For Puree: Using a hardboiled egg, peel away the shell and white part of the egg. Then place the cooked egg yolk on a cutting board or baby-safe plate. Using the back of a fork, mash the egg yolk until smooth, adding in a teaspoon or two of breast milk or formula if needed to make it creamy.
    egg yolk made into a baby food puree - great for baby's first food.
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Peel a hardboiled egg and then cut into quarters the long way.
    cut eggs for baby-led weaning

Sweet Potato for Baby

  • For Puree: Peel and chop 1-2 sweet potatoes. Place in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 10-12 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Add cooked sweet potatoes to a food processor or blender, and puree for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth, adding in water in 1/4 cup increments if needed. I had to use 1 cup of water for the puree above. 
    smooth sweet potato puree for baby
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Peel and slice the sweet potato into long strips that are half an inch thick. Place in a steamer basket and steam for 8-10 minutes or until just tender when pricked with a fork. You want them soft but not overcooked. Overcooked sweet potatoes tend to fall apart when baby fists them. Let cool and serve to baby. Will last 5 days in the fridge.
    slices of sweet potato perfect for baby led weaning and one of baby's first foods

Apple for Baby

  • For Puree: Peel and chop 2-3 apples and place in a steamer basket over boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Transfer the apples to a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, adding in liquid (water, breastmilk or formula) in 1/4 cup increments if needed. 
    bowl of apple baby food puree - great for one of baby's first foods.
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Peel and slice an apple and place in a steamer basket over boiling water for 6-8 minutes or until just tender when pricked with a fork. You want it soft but not falling apart. Let cool and serve to baby. Optional – sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on apple slices before serving. Steam apple slices will last in the fridge for 3 days, add a squeeze of lemon juice to help them from browning.
    slices of apple on a plate is a great first food for baby.

Broccoli for Baby

  • For Puree: Place 2 cups of broccoli florets in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 10-12 minutes until tender. Transfer to blender and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding in 1/4 cup of liquid (water, breastmilk or formula) until you have a smooth puree. 
    babies best first food - broccoli puree
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Place a cup of broccoli florets into a steamer over boiling water and steam for 8-10 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Let cool and serve to baby in florets or chopped up into “pea” size pieces. 
    broccoli a plate is ready for baby led weaning.

Salmon for Baby

  • For Puree: I used grilled salmon as that is what I had on hand, but any cooked salmon would work. Place 1/4 cup cooked salmon along with 1 cup cooked sweet potato or squash into a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding in 1/4 cup of liquids (water, breast milk or formula) until smooth. You can really use any fruit or veggie your baby prefers in this recipe. Adding another veggie in the puree helps the salmon blend into a nice smooth puree.
    salmon baby food puree
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Flake some cooked salmon onto a baby-safe plate or their high chair tray, making sure to pick off any bones. Let baby eat with their hand or with a baby fork.
    flakes of salmon on a plate with a fork for baby led weaning

Yogurt for Baby

  • For Puree: Place a small spoonful in a bowl and serve to baby.
    bowl full of yogurt for baby food puree.
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Place a small spoonful of yogurt into a bowl and load up a self-feeding baby utensil with a small amount of yogurt and hand it over to baby.
    baby led weaning spoon loaded with yogurt ready for baby to eat.

Banana for Baby

  • For Puree: Place half of a ripe and peeled banana on a cutting board and mash with the back of a fork until smooth.
    Banana puree for baby - best first food puree.
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Cut a banana in half, and then gently cut about 2 inches from the stem around the banana. Peel the top off, but leave the banana attached, thus giving baby a handle to hold onto. Hand baby the stem part of the banana for them to hold onto while they eat the banana.
    banana with a grip for baby led weaning - best first foods for baby.

Squash for Baby

  • For Puree: Place cubed squash (any variety) in a steamer basket and steam for 10-12 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Transfer to a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes on high, adding in liquid (water, breastmilk or formula) in 1/4 cup increments until smooth. You can use frozen or pre-cut squash to make your life a little easier.
    squash for baby is a great baby food puree
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Cut long strips of squash and place in a steamer basket over boiling water. Steam for 8-10 minutes until tender. Let cool and serve.
    squash baby led weaning best foods for baby

Green Beans for Baby

  • For Puree: Place two cups of green beans in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Transfer the beans to a blender and puree for 1-2 minutes, adding in 1/4 cup liquid (water, breastmilk or formula) if needed until smooth.
    babies best first food - broccoli puree
  • For Baby-Led Weaning: Place a cup of green beans in a steamer basket and steam for 6-8 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork. Let cool, cut in half if green beans are too long and serve to baby.
    steamed green beans are a great option for baby led weaning.

Notes

Age: 4+ months (stage one)
Storage: Purees can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baby-led weaning foods can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. 
 

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