Introducing First Foods to Your Baby – A Personal Experience

By Nicola Galloway author of Feeding Little Tummies – from first foods to family meals. A guide for New Zealand parents and caregivers (CPP 2011)

I am often asked what is the best way to introduce food to babies – the traditional ‘purees’ or the new and popular Baby Led Weaning (BLW). Over the years I have presented to many groups of new Mums about introducing food to their babies. I always start with going around the group at the beginning to find out the age of their babies, who has started food and what they have started with. The response is always a mixed bag, with some babies showing signs of being ready for food earlier than 6 months, others content with milk right up to 6 months, and many mothers interested in BLW.

As every baby is different I always encourage new Mums to go with what she feels comfortable with. To look for the signs her baby is ready for food and then start with food she feels comfortable with rather than what everyone else is doing. It is important food is an enjoyable experience for both Mum and baby. Some people find BLW is not for them (and their baby) once they try, and conversely some babies are just not interested in purees and will only eat finger foods.

By Nicola Galloway author of Feeding Little Tummies

I would like to share my experience with introducing food to our daughter:

It is while updating Feeding Little Tummies in 2010 that I came across BLW. At the time I was introducing food to our daughter around 6 months and decided to give BLW a go. At first I found it quite frustrating as food was thrown on the ground and very little appeared to be eaten. And what was eaten appeared to be choked on which was quite distressing for a first-time Mum. I was still breast-feeding so wasn’t entirely concerned about the food intake but my daughter was quite small for her age, so I chose to introduce some ‘spoon’ food and found a middle ground of purees and finger foods that worked for us.

By Nicola Galloway author of Feeding Little Tummies

The day would start with quinoa porridge mixed with homemade apple sauce (puree). I would allow my daughter to guide the spoon to her mouth and as soon as she lost inertest I would stop offering it to her. During the day I would offer her a selection of finger foods, including steamed or roast root vegetables, fruit pieces, gluten-free pasta, omelette, rice crackers with goats cheese, pancake or fritter, and cashew banana chew (recipe below). For dinner she would have finger foods from our meal and a small bowl of pumpkin and zucchini/ broccoli puree (cooked with homemade chicken stock for an extra nutrient boost) – again letting her guide the spoon to her mouth. This way we could ensure we got nutritious food into our daughter (which she loved) and she could also explore new tastes and textures during the day. Her all time favourite finger food was a finger of steak that she would ravishly suck out all the juices before throwing on the ground. Very entertaining!

Read more about BLW here.

Click here for Nicola’s Cashew Banana Chew Recipe

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31 Comments on Introducing First Foods to Your Baby – A Personal Experience

  1. Sarah
    July 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm (7 years ago)

    I would love to see new ways of feeding my little ones toddler tummy!! I’ve been looking for a toddler recipe book but haven’t found one that has appealed to me yet. I don’t want my daughter to become as fussy as I am and always has been with food!

  2. Bronwyn Bell
    July 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm (7 years ago)

    Would love to add to my library of baby and toddler cookbooks. I have one at the moment which my daughter’s father hunted high and low for one to give me for xmas (our first xmas as parents) as they were hard to find when we wanted them. I made some really good things from them too and my daughter just loved them, its a UK published one though. Now at nearly 2yrs I would love to find things I could put together in the freezer as meals to pull out and also to put in for preschool now that she is going there. BREAKFAST is something we never do, esp on preschool days its wake up, get dressed and out the door to preschool. I have just brought some Kai Carrier Bags so would love to join the two up!

  3. Maria Boyd
    July 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm (7 years ago)

    Have got this book out of the library before, it was fantastic.

  4. john collins
    July 19, 2013 at 12:22 am (7 years ago)

    I think my daughter needs a hand in this for jackson(4mths) what else can her daddy do??

  5. jenny white
    July 20, 2013 at 9:28 am (7 years ago)

    I’d love to win one of these for a friend as her daughter is just about at this stage and there is a big gap between the two kids she has and things are changing so fast with kids food this would be good to make sure there up with the last health stuff 

  6. Jaqui
    July 20, 2013 at 9:56 am (7 years ago)

    Would love to win this book as my wee 9 month old is eating me out of house and home!! Need more ideas of how to fill this little girl up!!

  7. Stepanka
    July 20, 2013 at 10:58 am (7 years ago)

    In a few months time I will be needing this book once the little bub starts solids! It will be good to have healthy and nutritious ideas & recipes so handy.

  8. Sarah de Vries
    July 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m always stuck for new, creative and healthy recipes and ideas for feeding my toddler – this would be fantastic!

  9. Hayley Berendsen
    July 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm (7 years ago)

    I would live to win this book because with my first son I just feed him bought food because I never knew what to make. I am now due in 4 days and would love to feed this baby a much healthier home made diet!

  10. Amber
    July 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm (7 years ago)

    i would love to win this book as i have no experience on what too cook for a toddler , i would love to make my baby home made food rather buying unhealthy food for him hes a fussy eater 

  11. Cheri Jordan
    July 25, 2013 at 7:47 am (7 years ago)

    I would totally love to win this book so I have some idea what to cook for our first born – its all new to me!! Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  12. sarah
    July 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm (7 years ago)

    would love to be able to read some great new food ideas for my little guy 

  13. Nicole Zwies
    July 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm (7 years ago)

    Would like to start introducing solids to my wee one

  14. Shina
    July 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm (7 years ago)

    I would love to introduce some new foods to my young one he is one very fussy eater and still doesn’t do lumps in food but will eat some proper food otherwise it is still smooth food.

    • Namita
      July 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm (7 years ago)

      Very keen to banish processed refined foods from my pantry altogether esp for my two littlies and this would definitely give me the inspiration!

  15. Abby
    July 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm (7 years ago)

    Its so great to have more cookbooks emphasizing natural eating especially for younger children!!

  16. Janelle
    July 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm (7 years ago)

    Would love this!

  17. Stacey Donn
    July 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm (7 years ago)

    Would love to win as could do with some fabulous ideas for when my baby arrives in December.  

  18. Paula
    July 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m a first time mum doing it solo, I have been struggling with new ideas on what to give and how to make things tasty and interesting. Specially for during the day morning/ afternoon tea and lunchtimes. I want to give my daughter healthy food.

  19. Nicola Dombroski
    July 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm (7 years ago)

    As a Naturopath I’m always on the look out for books and websites to share with my clients that also follow my philosophy. feeding little tummies fits very well and I would love to win a book!

  20. Kirsten
    July 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm (7 years ago)

    I recently borrowed this book from my local library and loved it!  Renewed and re-read many times, I was disappointed when I had to return it.  It would be great to own a copy.

  21. Katy
    July 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm (7 years ago)

    I think the libraries are sick of me taking this book out and renewing it constantly. I’d love my own copy 🙂 I also, by chance, made the cashew banana chew last night (got the recipe from Nicola’s website) and ended up eating most of it fresh from the oven, so delicious!

  22. Julie
    July 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I would love to learn easy and healthier ways to feed my children

  23. Dan
    July 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm (7 years ago)

    My wife brought this home after a friend had bought a copy and we love the fresh feel the recipes have, and combinations we just hadn’t thought of, and with another baby on the way we would love to have a copy of our own.

  24. Sarah Johnstone
    July 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi we are just about to start out little one on solids – I would love a copy of this book 🙂

  25. Kathryn Eagle
    July 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm (7 years ago)

    I love to cook for my family and love trying new new things.

  26. Helen
    July 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm (7 years ago)

    None of my friends or family have used BLW but I would like to investigate it for myself! I think this book would be a great place to start

  27. Emily Burn
    July 30, 2013 at 7:48 pm (7 years ago)

    I’d love to win a copy of this book as I enjoy cooking for my two and love to find fresh, new ideas for healthy meals and snacks, that they find delicious.

  28. Catherine
    July 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I regularly have both editions of this book hold at my local library so that I can have one copy at home, between these and Janes website there is a wealth o wonderful recipe ideas – I’d love my own copy so others can read it too! Thanks for all your recipe ideas Jane

    • Agatha
      May 8, 2016 at 8:04 am (4 years ago)

      Son of a gun, this is so helupfl!

  29. victoria
    August 1, 2013 at 10:17 am (7 years ago)

    This sounds fantastic.  i have a very fussy toddler and an 8 week old i would so love to keep from being fussy. the idea of BLW plus feeding purees appeals so much, works for the whole family!!


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