As you embark on the journey of Baby-Led Weaning, choosing the right first foods for your little one is important. These first foods set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating habits and provide essential nutrients crucial for their growth and development. Let’s see why selecting the right first foods matters, the key nutrients these foods should contain, and the top first foods from various food groups to kickstart your baby’s BLW adventure.


Why is choosing the right first foods essential for your baby?

The first foods your baby eats lay the foundation for their solids journey. These early choices impact their overall health and development. Early foods introduce your baby to different textures and flavors, boosting curiosity and an appetite for variety of foods. Moreover, the right first foods support the development of essential skills, such as chewing and swallowing, vital for independent eating.


What nutrients should the best first foods for babies contain?


    • Iron: Babies need iron for brain development and overall growth. Opt for iron-rich foods such as green leafy veggies, lean meats, eggs, etc. to meet this crucial requirement.


    • Protein: Protein supports muscle development and is essential for overall growth and immunity. Protein can be found in breastmilk, lean meats, dairy, etc.


    • Fiber: Fiber aids digestion and helps regulate bowel movements. Grains, fruits and vegetables are all rich sources of fibre.


    • Healthy Fats: Healthy fats are vital for brain development. Include foods rich in unsaturated fats such as powdered nuts, powdered seeds, etc.


    • Vitamins and Minerals: Ensure a variety of foods to provide a broad spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. Include foods from all food groups in your baby’s diet and offer a variety of fruits, grains, millets, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy, etc.


The top first foods for your baby from each food group:


    1. Fruits:

Chikoo: A nutrient-packed superfood rich in healthy fats and fiber. Banana: Soft and easy to grasp, bananas provide potassium and vitamin C. Mango: A delicious source of vitamins A and C, plus natural sweetness.

Offer papaya, strawberry, apples, pears, custard apple, and all the local and seasonal fruits available.


    1. Vegetables:

Sweet Potato: High in vitamin A and fiber, with a naturally sweet taste. Carrots: Easy to grip and chew, carrots offer beta-carotene for eye health. Cauliflower Florets: Provide essential vitamins and introduce a mild cruciferous flavor.

Include bell peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, all types of gourds (even bitter gourd), tomatoes, etc, in your baby’s diet.


    1. Proteins:

Lentils: A protein and iron powerhouse, lentils are easy to cook and mash. Beans: Rich in protein and fiber, beans come in various types for variety. Paneer: A versatile dairy-based protein source with a soft texture.


    1. Grains:

Oatmeal: Nutrient-dense and easy to prepare, oatmeal offers fiber and iron. Whole Grain Toast: A textured option for practicing biting and chewing. White Rice: A gentle introduction to grains, white rice is easily digestible and extremely nutritious.

Different types of millets such as sorghum, ragi, amaranth, etc. are extremely beneficial for your baby’s physical and brain development. So make sure to include all of these.


    1. Dairy or Dairy Alternatives:

Full-Fat Yogurt: A calcium-rich option that supports bone health. Cottage Cheese: Soft and packed with protein for growth. Greek Yogurt (if dairy is introduced): High protein content and creamy texture.

Prepare homemade curd and yogurt if possible. Add cheese slices or different types of cheese to your baby’s diet.


    1. Meats and Alternatives:

Chicken Strips: Cooked and cut into strips, chicken provides protein and iron. Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids for brain development. Tofu: These are versatile plant-based proteins. Lamb meat: Lamb meat is an excellent source of protein, iron, and many other nutrients.

Offer meat, fish, and chicken in the form of kebabs or tikkis made out of finely ground meat.


The journey of Baby-Led Weaning is an exciting time for your little one to explore the world of food. By choosing the best first foods that offer a balance of essential nutrients, you’re nurturing their growth, development, and a lifelong appreciation for healthy eating. Offer all the foods from your family pot to your baby in their first year. Make sure you introduce a variety of textures, spices, and flavors so that your baby is accustomed to all of it. Remember, every baby is unique, so be patient, adapt to their preferences, and consult with a pediatrician for personalized guidance on your baby’s BLW adventure.