When babies start to eat solid foods, we traditionally feed them puréed vegetables and fruits. As they progress from those first baby foods and move on to more complex food textures, we typically feed them the same foods, but in various combinations, and bigger amounts. We do slowly introduce them to new flavors, but for the most part, we stick with those fruits and vegetables.
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Something done in my culture is to start feeding babies traditional dishes early-on, so they can get accustomed to the rich flavors. As soon as babies start being able to mash food with their gums and beginner teeth, we begin introducing some of these foods. Typically, we mash the food up a bit before serving to baby, though we don’t purée the food.Taking into account that all babies are different and that you should exercise discretion in knowing whether or not your baby is ready, you can consider feeding your baby some of these foods:
- Yellow rice: Rice is huge in my culture – we eat it just about every day – so, of course, it’s one of the first foods we introduce to our babies. Though white rice is fine too, yellow rice will have more flavors and allows you to easily mix in vegetables and meat.
- Beans: Similar to rice, Puerto Ricans eat beans a lot too, and they’re a great source of protein and fiber! Since beans are soft, you can easily mash them up and mix with the gravy they’re cooked in for feeding to Baby.
- Yuca: A root vegetable, yuca is not often a vegetable parents think of for babies. But, boiled and mashed with some seasoning, it makes for a nice dish babies can eat.
- Plantains: A cousin to bananas, plantains are delicious and a customary part of Caribbean cuisine. Whether green or ripe, plantains can be mixed in with some meat for a quick meal for Baby, though ripe is sweeter.
- Stewed chicken: Some chicken stewed with potatoes and carrots in a broth is a great way to get baby used to a mixture of flavors!
What were some of the first foods you fed your baby?