As fall sets in, it’s only natural to want to include your baby in eating the fun, festive foods! But we all know that baby can’t eat exactly what you eat. Still, there are some fun ways to work in those exciting fall-inspired foods that we all love to eat at this time of year. Here’s how to give your little one some fall-inspired baby foods - plus, how to know when they’re ready for them!
Looking for The First ALL PURPOSE Baby Carrier? Check out The Neptune Infant to Toddler Carrier
When to Start Giving Your Child Baby Foods
The current CDC guidelines recommend waiting until your baby is around six months old to begin giving them soft foods. Look for the following signs that they are ready.
● Sits up alone or with support.
● Is able to control head and neck.
● Opens the mouth when food is offered.
● Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
Read the full list here.
Another great way to introduce solids and baby foods is by following baby-led weaning. This method suggests letting your child feed themselves and has a recommended list of foods to start with that can be found here.
Fall-Inspired Baby Foods
If your little one has hit the ripe old age of six-ish months and is ready to start solids, fall is the perfect season! We typically think of introducing soft foods like sweet potato, bananas, or avocado first, but cooked pureed pumpkin is also a great choice and is in season now. Fresh foods that are in season tend to have higher nutritional value since they were recently harvested and haven’t lost nutrients from being stored for long periods of time. They also are less expensive; the cost of produce goes down when the crop is in season.
Homemade Vs. Store-Bought
A lot of people debate whether store-bought or homemade baby foods are better. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can do a mixture of both. Nowadays, many baby food brands use vitamin D as a preservative, though some also use sugar or salt. These are natural, safe preservatives. You can also scan baby food containers for more harmful preservatives, like BHA or BHT, and avoid those options.
There have also been some concerns about heavy metals leaking from the containers into the food. If you’re concerned about this, you can still find baby food sold in glass jars.
On the other hand, it is also nice that you know exactly what baby is getting by making baby foods at home. Plus, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Often, baby can enjoy what the rest of the family is eating. You’ll just need to mash it up or throw it into a mixer to puree it, which only takes a few minutes.
Our Favorite Fall Baby Foods and Purees
● Pureed pumpkin
● Apple and cinnamon (apple pie anyone?)
● Cranberry and pear
● Butternut squash
● Sweet potato
An important thing to remember is that the introduction of baby foods and baby-led weaning does not mean an abrupt stop to nursing. Baby-led weaning is the natural start to the weaning process that can be completed whenever the parent and baby choose, which may be well into toddlerhood.
What are your favorite fall-inspired baby foods? Let me know in the comments below!