For an infant, breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day. Right now, baby is getting most of his nutrition from breast milk or formula, and eating food is more about trying a variety of foods than about finishing a bowl of rice cereal.
“Worry about quality, and let your baby worry about quantity,” says Scott Cohen, MD, a pediatrician and author of_ Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby’s First Year_.
Start with fine purees for a brand-new eater, and graduate up to thicker purees, mashes and soft, small finger foods when he’s developmentally ready. These are a few tried and true breakfast ideas from Amelia Winslow, nutritionist and founder of Eating Made Easy, and Bridget Swinney, president of the El Paso Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Eating Expectantly, Baby Bites and Healthy Food for Healthy Kids:
• Plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with oatmeal that’s been ground up in the food processor before being cooked.
• Fresh peaches, pureed and mixed with quinoa baby cereal.
• Applesauce, preferably homemade, mixed with a small amount of ricotta cheese and cinnamon. “If the applesauce is store-bought, the only ingredient should be apples,” Winslow says.
• Baby oatmeal with pureed mango.
• Mixed-grain cereal with mashed banana.
• Small pieces of scrambled eggs with spinach, whole-wheat toast strips, and small or mashed pieces of very ripe melon (for older babies).
Ideally, you’re already eating a healthy breakfast, so rather than playing short-order cook, you can let baby sample what’s on your plate. “Around eight months or so, you can put small pieces of scrambled eggs on the tray and let baby play around with them,” says Cohen. “Give him little pieces of fruit, some cereal or oatmeal. Pancakes and waffles are okay too — just mush them up with your fingers so baby can’t choke on them.”
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