a baby reaching for small pieces of broccoli on a highchair tray

Which meal should I introduce to my baby first?

Starting solid foods with your baby can be a really exciting milestone, but it can also feel pretty overwhelming for parents! I remember that feeling of overwhelm very well, in fact, it is one of the reasons I started learning about all things weaning nearly a decade ago and offering workshops to support parents. I was already a dietitian (though I worked with adults at that stage) and couldn’t help feeling that if I felt this way, someone without a degree in nutrition must be totally bamboozled! 

a baby being fed puree from an orange bowl and spoon

One common question that often arises is, “Which meal should I introduce to my baby first?” The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Weaning, like everything else in parenting, should be tailored to what works best for you and your baby so if the below doesn’t suit you, that’s ok. 

While there’s no strict rule on which meal to start with, I often recommend beginning with breakfast. Here are a few reasons why:

Fresh Start:

In the morning, both you and your baby are starting the day fresh. You haven’t encountered any mishaps or distractions yet, making it an ideal time to introduce something new.

Baby’s Openness:

Babies tend to be more receptive to new experiences in the morning when they are alert and curious.

Simplicity:

Breakfast is typically a simpler meal to introduce. You can prepare it without the need to carry hot food around or worry about special circumstances.

Food allergies:

Whilst not hugely common (in the UK around 5-7% of children have a food allergy), there’s a small chance of an allergic reaction when introducing new foods. Starting early in the day allows you to deal with any potential reactions during daytime hours, which can be less stressful than late at night. 

Getting out of the house:

If you start with breakfast, you can tick that part of your day off so that you can head out without needing to worry about taking food, weaning equipment or thinking about where you’re going to feed your baby! That will come with time, but to start with I think it’s easier not to have to consider those things.

When you begin weaning, it’s commonly recommended to start with green vegetables. Remember your baby has no idea about what foods are typically eaten at specific times of the day (and we should be letting go of those food rules too!). So, even if you start with breakfast, you can still introduce green vegetables without any issues.

There’s often no right or wrong with feeding children, and the weaning process is no different. Lots of decisions will depend on what feels right to you and what your child chooses. So, with meals, there’s no right or wrong one to start with. The decision ultimately depends on your family’s routine and what suits your baby best. Whether you choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner, remember that the key is to offer a variety of nutritious foods and to enjoy this exciting phase of your baby’s development together. 

Happy weaning!

If you need further advice or support, feel free to reach out to me via my website or Instagram (@theearlyyearsdietitian). 

If you’d like more information or personalised guidance, you can reach out to me through my Instagram page (@TheEarlyYearsDietitian) or my website. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, and there are ways to make mealtimes a positive experience for your child.

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