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Think Outside the Apple Sauce: First Foods for the Adventurous Baby

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There's nothing wrong with fresh, healthful peas, apples, green beans, or bananas, but when you're ready to move on, consider some of these exciting options! And remember, the more tastes, smells, and textures your baby is exposed to now, the less picky she'll be as an older child. ;-)

(NOTE: As always, use caution and follow your pediatrician's suggestions when introducing new foods, especially if your baby has a history of allergies. Head over to Baby Box University to learn about common allergies and how you can manage them.)

1. Kale, collards, chard, and other leafy greens. Sometimes too bitter to be served alone, cooked leafy greens like kale are excellent additions to sweet fruit purees, where they add a nutritional boost to classic favorites like apples and peaches. 

2. Packed with healthy fats, avocados make excellent first foods for growing babies. They can be mushed up with a fork and served directly, pureed with breast milk or water, or mashed into other soft purees, like applesauce. Babies (and adults!) will also love this avocado ice cream recipe

3. The natural sweetness of beets appeals to babies, and older babies ready for finger foods will love to pop small beet squares into their mouths directly. Beet juice is also a sweet, nutritious addition to toddler juices. Check out this fab apple + beet toddler applesauce recipe!

4. Rutabaga, pumpkin, sweet potato, and parsnips all make great first foods: slightly sweet and earthy eaten directly, they also make a nice base for other purees, like pumpkin, apples, and carrots. In a hurry? Many organic food retailers sell unsweetened, unseasoned pumpkin purees in the can, ready to go.

5. When you decide your baby is ready for grains, think outside of just rice cereal and oatmeal. There are a number of great grains and grain alternatives for tiny tummies, including barley, farro, couscous, and quinoa. Check out this Quinoa Banana Mash recipe...yum! 

6. Beans and lentils make great bases and thickeners for purees - and they're great sources of protein, too. The youngest eaters will enjoy them in purees, while babies tackling finger goods will delight in the challenge of picking up individual chick peas, white beans, and more.

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