Ideal baby foods by age: 6-8 months

pumpkinpure_edited_smallParents often ask us about ideal foods for different stages and our recipe pages are not yet as comprehensive as we would like, so we have compiled this list as a reference. We will update it as we get new ideas or new information.

Eating at 6-8 months

We recommend making all, or as much food as possible from scratch out of fresh, organic vegetables, fish and pastured meats and avoiding processed foods. Your baby’s digestive system may still not be able to handle starchy foods at this age, though some can. Regardless of whether your baby can digest grains or not, since babies this age usually eat small amounts we think that it is best to prioritize foods which are naturally high in nutrients over cereals. These include meat, organ meat, avocados, egg yolk and oily fish.

There is one exception to this. The latest studies seem to show that it is best to introduce gluten between 4 and 7 months and preferably whilst you are still breastfeeding to reduce the risk of gluten intolerance (Chmieliewska, 2013) and wheat allergy (Poole, 2006). The timing of introduction seems to be the most important factor when it comes to wheat allergy. If you haven’t introduced wheat or gluten yet (note that the WHO still recommends breastfeeding as part of a mixed foods diet until the age of 2 years) we recommend that you introduce foods containing gluten as soon as possible and preferably before you stop breastfeeding.

Table of superfoods 6-8 months

The below table is a list of nutrient-dense whole foods that you could include in your child’s diet at this age. It is by no means exhaustive. At 6-8 months, the amount of solid foods babies eat will vary widely from child to child and from week to week but nutrient requirements are high. A baby might be teething, growing, not feeling well or just going through a fussy phase.

A varied diet, rich in body-building nutrients is your goal. If your child eats very small amounts you may wish to prioritize nutrient-dense foods such as pure cod roe, meat and offal, egg yolk, high-fat fruit like avocado and coconut as well as organic fruits and vegetables. This is because they are more calorie and nutrient-dense.

VegetablesFruitsMeat and FishNutsHerbs & SpicesFats and oils
(Organic)(Organic)(Organic/pastured)AlmondsBasil(Organic)
AsparagusApple (steamed)BeefPistachiosCorianderAvocado oil
ArtichokeApricotBeef liversWalnutsDillButter (grass-fed)
Butternut squashAvocadoChickenMintCoconut oil
BeetrootBlackberriesChicken livers (steamed)ParsleyCod Liver Oil (fermented)
BroccoliBlueberriesCod RoeThymeOlive oil
Brussels SproutsCantaloupeEgg yolkTurmeric
CarrotCherriesElk
CucumberCranberriesHaddock
GingerKiwiLamb
Green beansMangoSalmon
KaleNectarinesSardines
Onions (small amounts)Papaya
ParsnipPeaches
PeasPears
PeppersPlums
PumpkinPomegranate
SpinachRaspberries
Sweet potatoesTomatoes
Zucchini
Winter squash


A note about introducing solid foods

Baby-led weaning is all the rage these days and we think it is great to encourage children to eat by themselves as early as possible. However, every child is different and the most important thing is that your baby eats a wide variety of flavours and nutrients. So long as you watch for your baby’s cues, we do not think it matters whether you spoon feed, let baby eat pureed food himself or give him chunks (or a combination). In our opinion a combination is ideal because you can blend in many more herbs, spices and flavours into purees in early weaning.

Vegetables can be roughly pureed (not extremely smooth) and blended or mashed with a few drops of olive or avocado oil, some herbs and perhaps a chunk of soft, ripe avocado. You can also give your child chunks of food which he can pick up and eat by himself and give him a spoon and baby fork so that he can learn to eat alone. It will be messy at first, but the development of his motor skills makes it worthwhile.

SUPER FOODS FOR BABIES 6-8 MONTHS

Vegetables

ASPARAGUS FOR BABIES

Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which helps build strong bones. It contains inulin which promotes good bacteria in the gut and saponins, which are anti-inflammatory. It is a great early food for babies because as well as being very healthy, it has a slightly bitter taste. It is a good idea to introduce bitter foods early to babies during this often enthusiastic eating phase.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Steam and then puree with another slightly sweet fruit or vegetable such as avocado, carrots, pumpkin sweet potato and a protein such as chicken or salmon and some herbs such as rosemary, thyme or basil; serve in tiny pieces if your baby is able to pick them up himself. Add tiny slices to soups, stews or even bolognese sauce.

Asparagus recipes 6-8 months
Sweet Vegetable Puree

BUTTERNUT SQUASH FOR BABIES

Butternut squash is extremely high in immune-protective, natural sunscreen beta-carotene and an abundant source of antioxidants, fibre, Vitamin C, manganese, Vitamin B6, potassium and Vitamin K. It is a perfect early food because it is sweet, soft and easy to cook.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Mix with some fat such as avocado or olive oil for better nutrient absorption and for taste. It can be mixed with other vegetables such as carrots or parsnips and any kind of meat.

Butternut squash recipes 6-8 months
Butternut Squash Soup

BASIL FOR BABIES
Basil leaves are an excellent source of Vitamin K and beta-carotene and a good source of manganese, copper and Vitamin C. The Basil plant contains numerous flavanoids and volatile oils. It is particularly good for children because essential oil of basil has been shown to inhibit several strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

How to serve to babies at 8-12 months
Add to soups and purees, scrambled eggs, omelettes and muffins. Babies this age cannot chew leaves and can choke on them, so it is important to chop or blend it into very small pieces or liquid.

Basil recipes 8-12 months:
Coming soon

BEETROOT FOR BABIES
Beetroot is very high in folate and manganese and a good source of potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin C and iron. They are very high in a very wide range of antioxidants. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects in the body and have recently been shown to lower blood pressure and increase athletic performance. It used o be thought that beets should not be served to children under 1 year of age because of their naturally high nitrate content but this is no longer the case. For more information click here.

How to serve to babies at 8-12 months
In beetroot burgers, as hummus, in omelettes or just steamed and cubed or pureed. Beetroot is a bit messy and it can
stain, so use good bib or remove clothing before serving it.

Beetroot recipes 8-12 months:
Beetroot Burger Recipe

BROCCOLI FOR BABIES

Broccoli is very high in Vitamins C and K as well as a good source of folate, Vitamin A and fibre. It is therefore a superfood for babies and children who need lots of Vitamin K to help build their growing bones. Because it contains cellulose and fibre it might cause gas in some children, so introduce it in small amounts to start with.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Steam and mash or puree with other vegetables such as carrots, parsnip and/or pumpkin. Mash in some avocado or drizzle avocado oil over as a source of good fats. Add some protein like pastured chicken, fish or a teaspoon of steamed liver; Steam and offer as pieces to hold and chew.

Broccoli recipes 6-8 months
Sweet Vegetable Puree
Apple, Blueberry and Broccoli puree

CARROT FOR BABIES

Carrots contain extremely high levels of immune-protective, mild natural sunscreen beta-carotene and are extremely effective in lowering CVD risk according to recent research (Potter, 2011). Carrots are a great first food, because they are sweet as well as healthy and mix well with many other foods.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Steam them. Steaming them whole retains more nutrients than chopping them up first (2). After steaming you can puree roughly or mash with a fork and combine them with a fat such as avocado or avocado oil. Mix in some other vegetables such as steamed parsnip and green beans for a mixed-vegetable puree, add a small amount of protein from the list below and you have a meal. You can also steam until very soft and offer your baby chunks to feed himself.

Carrot recipes 6-8 months
Sweet pepper, carrot and parsnip
Sweet Vegetable Puree

CUCUMBER FOR BABIES

Cucumbers are high in Vitamin K and lignans and their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have repeatedly been confirmed in animal studies. The skin is very nutritious but the middle part is soft and a great first food.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Peel off the skin and chop out the central, soft watery inside flesh. Blend into a juice or just chop into tiny pieces. Use the leftover skin and harder cucumber flesh in your own salad.

GREEN BEANS FOR BABIES
Haricot verts, or green beans, are very high in Vitamin C, K and A as well as manganese and fibre.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Add to soups, stews and purees. Green beans can be stringy and their long, thin shape can be a choking hazard, so be careful to blend well or remove any strings and chop up into small pieces.

PARSNIP FOR BABIES

Parsnip contains poly-acetylene anti-oxidants and is high in Vitamin C, B and folate. It is higher in natural sugars than other vegetables but it is a great first food for babies because it is sweet and can be quickly steamed until soft.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Offering chunks of soft parsnip or puree it with other vegetables like carrots. Add some good fats in the form of olive or avocado oil, or avocado flesh and herbs such as basil or oregano plus a spoonful of protein from the list below.

Parsnip recipes 6-8 months
Sweet pepper, carrot and parsnip puree

PUMPKIN/WINTER SQUASH FOR BABIES

Winter squash is extremely high in immune-protective, mild natural sunscreen beta-carotene and is an abundant source of antioxidants, fibre, Vitamin C, manganese, Vitamin B6, potassium and Vitamin K. Winter squash is a perfect early food because it is sweet-tasting, so babies love it.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Winter squash is ideal served mixed with some fat such as avocado or olive oil for better nutrient absorption and for taste. It can be mixed with other vegetables such as carrots or parsnips and any kind of meat. We prepare winter or kabocha squash by roasting it whole for 20 minutes until soft enough to slice. We slice the squash, completely remove the innards, sprinkle cinnamon and drizzle olive oil over it, roast another 20 minutes until it is soft and then serve cubed in salads, as a mash or as a side dish.

Pumpkin recipes 6-8 months

ZUCCHINI FOR BABIES

Summer squashes like zucchini are very high in vitamin C, Molybdenum and Vitamin B6 as well as many other nutrients.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Summer squash is soft, easy and quick to steam so it is perfect when you are in a rush. It can be made into soups, added to purees or served in big chunks. It is so soft that babies can eat well-steamed chunks of summer squash from the time they begin to eat.

Zucchini recipes 6-8 months
Sweet Vegetable Puree

Fruits

APPLE (steamed) FOR BABIES

Apples are high in pectin, phytonutrients and polyphenols. They are delicious steamed or served fresh and steamed apples can be pureed to make a delicious (but very sweet) apple sauce. Children love the taste of apple.

How to serve at 6-8 months

Peel, core, chop into thick slices and steam for a few minutes until soft. Puree or offer cooled pieces if they are very soft. You can also blend them with vegetables such as carrots or other fruits like blackberries or raspberries or avocados. Frozen berries should be boiled for one minute under current recommendations.

Apple recipes 6-8 months
Homemade apple sauce

AVOCADO FOR BABIES

Avocado is extremely high in fibre and is also high in Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5 and potassium. It is full of good fats and adding it to salads or purees or just serving as a side dish may help to absorb many more nutrients from food (Unlu, 2005). For that reason we consider it the ideal first fruit. As well as being very healthy, a ripe avocado is soft and can be added to other foods or eaten in small pieces. The high fibre content makes it healthy, but eating a lot *may* make stools a bit loose for the first day or so.

How to serve at 6-8 months

Mashed into other vegetables to enhance their nutrient absorption or given as soft pieces which babies can eat themselves.

Avocado recipes 6-8 months:
Salmon and pea puree

APRICOT FOR BABIES

Apricot is high in iron, beta-carotene and fibre. It also contains tryptophan, a mood-boosting nutrient. Apricots are ideal early foods because of their nutrient profiles and because they are soft and sweet and children love them.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Serve soft apricots raw. Peel for small babies and chop them into small chunks or puree if your child has trouble eating lumps.

CANTALOUPE FOR BABIES

Cantaloupe is extremely high in Vitamins A and C. It is a good source of potassium, folate and polyphenols. Cantaloupe is a great first food because it is very sweet and soft. Babies love eating chunks of ripe, juicy melon, spilling the juices all down their faces in the process.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Very ripe, raw and in very small pieces, or pureed with a little water or oatmilk. Melon pieces are perfect for a picnic or a quick, messy snack. Like many fruits melons are high in natural sugars so it is a good idea to blend them with an avocado or serve as a combination of cucumber and/or avocado chunks to avoid too much of a sugar hit.

PEACHES FOR BABIES

Peaches contain a lot of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Babies love their sweet flavour.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Very ripe, raw and in very small pieces with the skins removed, or pureed with a little water or oatmilk. Peaches are perfect for a picnic or a quick, messy snack. Like many fruits peaches are high in natural sugars so it is a good idea to blend them with an avocado or serve as a combination of cucumber and/or avocado chunks to avoid too much of a sugar hit.

PAPAYA FOR BABIES

Papaya is extremely high in Vitamins C and A. It is also very high in folate, potassium and fibre. They contain papain, an enzyme that helps to digest proteins. The antioxidants in papaya have been shown to protect against oxidation and free radicals in the body and the folic acid and fibre help with the processing of cholesterol.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Very ripe, raw and in very small pieces, or pureed with a little water or oatmilk. Papaya is perfect for a picnic or a quick, messy snack. Like many fruits papayas are high in natural sugars so it is a good idea to blend them with an avocado or serve as a combination of cucumber and/or avocado chunks to avoid too much of a sugar hit.

BLUEBERRIES FOR BABIES

Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants, Vitamin K, manganese and Vitamin C. Wild blueberries can taste bitter and your child might pull a funny face at first, but we believe that introducing bitter tastes at an early age will minimize fussiness later.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Frozen or fresh blueberries can be added to salads or fruit salads, chopped and added to yogurt, pureed alone or with other fruits or mixed into a smoothie. They can be served warm or cold.

BLACKBERRIES FOR BABIES

Like other berries, blackberries are extremely high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. But there are many powerful compounds in blackberries, including ellagic acid, anthocyanins, catechins and phytochemicals. They have all be shown to protect against damage in the body and prevent modern diseases such as cancer.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Frozen or fresh blackberries can be added to salads or fruit salads, chopped and added to yogurt, pureed alone or with other fruits or mixed into a smoothie. They can be served warm or cold. According to current recommendations, frozen berries should be boiled before using.

RASPBERRIES FOR BABIES

Raspberries are a rich source of over 25 important phytonutrients – in significant quantities – and an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as Manganese. Raspberries can taste bitter and your child might pull a funny face at first, but we believe that introducing bitter tastes at an early age will minimize fussiness later.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Frozen or fresh raspberries can be added to salads or fruit salads, chopped and added to yogurt, pureed alone or with other fruits or mixed into a smoothie. They can be served warm or cold.

PLUMS FOR BABIES

Plums are high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C as well as being a good source of fibre, potassium and Vitamins K and A.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Very ripe (soft) and raw. Puree with the skins or remove skins and cut into very small pieces (3-4 mm).

Meat and Fish (organic/grass-fed)

BEEF (GRASS-FED) FOR BABIES

Beef is a controversial food, both because it contains a lot of saturated fat and because many studies have linked meat – red meat consumption in particular – with human disease. But the studies are flawed because red meat and processed meat have always been studied together and participants who ate a lot of red meat were also more likely to indulge in other unhealthy habits. No study has looked exclusively at grass-fed/pastured beef in particular. There are many advantages to consuming grass-fed beef. It has twice the amount of beta-carotene and lutein than grain-fed beef. It also contains a large amount of heart-healthy CLA, as well as Vitamin B12, Zinc, iron and other essential B vitamins.

How to serve at 6-8 months

Shred it in a food processor or with your hands and add a tablespoon or so to vegetable purees; Serve shredded/chopped into tiny pieces as a finger food. Avoid serving meat with high-calcium foods like dairy (e.g. milk-based sauces) because calcium interferes with iron absorption.

CHICKEN (ORGANIC/PASTURED) FOR BABIES
Pastured chicken means that the animals spend their time outside – foraging, grazing and getting their protein from bugs and worms. You can read more about pastured vs free-range and organic here (link). Chicken is an excellent source of tryptophan, Vitamin B3, Protein and Selenium, Vitamin B6, Phosphorous and Choline. Children love it for its mild taste and texture. It is an ideal early food because it is soft when steamed or roasted and can be shredded easily.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Shred into small pieces and puree with vegetables or – for those who are baby-led weaning – serve in tiny pieces at this age.

Chicken recipes 6-8 months
Chicken and leek puree

CHICKEN/CALF LIVERS (from pastured animals) FOR BABIES

Animal livers from healthy, pastured animals contain high levels of essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamins B12, B5,B3, B6, copper, tryptophan, choline, folate, zinc and iron. The high Vitamin A content is excellent for the immune system, but it also means that liver should be eaten in small amounts at this age, perhaps a teaspoon of grated steamed liver, once per week, at most.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Steam or dry-fry until cooked through and serve grated into a vegetable puree.

EGG FOR BABIES

Egg yolk is an excellent source of choline, omega 3 fats, tryptophan and selenium and a good source of iodine, B-vitamins, protein and molybdenum. Mashing it into a puree is a delicious, quick and convenient way of adding protein to a baby’s food. At this age you can introduce the whole egg so long as there is no history of allergies.

How to serve at 6-8 months
We serve our egg yolks runny because runny egg yolks are more nutritious – and delicious – and modern farming techniques has significantly decreased the likelihood of salmonella infection. However, the official recommendation is still to fully cook the yolks, so we recommend that you do that, particularly at this age. You can boil an egg and mash it with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar: serve boiled egg whole and let baby bite into it; crack it into a pan and scramble it in some olive or avocado oil.

Egg recipes 6-8 months
Baby Omelette
Smashed egg sandwich spread

LAMB (grassfed/pastured) FOR BABIES
Grass-fed lamb is an excellent source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been shown in many studies to be highly beneficial to health. It is a great source of tryptophan, protein, selenium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3, Zinc and Phosphorus.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Shredded and added to a vegetable puree; stewed until very soft and offered as tiny pieces. In a tagine with softened dried fruits.

HADDOCK FOR BABIES

Haddock is an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins, including B vitamins folate, riboflavin, thiamin and panthothenic acid. It also contains phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, copper and manganese

Haddock is a mild-tasting fish, which has a low mercury content so it is an ideal early food.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Cook in the oven on a medium heat and flake into a puree, or serve as finger food. Be careful to remove all bones before serving.

Oils and fats


COCONUT OIL (organic, cold-pressed) FOR BABIES


Organic, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is making a comeback as a health food having been criticized because of its high saturated fat content. Coconut oil is high in medium chain fatty acids, such as Lauric acid, which are easily digested. The body converts Lauric acid into Monolaurin, which has numerous health benefits including improved immunity against disease. However, no reliable, peer-reviewed scientific study has corroborated the acclaimed benefits of coconut oil. Like all fats, coconut oil is probably best consumed in moderation. Always buy cold-pressed virgin coconut oil.

How to serve to babies at 6-8 months
Virgin Coconut oil can be used in all kinds of dishes in the place of other fats. You can cook with it, make raw chocolate with it and use it in cakes in place of butter.

AVOCADO OIL FOR BABIES

Avocado oil is a great source of carotenoids. Studies show that antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene are absorbed better from a salad that includes avocado. It is fibre-rich and very high in Vitamin K, folate and Vitamins C, B5 and B6 as well as potassium. It has a wonderful rich flavour and tastes delicious.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Saute or roast vegetables in it; drizzle it on salads or use to make dressing; mash it up with eggs and balsamic vinegar as a healthy alternative to egg mayonnaise; use it in baking or cooking instead of other oils.

FERMENTED COD LIVER OIL FOR BABIES

Cod Liver Oil (clo) is an old staple and was a common childhood tonic for many years. In the 1990s concerns were raised about the levels of Vitamin A in CLO and doctors stopped recommending it. FOR BABIES A good quality Cod Liver Oil with its natural vitamin ratio preserved is an excellent source of nutrients. The only one we know of is Blue Ice Cod Liver Oil. This is the one we take at home.

How to serve at 6-8 months
Mix the recommended dose well with a glass of oat milk and serve. Tell your children it is a special golden juice. My children love it.

References
Potter AS, Foroudi S, Stamatikos A, Patil BS, Deyhim F. Drinking carrot juice increases total antioxidant status and decreases lipid peroxidation in adults. Nutr J. 2011 Sep 24;10:96. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-96. PubMed PMID: 21943297; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3192732
Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr.2005 Mar;135(3):431-6. PubMed PMID: 15735074

email