Menu

Move over, rice cereal. Forget about one dimensional flavors like pureed carrots or mashed banana. Instead, how about caviar? Or bone broth. And did you know babies can totally handle a little spice?

It turns out that starting with something bland, like our moms did with us, may not be the best, most nutritious way for your little one to start solids. In fact, that's not what babies are used to at all. Breastmilk is rich and flavorful, jam-packed with nutrients, and many experts say that what you should be feeding your baby is the exact opposite of that sad, slimy looking rice cereal.

FEATURED VIDEO

Many baby food brands now experiment with baby's first solids and really work the gourmand angle. Nourish Baby, a new baby food subscription service in the West Village, New York, starts babies on super unique and intriguing flavor blends -- we’re talking James Beard caliber food for babies, with a menu that includes Korean black rice congee with ginger, tamari and ghee. The menu is a conversation starter for sure, but founder and registered dietician, Marissa Lippert, says the reason why their ingredients are so diverse is important. Most advice parents get about weaning baby onto solid foods has been more myth than science. It turns out, babies need lots of protein, iron, complex carbs, good fats, vitamins and minerals that aren't necessarily in the "first foods" that they so commonly get.

So to help parents navigate the flavorful world that baby's first food could (and should) be, we've teamed up with Marissa from Nourish to tell you the truth about your little one's tastebuds. Here are five major myths on baby food, busted.

1. Don’t rely on purees. Not everything has to be pureed! Mashed, chunky textures and even roasted, softer fruits and vegetables are perfectly ok to feed your babe as they’re exploring solid foods.

2. Forget rice cereal. Rice cereal actually isn’t your baby’s ideal first food! Babies are better off transitioning to solid foods with items that match the nutrient profiles of breast milk – fat, protein and cholesterol. Look to things like bone broth, egg yolk, chicken liver, ground lamb, salmon roe, avocado and ghee.

3. It actually is all fun and games. Let your babe play with his or her food! Seriously. When babies attempt to hand-feed themselves, they build dexterity and pincer grasp, and they start to self-regulate their own hunger and satiety cues – one of the most important building blocks of a healthy eater!

4. Try, try again. It may take your babe up to 20 times to like a newly introduced food. Don’t give up on those Brussels sprouts or poached wild salmon or roasted pears. Sometimes it just takes a while, and multiple tries, for infants to come around to particular foods or even spices.

5. Bring on the spice. Babies can and should eat subtle spices and flavors. If you start a baby off with a bland palate that’s what they’ll get used to and often gravitate towards. Adding subtle notes of spice and flavor components to foods is absolutely ok and will help your child build an adventurous palate! Different cultures across the global have been feeding infants their ethnic, spicier cuisines for centuries. Go ahead and experiment!

Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids Photography.

By this point, you can probably roll with whatever parenthood throws your way—whether that's changing diapers, powering through a long day after a sleepless night, or soothing a sick little one. Learning on the job like this isn't always easy, but we bet your teeny boss is giving you a winning performance review.

Around the 5-month mark, your baby is probably doing some rolling of their own, too! At this point, your baby is endlessly curious and naturally grabby, so make sure you're giving them a safe place to explore while you cheer them on from the sidelines.

Of course, cheerleading is just one of the many, many roles you play throughout the day. Your multitasking skills are pushed to the limit, but it's important to carve out time for yourself. And hopefully everyone in your house is now enjoying longer stretches of sleep, with the dreaded 4-month sleep regression a thing of the past.

As is always the case with parenthood, new challenges are around the corner. The good news? These products can get you prepared for them.

For some much-needed teething relief: Sophie la Girafe teether

Sophie Teether

Ouch. Teething isn't fun for babies—or their mamas. Luckily, teething toys do help provide relief for those tender gums. Build your supply so that something to chew on is always clean and handy.

$24.99

For checking out that cute little baby: Baby Einstein floor mirror

Baby Einstein

You aren't the only one who can't take your eyes off your little cutie. Babies love checking themselves out, too! Mirror play allows your baby to study facial expressions, learn about interactions and begin to recognize their own reflection.

$12.99

For banishing cradle cap: Fridababy cradle cap system

Fridababy

If your baby's scalp is looking a little reptilian, rest assured that cradle cap is a common issue. Thankfully, it's also conquerable with an easy three-step method to lather, loosen and lift away the flakes.

$14.99

For organizing all the toys: Pillowfort stackable storage bins

storage bins

It's amazing how quickly toys and gear can amass in your home! A collection of stylish storage bins makes "out of sight, out of mind" possible at the end of the day.

$19.99

For safe sleep: Graco pack-n-play

Graco Pak n Play

Experts advise always putting your baby to sleep on a flat, firm surface. So, if your baby is getting snoozy when you aren't by the crib, a pack-n-play is a great, portal option. As a bonus, the space can pull double-duty as a playard when your baby is awake.

$59.99

For skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom: Honest Beauty face cream

Honest Beauty

What about a little something for you, mama? Since your time is a precious commodity, having good skin can help streamline your getting ready routine. A good face cream does the miracle work of making your skin appear vibrant—even if you were up with a baby throughout the night.

$27.99

A simple way to show off your pictures: Polaroid digital photo frame

Digital photo

There's no excuse to let your favorite photos languish on your phone's camera roll! A digital photo frame makes it so simple to see your favorite memories with baby over and over again.

$50

For reclaiming your car: Brica trunk organizer and changing station

Brica Trunk Organizer

Your car is probably filling up with quite the assortment of baby gear. Rather than sacrifice your passenger seat to a stockpile of wipes and diapers, clear the clutter with a trunk organizer.

$34.99

The hands-free assistant you always needed: Lenovo smart clock

smart clock

The mental load of motherhood is real and we'll take all the backup we can get. Enter: this smart clock. Seriously, there is no going back after you discover all this incredible multitasker can do, like help you manage your schedule, check the weather and manage all your smart devices.

$79

For keeping coffee hot: Ello Jane travel mug

travel mug

If peacefully sitting and drinking your morning coffee feels like a distant memory, you can lessen the sting with a lidded mug that keeps your drink hot until you are actually able to take a sip. Mom win!

$14.99

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

How often do we see a "misbehaving" child and think to ourselves, that kid needs more discipline? How often do we look at our own misbehaving child and think the same thing?

Our society is conditioned to believe that we have to be strict and stern with our kids, or threaten, shame or punish them into behaving. This authoritarian style of parenting is characterized by high expectations and low responsiveness—a tough love approach.

But while this type of authoritarian parenting may elicit "obedient" kids in the short-term, studies suggest that children who are shamed or punished in the name of discipline face challenges in the long-term. Research suggests that children who are harshly disciplined or shamed tend to be less happy, less independent, less confident, less resilient, more aggressive and hostile, more fearful and at higher risk for substance abuse and mental health issues as adults and adolescents.

FEATURED VIDEO

The reason? No one ever changes from being shamed.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play