Best Solid Foods for Baby

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When it's time to start introducing solid foods to your baby, your choices are endless. Besides the usual strained suspects, which foods are good ones to try - which ones make easy-to-eat, nutritionally-rich choices? Here are a few suggestions.

Baby Cereal: Fortified with much-needed iron, unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, easy to digest and easily "customized" with fruit & vegetable purees to perfectly fit your baby's emerging palate, infant cereal is a great "starter" food.

Avocado: Soft and tasty, avocados are jammed with nutrients. They also have more protein than most other produce, and are a good source of "liquid" fats - meaning it won't take much to satisfy your little one. Just be sure to serve only fully ripe avocados.

Banana: Bananas are just about the perfect baby food. Easily portable, soft enough to eat without many teeth and full of energy-producing carbs and fiber.

Eggs: Packed with protein, vitamins A, D, E and B12, and brain-boosting choline - eggs make a great, healthy snack. Talk to your pediatrician before introducing eggs, especially if your family has a history of egg allergies.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes make an excellent gateway veggie for your little one just starting solids. She'll enjoy the flavor while taking in plenty of vitamin A and potassium.

Yogurt: Yogurt will provide your baby with calcium, protein and phosphorous, building blocks for healthy bones and teeth. It's also a source of probiotics, which will help keep that little digestive tract healthy. Stick with full-fat, unflavored yogurt - just add fruit puree for extra sweetness and flavor. Since some babies may have a reaction to yogurt, talk to your doctor before introducing it to your child.

Cheese: When your baby is ready for finger foods, cheese makes a great choice. It's a good source of calcium, protein and B12. Be sure to cut it up into small bites so it is not a choking hazard.

Red meat and poultry: It's extremely important that growing kids get enough iron and protein, and meat and poultry are good sources of these crucial nutrients. Feed younger babies pureed meats; if they don't like the flavor, add fruits or veggies to the mix. When they're older, offer well-cooked, diced meats.