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Top 5 First Superfoods for Babies

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There's a lot of buzz about “superfoods” for adults - fruits like pomegranate and coconut, for example, that are said to have extraordinary health benefits. Most of these aren't on the first foods lists for babies. But there are some super, nutrient-rich foods for beginning eaters, too. High in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, they make a great choice for first foods to start your baby off right.

Avocados

 an avocado cut in half

A good source of vitamins K, B6, C, folate and fiber, avocado is just as delicious and easy a first food as banana is, and it has even more potassium. And avocados are chock-full of monounsaturated fat - the “good” kind that helps keep your heart healthy. Simply peel, mash and serve.

Barley

a pile of barley grains

Most babies start with rice or oats, which lose fiber when refined or processed to make cereal. Why not try barley? High in minerals and both soluble and insoluble fiber, barley can be critical to a healthy digestive track. Cook with water and pulse into a puree, or pulse dried barley into a powder and pour in hot water.

Sweet Potatoes

a whole sweet potato and sliced sweet potato

One of the most nutritious veggies around, sweet potato is antioxidant-rich and a great source of vitamins A, C and B6, as well as fiber, potassium and iron. Tastiest when roasted, pop these babies in the oven, roast until soft through, peel and mash.

Plums

3 bright purple plums

Second only to various berries (which are usually introduced later, at about 8 months), plums rate super high on the USDA’s scale for measuring antioxidants. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins C, A and B2. Stew plums as you would apples (you can even cook them together—they make a yummy pair!) and puree until smooth.

Herbs and Spices

 a bunch of fresh basil lying on a table

Not only do fresh herbs and (mild) spices make your little one’s food tastier, but they also provide a wealth of health benefits. Many leafy green herbs contain protective antioxidants and phytochemicals, and some spices even have anti-inflammatory effects. Try adding cardamom, ginger, basil or mint to your baby’s next puree (and cinnamon, if she's not allergic). Just keep in mind that infants’ taste buds are more sensitive than ours; put in enough for you to detect just a hint of flavor.

 
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