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Reality star (and diet book author) Bethenny Frankel has already weighed in on what newborn daughter Bryn's first solid food will be -- butternut squash. She's just one of many new moms who are eschewing the bland rice cereal tradition and giving their babies something with a little more flavor to it -- usually a pureed fruit or veggie.
We wondered what the experts had to say about this. Turns out, there's nothing wrong with skipping right to the really good stuff, the way Frankel says she will.
"There are no hard and fast rules about offering rice cereal as the first food, even though most new parents think this is the case," says Ari Brown, pediatrician and co-author of Baby 411. The reason why rice has been the norm is because it's notorious for being low-risk for allergies. But unless you have a family history of allergies, there's no need to be extra cautious of non-rice foods. "As long as you are careful, you will know what your baby does not like, does not tolerate or is allergic to," Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. That means waiting in between introducing new foods and observing your baby for signs of allergies or sensitivites, such as a rash or hives.
And while rice cereal and squash are fine choices, there are plenty of foods that -- as long as they're mashed or pureed well -- are good first-time baby foods. Common ones are oatmeal, bananas and sweet potatoes. "The American Academy of Pediatrics Nutrition Committee argues that meat is the ideal first food since it contains both zinc and iron, which are important nutrients to complement formula or breast milk," says Dr. Brown. This is a debatable subject, so choose what you feel is best and discuss it with your pediatrician. "At some point, babies have to eat what their families eat," says Dr. Bhatia, so look to your own diet for inspiration.
What was your baby's first food? Chime in below!