A Quick and Easy Grocery List for Your Baby (2024)

As parents, we always want the best for our little ones, especially when it comes to their nutrition. Whether you’re a seasoned parent or new to the journey of feeding a baby, having the right foods on hand can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ll share a quick grocery list filled with foods to always keep stocked for your baby’s meals and snacks, focusing on their nutritional benefits and why they’re great options for your baby’s diet. The next time you head to the grocery store, be sure to take this list with you:

Fruits

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Fruits are an important food group to include in a baby’s diet. They’re rich in essential vitamins and minerals to support overall growth and development and an excellent source of fiber to help keep things regular.1,2 Here are fruits to keep on hand for baby that provide a variety of flavors, textures, and nutrients, laying the foundation for healthy eating habits later on in life:

1. Bananas

Bananas are a versatile fruit that’s easy to digest and gentle on your baby’s stomach.3 They’re rich in potassium, which supports healthy muscle and nerve function, and their natural sweetness makes them a favorite among little ones.4,5 Bananas also make for a great first food for your baby. To enjoy, mash and serve them as a standalone puree or mix them with oatmeal or yogurt for added sweetness. You can also make baby banana muffins for a wholesome breakfast or snack.

2. Berries

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Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.6,7 These nutrients support your baby’s immune system and digestive health while introducing them to new flavors and textures.2,8 When introducing berries to your baby’s diet, puree them for a smooth texture or offer small pieces as finger food for older babies. Mix berries into yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese for added flavor and a nutrient boost.

3. Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is a convenient and nutritious option for babies. It’s a good source of vitamin C and fiber, promoting healthy digestion and immune function.2,8,9 Plus, its smooth texture makes it easy for babies to eat and enjoy. To incorporate unsweetened applesauce into your baby’s diet, mix it with oatmeal or yogurt for added flavor and texture, or serve it as a standalone puree. I also enjoy using it to bake healthy snacks like applesauce muffins or pancakes, as it provides natural sweetness without added sugars.

4. Avocado

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Avocado is a nutrient-dense food rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.10 Its creamy texture makes it easy for babies to eat and digest, and its mild flavor pairs well with a variety of other foods. Avocado has been a huge hit with both of my littles and was their very first food! We like to serve it as soft, ripe slices rolled in chia or flax seeds, which makes for an easier grip for little hands. You can also mash it up and offer it as a puree or spread it onto whole-grain toast strips as a finger food.

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Vegetables

Like fruits, vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.2,11 They’re rich in antioxidants, too, providing a variety of key nutrients to support immune function and cognitive development.11,12,13 Be sure to add these vegetables to your next grocery list to always have on hand for baby:

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber.14 They’re easy to prepare and can be mashed or pureed for a smooth consistency that’s perfect for your baby’s developing palate. To incorporate sweet potato into your baby’s diet, steam or bake it until soft, then mash or puree it for a smooth texture. You can also cut it into small, manageable pieces for older babies to grasp and explore as a finger food.

2. Carrots

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Carrots are another excellent source of beta-carotene, which is essential for healthy vision and immune function.12,15,16 Their natural sweetness appeals to babies and makes them a nutritious addition to any meal. Babies can enjoy carrots roasted or baked as a first finger food. I also recommend adding finely grated or pureed carrots to oatmeal, yogurt, or homemade muffins for a nutrient-packed boost.

3. Peas

Peas are small but mighty when it comes to nutrition. They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins like vitamin K and folate.17 Peas make for a great finger food for older babies who are starting to develop a pincer grasp (around 9-10 months old) and learning to feed themselves.18 Before then, you can mash up peas and make them a puree or spread them onto whole-grain toast strips.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and lycopene, that support healthy eyesight, immunity, and heart health.12,16,19,20 Tomato is a versatile ingredient you can cook down into sauces or serve raw as a finger food for your baby. Offer quartered large beefsteak tomatoes to babies 6 months and up. You can begin offering quartered cherry tomatoes once your baby begins working on their pincer grasp (around 9 months of age).18,21

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Dairy

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An excellent source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D, dairy products provide essential nutrients that support strong bones and teeth.22,23 It’s not recommended to introduce cow’s milk into your child’s diet until their first birthday. However, you can start feeding your baby dairy products as early as 6 months of age.24,25 Here are my go-to dairy foods to always have on hand to feed baby:

1. Whole Milk Yogurt

Whole milk yogurt, such as Stonyfield’s YoBaby Yogurt, has calcium, vitamin D, protein, and probiotics, making it perfect for tiny tummies. These nutrients support your baby’s bone health, digestion, and immune function.26,27 Stonyfield’s YoBaby Yogurt Cups are #1 pediatrician-recommended* and suitable for babies ages 6 months and up. It’s become a staple in our household for busy mornings and as a late, after-nap snack. I love that it’s made with real fruit and without any harmful additives or preservatives, making it a wholesome and safe choice for my little ones.

*For babies 6 months – 2 years among refrigerated yogurts (IQVIA ProVoice Survey, 12/01/15-08/31/23)

2. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a soft and easy-to-digest dairy option for babies. It’s high in protein and calcium, which are essential for growth and development.28,29,30 You can offer cottage cheese plain in a bowl for baby to self-feed with their hands. Or offer it with a preloaded spoon to encourage the use of utensils.

3. Mild Cheeses

Cheese is rich in calcium and protein, making it a nutritious addition to your baby’s meals.31 However, some cheeses tend to be higher in sodium, which you should limit in babies’ diets.32 When choosing cheese for babies, opt for low-sodium, pasteurized options like fresh mozzarella, goat, ricotta, or Swiss cheese.33,34,35,36 Softer cheeses like ricotta can be spread onto whole-grain toast strips. Semi-firm cheeses can be sliced into thin pieces or served shredded or melted into dishes for added flavor and texture.

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Protein

Animal and plant proteins are made up of amino acids — the building blocks of life!37 Protein foods support muscle tissue and growth and overall development.38 The next time you head to the grocery store, add these plant and animal proteins to your grocery list for baby:

1. Eggs

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Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition. They provide protein, vitamins, and minerals, including choline and DHA, which are essential for your baby’s growth and development.39,40 Starting as early as 6 months, you can offer strips of fried eggs, scrambled eggs, or hard-boiled eggs or serve them as finger food for older babies.21

2. Meats and Poultry

Chicken thighs, ground beef, and ground turkey are lean sources of animal protein that provide essential nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc.41,42,43 Around 6 months of age, a baby’s iron needs begin to increase. Animal proteins such as these are an excellent source of dietary iron to help prevent iron deficiency anemia.44 Offer tender chicken thighs or drumsticks for your little one to munch on, mix ground beef or turkey with mashed potatoes, or prepare meatballs or patties from ground chicken, beef, or turkey.

3. Tofu

Tofu is rich in protein, iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients that are crucial for babies’ growth and development.45 Firm or sprouted tofu prepared with calcium sulfate provides more protein, iron, and calcium than soft or silken tofu.45,46 To offer tofu to your baby, cut soft or silken tofu into small pieces. You could also mash it into a smooth texture and serve it as finger food or mixed into purees or dishes for added nutrition.

4. Beans

Beans are a plant-based source of protein rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals suitable for babies.47 In the early stages, you can mash or puree them for a smooth consistency that’s easy for babies to eat or use chickpeas as a base for muffins. Once your baby begins to develop a pincer grasp, you can offer soft, fully cooked beans flattened.48

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Grains

An excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, grains serve as a valuable energy source for babies, supporting brain function and providing necessary nutrients for rapidly growing bodies.49,50,51 Here are two staple whole grains to have on hand for baby:

1. Oatmeal/Baby Cereal

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Oatmeal and baby cereal are excellent sources of iron, which is crucial for your baby’s cognitive development and overall health.44,52 Mix it with breast milk, formula, or water to achieve a smooth consistency and offer it as a standalone meal. Or mix it with pureed fruits or vegetables to introduce new flavors and textures. To boost the caloric density, flavor, and overall nutritional value, I also like to mix a thin layer of nut butter!

2. Whole-Grain Bread

With a higher protein and fiber content than white bread, whole-grain bread is a nutritious option for introducing grains into your baby’s diet.53,54 It’s a great source of fiber, iron, and B vitamins, and its soft texture makes it easy for babies to chew and swallow.54 The crusts of bread, or toasted bread, may be better tolerated than untoasted bread for early eaters, as it helps remove some moisture from the bread. This can make it less likely to ball up in baby’s mouth.55 Mash up avocado and beans, or spread a thin layer of nut butter or ricotta cheese to bump up the nutritional value.

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Healthy Fats

Healthy fats provide essential fatty acids that are necessary for baby’s brain development and cognitive function.56 Below are my go-to healthy fats to keep in stock at home for little ones:

1. Nut Butters

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Nut butters like peanut or almond butter are packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients for baby.57,58 They’re a convenient option for adding flavor and nutrition to your baby’s meals and snacks. You can dilute with breast milk, formula, or water to make a thin consistency your little one can manage. Mix it into yogurt and oatmeal, or spread it onto toast for a boost of healthy fats.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a nutritious addition to your baby’s diet, providing essential fatty acids for brain development and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.56,59,60 Its versatility adds flavor to dishes like homemade purees and roasted vegetables, encouraging healthy eating habits from an early age. Opt for extra virgin olive oil for maximum nutritional benefits and store it properly to maintain freshness.61 (Keep it away from your stove, in a dark place like a cupboard or pantry, and with a tight-fitting lid to minimize exposure to heat, light, and air.62)

By keeping these essential foods stocked in your pantry and refrigerator, you can ensure that your baby receives the nutrition they need for healthy growth and development. From fruits and vegetables to dairy, protein, and grains, each food on this list offers a unique set of nutrients that support your baby’s overall health and well-being. With a little planning and preparation, you can create delicious and nutritious meals that your baby will love!

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A Quick and Easy Grocery List for Your Baby (2024)

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