Starting Solid Foods, with Lily Nichols

Is there a best time to introduce solid foods? What foods should you start with? Is it best to do baby-led weaning, purees, or a mix? What about nutritional requirements, allergies, water, texture windows, and flavor windows? Is food before one just for fun? Does your baby have any say on this? Lily Nichols has answers. Go listen.


Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • Is there a best time to start?
  • Signs of being ready
  • What should you start with?
  • What about the traditional recommendations of cereals?
  • The 180-degree shift in allergen foods recommendations
  • Food spacing
  • Flavor windows
  • Oh, the veggies!
  • Baby-Lead Weaning (BLW) and why we need a new name
  • BLW vs. purees vs. combo approach: pros and cons of each
  • Your baby’s opinion matters!
  • The importance of responsive feeding
  • BLW: size, shape, and texture of foods for safety
  • Choking vs. gagging
  • Texture windows
  • Signs of food allergies
  • What is the quantity that is considered an “exposure” to that food?
  • Feeding solids: how much and how often?
  • Nutritional needs
  • “Food before one is just for fun?”
  • Vitamin D needs
  • Seasoning your food?
  • When can you introduce water?


Helpful resources & links*:

  • Know that babies can also gag on purees, so it’s not exclusive to BLW. They tend to have a sensitive gag reflex!


Related Birthful episodes:


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About Lily Nichols

Pregnancy nutrition expert talks about updated guidelines - Lily Nichols on the Birthful Podcast

Courtesy of Lily Nichols

Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition. Drawing from the current scientific literature and the wisdom of traditional cultures, her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and sensible.

Her bestselling book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes (and online course of the same name), presents a revolutionary nutrient-dense, lower carb approach for managing gestational diabetes. Her work has not only helped tens of thousands of women manage their gestational diabetes (most without the need for blood sugar-lowering medication), but has also influenced nutrition policies internationally. Lily’s clinical expertise and extensive background in prenatal nutrition have made her a highly sought after consultant and speaker in the field.

Lily’s second book, Real Food for Pregnancy, is an evidence-based look at the gap between conventional prenatal nutrition guidelines and what’s optimal for mother and baby. With over 930 citations, this is the most comprehensive text on prenatal nutrition to date.

Lily is also creator of the popular blog,, which explores a variety of topics related to real food, mindful eating, and pregnancy nutrition.


Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).


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