Have you heard of the 100 foods before 1 challenge? I say challenge in the loosest sense. It’s more inspiration for parents to mix things up in the kitchen and provides ideas that help with offering a wide variety of different foods, in order to help your baby enjoy foods and experience different flavours and textures. In this post we’ll be exploring 100 foods before 1 for vegan babies, but don’t click off this post yet as all of these ideas are suitable for vegetarian, flexitarian, plant based, and meat eating babies too.
We are a plant-based family, and when I was scouring the internet, I noticed that these lists were meat and dairy heavy, which is great for those with a standard diet, but not so great for the veg heads among us. I’ve created this list of 100 foods before 1 for vegan and plant-based babies to fill that gap and help other parents who want to tick foods off a list, but don’t want to include meat and/or dairy.
While this list is full of plant-based foods, that doesn’t mean it’s exclusively for vegan babies. These foods are all whole foods that are packed with nutrients, with lots of different flavours for your babies to try, making this list of 100 foods suitable for everyone.
Do Babies Really Need Food Before 1?
The phrase “food before 1 is just for fun” has been thrown around a lot, and confession time, I think I’ve even mentioned it before in this blog, but it turns out it’s not exactly true.
The phrase was coined as babies should be getting most of their calories from milk, either breast or formula, at least until their first birthday, and introducing a solid meal shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to cut out a feed.
But, introducing foods before 1 is advisable both nutritionally and for key development in your child.
Nutritionally speaking, babies receive everything they need before the age of 1 through their milk, be it formula or breast milk. The only nutrient breastfed babies don’t receive is vitamin D3 which should be supplemented. Formula is fortified with vitamin D.
The nutrients that are most important for your baby’s growth and development are iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, and Omega-3, so you might consider offering foods which are high in these vitamins and minerals.
Solid foods also play a vital role in helping your with their oral motor skills and sensory development. Eating is a very complex sensory task and there are over 30 different sensory steps your baby needs to work through in order to eat each individual food.
Why 100 Foods?
100 foods is not a magic number, and it’s not something that you should beat yourself up over if you don’t manage to reach all 100 before your baby’s first birthday.
On the other hand, if you manage to introduce more than 100 foods before your baby turns one, you don’t need to worry that you’ve presented too many flavours. Your baby will not spontaneously combust, and really, a pat on the back is what you need for being so diverse.
This list of 100 first foods is for inspiration only, to help you branch out from the foods you buy weekly, and introduce new flavours and textures to your little one.
Depending on where you live, you may have already introduced foods that aren’t on this list, or alternatively, there may be some foods on the list that you know you probably won’t introduce, and that’s fine too.
In fact, if you come across foods I’ve not mentioned that your baby loves, I’d love to hear about it, for when my mealtime inspo is lacking.
This challenge is NOT meant to cause extra stress in your life, so take it with a pinch of salt, and consider it before you visit the grocery store, but don’t panic if your baby didn’t try anything new last week, or if availability/budget prevent you from serving any of these foods.
Benefits Of 100 Foods Before 1
The whole concept of 100 foods before 1 came about as a way of ensuring a diverse diet for little ones as they start solids.
As adults, we know what we do and don’t like, and therefore tend to stick to buying what we know, week in, week out.
The 100 foods before 1 challenge intends to switch that up, and make sure your baby is being offered a wide variety of colours, textures, flavours, and of course, nutrients, before their first birthday.
The main benefit of introducing so many foods so early on is the growing evidence that it reduces the chance of your child being a picky eater.
Of course, on top of that, different foods have different vitamins and minerals, so offering a wide variety of foods offers a wide variety of nutrients to your developing baby.
It’s important to note that one of the most important, if not THE most important way to prevent picky eating is approaching mealtimes in a relaxed, calm, and fun way. Let them explore foods at their own pace, let them learn to chew safely without you grabbing foods out of their mouth all the time, and don’t worry if some days they seem to have a never ending belly, and on others they barely eat anything – it’s all part of the process.
100 Foods Before 1 For Vegan Babies
Wherever you are in your baby weaning journey, make sure to do your own research into the best way to serve any of these foods to your babies. Different age babies require different cooking techniques and different shapes and sizes served to them. I use Solid Starts whenever serving new foods to my baby, and I find it to be a lifesaver.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or any type of medical professional. I am simply a mama that is sharing what works for me and my baby. Before weaning your baby, you should do your own research and contact your healthcare professional for advice on allergens and appropriate foods to serve.
- Passion fruit
- Cantaloupe melon
- Green beans
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potato
- Bell pepper
- Bok choi
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Cannellini beans
- Pinto beans
- Soy beans
- Edamame beans
- Black eyed peas
- Split peas
- Bulgur wheat
- Peanut butter
- Chia seed
- Flax seed
- Hemp seed
- Sunflower seed
- Pumpkin seed
50+ More Vegan Foods To Try
Once you’ve exhausted this list of 100 first foods, you don’t need to stop there. Finding more fun foods for your baby to try might require an extra few minutes in the grocery store, but expanding their palette (and yours) brings so many benefits. Here are some more foods to consider trying with your baby.
- Red currant
- Star fruit
- Swiss chard
- Borlotti beans
- Haricot beans
- Lima beans
- White beans
- Butter beans
- Mung beans
- Garam masala
- Vanilla bean
- Almond butter
- Brazil nut
- Pine nut
- Macadamia nut
- Sesame seeds
- Poppy seeds
Final Thoughts On 100 Foods Before 1
I hope you feel inspired by this list of 100 foods before 1 for vegan babies. if you’ve been struggling with what to offer your baby throughout the day at meal times. Sometimes, you can get really stuck at one particular meal time (it’s lunch time for me), and end up offerings the same foods again and again so now you have a massive list of over 100 vegan foods to try with your baby, that you can both have fun exploring
Related: 10 vegan baby led weaning recipes