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What is the 100 First Foods Approach to Baby-Led Weaning?

Babies can eat so many more foods than we give them credit for! 

In 2016 I created the 100 FIRST FOODS approach to baby-led weaning which has now helped tens of thousands of families give THEIR babies a safe start to solid foods. Here’s how it works and how your baby can learn to eat 100 foods before turning one too.

Dietitian Katie Ferraro celebrating Baby Emme's 100th food before her first birthday

Katie Ferraro celebrating with Emme, 11 months and her 100th food

Who’s Behind the 100 FIRST FOODS Approach?

Hi there! I’m Katie Ferraro, Registered Dietitian and mom of 7 specializing in baby-led weaning. I am a college nutrition professor and I run the largest digital community dedicated to baby-led weaning @babyledweanteam

In 2016 I created the 100 FIRST FOODS approach to baby-led weaning and I host the top-rated parenting podcast called BABY-LED WEANING MADE EASY.

Podcast cover art of the BABY-LED WEANING MADE EASY podcast featuring headshot of Katie Ferraro

As a new mom, I wasn’t even aware of baby-led weaning.

We struggled immensely when introducing solid foods to our oldest daughter using conventional spoon-feeding. Mealtimes were a downright battleground and she hated food and hated being fed. 

Baby in high chair turning her face away from a spoon of food being presented to her mouth by an adult hand

Spoon-feeding was a struggle with our oldest child.

But with my next set of babies (quadruplets!) - I decided there was no way I was going to force feed four preemie babies by spoon, and I decided to give baby-led weaning a go.

At that time (2018) there were no good resources about HOW to do baby-led weaning…so I kind of had to make it up and figure it out on my own. 

Katie Ferraro offering food to quadruplet babies in feeding table with toddler daughter in foreground

Katie doing baby-led weaning with quadruplets.

We struggled a lot with making the foods safe and creating and re-creating age-appropriate recipes that babies could self-feed. There were a lot of stops and starts and tears and my fears that the babies weren’t “getting enough.”

…but we stuck with baby-led weaning and kept introducing 1 new food every day - and eventually I realized that the quadruplets had tried over 100 foods before they turned one!

Four babies sitting at a feeding table with ezpz mini mats of food in front of them and text on the photograph that says "We ate 100 foods this year!!"

The Ferraro quadruplets ate 100 foods before turning one.

Baby-led weaning was such a transformative experience for our entire family that I switched the emphasis of my nutrition career to focus exclusively on teaching other families how to make baby-led weaning foods safe…and the original 100 FIRST FOODS™ approach to baby-led weaning was born.

When the quads were 18 months old my husband and I had one more set of multiples - baby twins - and they also ate 100 foods with baby-led weaning before turning one (…we had 7 kids age 3 and under for awhile!)

Baby twins sitting in high chair with party hats on and balloons in background that say 100. Celebrating the babies' 100th First Food along with 5 other standing siblings at the same table.

Celebrating the Ferraro twins’ 100 FIRST FOODS with their siblings.

Almost all babies will develop some form of picky eating of food neophobia (fear of new foods) beginning in the second year of life. 

With conventional adult-led spoon feeding your baby might eat only 10 or 15 different foods by the time they turn one…and if you lose those 10 or 15 foods to picky eating, that becomes a very challenging baby to feed.

But with my 100 FIRST FOODS approach to baby-led weaning, your baby learns to safely eat 100 foods before turning one…so that if you lose 10 or 15 of those foods to picky eating in the second year of life, it’s not a big deal because you still have 85 or 90 foods that your baby will eat.

To get your free copy of my 100 FIRST FOODS list, register for the free BABY-LED WEANING FOR BEGINNERS workshop here.



IsaBella and Romeo Santucci had lobster for their 100th food.


If the idea of feeding your baby 100 foods before one sounds overwhelming…it doesn’t have to be. 

This approach simply involves introducing 1 new food per day, 5 days per week. 

That’s 20 foods per month and in just about 5 months your baby will have tried 100 new foods before turning one.


Lachlan’s family lives in the Philippines and they’re 100 FIRST FOODS fans.

Babies don’t wake up on their first birthday and magically know how to eat 100 foods. They need lots of time and space to learn HOW to eat.

My 100 FIRST FOODS approach to baby-led weaning is built on the back of my own 5-STEP FEEDING FRAMEWORK.

In 2016 I created the original 100 FIRST FOODS™ approach to starting solid foods with baby-led weaning. Using my 5-STEP FEEDING FRAMEWORK™ we introduce 5 new foods each week to the baby:

  • 1 new fruit on Monday
  • 1 new vegetable on Tuesday
  • 1 new starchy food on Wednesday
  • 1 new protein food on Thursday
  • 1 new allergenic food on Friday

It is perfectly safe to introduce 1 (or more) new food every day to your baby. With 5 new foods per week, you try 20 new foods per month and in just 5 months, your baby has had 100 different foods before turning 1. This approach takes the guesswork out of which foods to offer your baby next.


Aazi’s dad and mom loved the 100 FIRST FOODS program.


Inside of this workshop you will learn:

  • How to know if your baby is really ready to you don't start too soon which increases choking risk
  • How to safely prepare food for the first 10 days...including high iron foods like meat which can be tricky
  • How to introduce allergenic foods to help lower food allergy risk...and what to do if your baby has an allergic reaction

Click here to register for the free BABY-LED WEANING FOR BEGINNERS workshop and grab your copy of my original 100 FIRST FOODS list on this training too.


Photograph of baby in her high chair with food in an ezpz Tiny Bowl featured in foreground and balloons in background spelling out 1-0-0 to celebrate the baby's 100th first food before turning one.

Simone (and her big brother Teddy) completed 100 FIRST FOODS.


BABY-LED WEANING with Katie Ferraro is a step-by-step digital program designed to help your baby safely learn how to eat over 100 foods before turning one with education, guidance and support every step of the way.

visual display of the features of the BABY-LED WEANING with Katie Ferraro digital program

Here’s what you get when you join the BABY-LED WEANING with Katie Ferraro program:

  1. Every module and lesson is organized and streamlined to move your baby through the three distinct phases of baby-led weaning, so that by age 1 almost all of your baby’s nutrition will successfully be coming from food
  2. A strategic roadmap for helping your baby master trickier textures, safely eat allergenic foods and gain exposure to a wide variety of foods to help lower the risk of picky eating and save yourself valuable time, money and sanity while doing so
  3. Over 100 combination food recipes for Phase 2 of baby-led weaning…these are recipes your whole family will love so that you don’t have to worry about what your baby is having for dinner tonight, because the recipes are right there
  4. Support resources, including grocery lists, meal plans, checklists and cheat sheets designed to help you and your baby achieve important feeding and nutrition milestones so that you don’t have to go hunting and pecking all over the internet to figure it out on your own
  5. Access to the original 100 FIRST FOODS content library with instructions, videos, resources and recipes on how to safely make every food for your baby’s current age and stage, so that you’ll never wonder if you’re doing baby-led weaning the right way
  6. An easy to follow, evidence-based plan for helping your baby safely eat over 100 foods before turning 1 so that you can enjoy this next phase while your friends and family comment on what an amazing eater your baby is


Sign up to start pushing your baby’s palate TODAY and help your baby eat 100 foods before turning 1!


History of the 100 First Foods 

To learn more about my 100 FIRST FOODS approach and the history of this program, check out this episode of my BABY-LED WEANING MADE EASY PODCAST: A History of the 100 First Foods Approach to Baby-Led Weaning

Photograph of baby seated in high chair pointing ot a letter board that says I ATE 100 FOODS BEFORE A YEAR

Noah’s mom said she was so grateful for the 100 FIRST FOODS program.

100 First Food Grads

Nothing lights me up more than seeing babies around the world safely learning how to eat 100 foods before turning 1.

If you’re on Instagram and doing the 100 FIRST FOODS approach, be sure to tag me @babyledweanteam and use the hashtag #100FIRSTFOODS.

You can listen to the stories of some of our 100 FIRST FOODS grads in another episode of my BABY-LED WEANING MADE EASY podcast called “100 First Foods Graduates”. Click here to listen.

Baby seated in high hair with blue 1-0-0 balloons behind him indicating his 100th First Foods celebration

Colt’s mom is an SLP who did the 100 FIRST FOODS program.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of 100 foods - your baby CAN do this…and I’m here to help you along the way if you get stuck!


Katie Ferraro, MPH, RDN is a registered dietitian, college nutrition professor and mom of 7. She specializes in baby-led weaning and is the creator of the original 100 FIRST FOODS™ program. Katie hosts the top-rated parenting podcast BABY-LED WEANING MADE EASY and runs the baby-led weaning YouTube channel and @babyledweanteam Instagram account. Her BABY-LED WEANING with Katie Ferrao digital program is the go to resource for exactly how to start solid foods safely with baby-led weaning and to help your baby eat 100 safe, baby-led weaning foods before turning one.

headshot of Katie Ferraro

Katie Ferraro
Katie Ferraro

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