It is best to start with small amounts – offer one or two small teaspoonfuls of each new food. A baby who starts solids at six months may not need runny pureed foods and is able to move from runny foods to mashed lumpy foods and then to finger foods more quickly. Food can be mashed or prepared in a blender or food processor and mixed with expressed breastmilk or water. First weaning foods should be bland with no added salt or sugar.
It is best to introduce new foods one at a time. Suitable first foods when starting weaning at around six months include:
- baby rice
- mashed vegetables, eg carrots, potatoes, broccoli
- mashed fruit, eg banana, stewed apples or pears
- meat, eg beef, lamb or chicken
The next foods to introduce, assuming your baby is at least six months old, include:
- foods containing gluten, eg bread, pasta, breakfast cereals
- well cooked eggs
- cheese (pasteurised)
At nine months old your baby can be given a wide variety of foods in small chunks or as finger foods.
Foods to avoid include:
- unpasteurised cheese
- raw eggs
- sugary foods
- foods with salt added
Plan to include your baby in family mealtimes so that he can enjoy eating with others and you can get to know his likes and dislikes.
NOTE: never leave your baby alone while feeding in case of choking.
Drinks and weaning
You can continue breastfeeding at the same time as introducing your baby to solid food. For other drinks, most breastfed babies enjoy drinking from a feeding cup. This can be introduced at the same time as your baby starts having solids. Suitable drinks include expressed breastmilk or infant formula or water. Very dilute pure fruit juices can be given occasionally, diluted to 1 part juice to 10 parts water. Cow’s milk is not suitable as a main drink until after one year of age.