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Introducing Solids

 baby eating off spoon

Advice about introducing solid foods to babies is more straightforward and less restrictive than in the past. There is enough evidence related to allergy prevention to now recommend babies be exposed to a range of foods at around 6 months of age, rather than restrict foods that were previously thought to cause an allergy.

0-6 months

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends exclusive breastfeeding – with no other milks, foods or drinks – until a baby is about 6 months old.

At this time, you can begin to offer your baby solid foods, while continuing to breastfeed until 12 months or longer. Breastfeeding can provide health benefits for your baby well into their second year of life.

From around 6 months

Continue breastmilk or infant formula as your baby’s main food. Small amounts of cooled water may be offered in a cup. Suitable first foods are usually soft and easily digested, such as blended, mashed and mince textures.

You can begin to offer:

  • Iron fortified cereals (e.g. rice or other mixed grains)
  • Vegetables and legumes (e.g. kidney beans, chickpeas, soy beans, lentils)
  • Meat (such as beef, lamb or pork), poultry, fish (canned, fresh or frozen with all the bones removed), liver
  • Cooked plain tofu, tempeh

From 6 to 12 months

Continue breastmilk or infant formula as your baby’s main food. Cool, boiled water may be offered in a cup.

Most babies can now manage a variety of foods and textures, including thick mash, soft lumps, small/chopped bite-size pieces and finger foods.

You can offer:

  • Cooked or raw vegetables (e.g. steamed or grated carrot, mashed or boiled potato/sweet potato, chopped tomato, cucumber sticks, small florets of broccoli and cauliflower)
  • Fruit (any type of fresh fruit and tinned fruit canned in natural juice)
  • Cereals and grain foods (e.g. wheat, oats, rice, burghul, couscous, pearl barley), noodles, bread, pasta (preferably wholegrain)
  • Whole cooked egg (boiled, scrambled, omelette)
  • Nut pastes
  • Toast fingers and rusks
  • Dairy foods such as full-fat cheese, custards and yoghurt

By 12 months, children are able to eat most family foods and drink from a cup.

From 12 months, full fat cow's milk can be offered from a cup.

Toddler follow-on milks are not necessary as toddlers should be able to get their nutrition from healthy family foods and regular milk.

Breasfeeding can continue as long as you and your baby wish.

 

For more information please see Starting Family Foods - Introducing your baby to solid foods brochure (PDF 1.82MB)

This brochure is designed for parents of 0 -12 month old babies and provides information on the new Infant Feeding Guidelines including breastfeeding and when and how to start solid foods, safe food handling and hygiene, commercial foods, unsuitable foods, food allergies and more.