Get Up and Grow: First Foods

Breastmilk or formula is the only food baby needs from birth until around 6 months. From around 6 months baby needs other foods to help grow healthy and strong.

Page last updated: August 2012

Commonwealth of Australia 2012
State of Queensland 2012 (marked photographs only)

Health disclaimer

The information in this publication is for general information only, and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice. You must seek independent professional medical advice before relying on any information
contained in this publication.

Readers should be aware that these resources may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are now deceased.

Good foods for baby from around 6 months

  • Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula or cooled boiled water.
  • Pureed well cooked meat, chicken or fish (no bones).
  • Pureed cooked legumes like ‘no added salt’ baked beans.
Then baby can try:
  • smooth cooked vegies – potato, pumpkin, carrot or broccoli
  • smooth cooked fruit – apple or pear
  • finely mashed soft fruit – banana, mango or avocado
  • full fat yoghurt, smooth cheese and custard.
Food can be pureed using a blender and adding liquid if needed to get the right texture.

Once baby is eating smooth foods, increase the texture by mashing and chopping

Baby can try:
  • mashed or chopped cooked vegies
  • well-cooked and mashed fish (no bones),
  • soft meat or minced meat
  • mashed or chopped cooked fruit – apple or pear Top of page
  • cereals such as porridge or wheat biscuits with breastmilk or formula.
Note: To prevent botulism, do not feed honey to infants aged under 12 month

By 8 months, most babies can manage finger foods

Finger foods are foods cut into small pieces that baby can pick up and feed themselves, like:
  • chopped raw soft fruit – melon, banana or avocado
  • cooked grains – rice and pasta
  • bread or toast cut into strips
  • cheese cut into sticks.
At 12 months, baby can eat the same healthy foods that the family eats.

There is no need to add salt, sugar, margarine or butter to foods for babies and young kids.

Introducing solid foods

  • Baby needs breastmilk for as long as possible.
  • It is important to keep breastfeeding or formula feeding even when baby starts to eat food.
  • Start with one or two teaspoons of food after a milk feed.
  • Start with smooth soft foods.
  • As baby learns to chew move on to mashed lumpy or minced foods.
  • Grate, cook or mash apples, carrots and other hard fruits and vegies.
  • Most babies have no problems with new foods,
  • but watch for reactions such as rash, diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Allow baby to decide how much they want to eat and respond to signs of fullness – don’t force them to finish all their food.
  • Offer a variety of foods – baby needs to learn to like new foods.
Talk to childcare educators about the kinds of food baby eats at home. They will let you know what new foods your child has tried during the day.

Make sure kids don’t choke

  • Babies and young kids are learning how to eat – keep an eye on them.
  • Whole nuts, popcorn and other hard, small, round and sticky solid foods should not be served to young children at all.
  • Feed kids when they are awake and alert.
  • You can help kids to eat but don’t force them.
  • You should not leave baby alone with a bottle.
  • Stay with young kids when they are eating.
Early childhood services have policies in place to reduce the risk of choking in babies and young kids.

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