Healthy Eating Guideline

Introduce suitable solids at around 6 months.

Introducing solids

  • Baby needs solids as well as breastmilk or formula for healthy growth and to support jaw and speech development.
  • It is important to keep breastfeeding or formula feeding even when baby starts to eat solid food.
  • First foods should be smooth and high in iron such as baby rice cereal or pureed lean meat.
  • Start with 1 or 2 teaspoons of food after a milk feed.
  • Start with finely mashed or pureed food and slowly change to chopped food when baby is ready.
  • Provide food and allow baby to decide how much they want to eat – never force baby to eat or finish food.
  • Offer new foods regularly, including a variety of tastes, textures and colours.
  • There is no need to add salt, sugar, butter or margarine to food for babies and kids.

Good foods for babies from around 6 months

  • Iron fortified infant cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula or water that has been boiled and cooled.
  • 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 babies are 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
  • cereals such as porridge or wheat biscuits with breastmilk or formula.
Note: To prevent botulism, do not feed honey to infants aged under 12 months

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 start eating healthy family foods, but choking is a risk – hard foods such as whole nuts, raw carrot or apple pieces should not be given to kids under 3.

Special feeding needs

  • Some babies who have been sick or who have a disability might have special needs when it comes to feeding.
  • Talk to parents and carers about baby’s needs.

Keep kids safe from choking

  • Babies and kids are learning how to eat – they need to be watched when eating because they can choke.
  • Start with smooth, soft foods – as baby learns to chew, move on to minced foods.
  • Grate, cook or mash apples and carrots and other hard fruits and vegies.
  • Don’t give whole nuts, popcorn or other hard foods to young kids under 3 years.
  • Feed kids when they are awake and alert.
  • Never force kids to eat.
  • Never leave baby alone with a bottle.
  • Stay with young kids when they are eating.