Healthy Eating GuidelineIntroduce suitable solids at around 6 months.
- 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.
- 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 choppingBaby 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.
By 8 months, most babies can manage finger foodsFinger 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.
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.