- Signs to look out for
- 4-6 months
- 6-8 months
- 8-10 months
- 10-12 months
- What foods do I avoid feeding my baby?
- So, your baby is showing signs that he or she is ready to start eating solid foods. But what types of foods do you feed them and when? We have created a handy baby food chart as a guide to what and when you should be feeding your baby.
However, let’s first take a look at the signs your baby is ready to start eating solid foods.
Signs to look out for:
Between 4 – 6 months your baby should start showing an interest in solid foods. Signs to look out for that your baby is ready to start eating solid foods should include the following:
- he or she can sit upright unattended, and has good head and neck control;
- they are showing an interest in your food or getting excited about what is on your plate;
- he or she is reaching out for your food and putting food to their mouth;
- he or she is voluntarily opening his or her mouth to accept food.
It’s important to remember that each baby will develop at a different rate. If your baby is showing some signs but not taking any solid foods, don’t worry, try again in a few days time. If your baby takes some food but pushes it out again with their tongue, it means their reflux action is still there, and they are not quite ready for solids yet. However, if your baby hasn’t started solids by 7 months it’s time to consult with your health care worker or doctor.
When to introduce foods to baby:
We have created a handy baby food chart for you to use as a guideline for when and which foods you can introduce to your baby. But above all, remember that this a guide only. Each baby is different and they will develop their own likes and dislikes. Some babies will prefer soft or mashed food, while others will prefer finger food. Start by offering small amounts and let your baby guide you.
Our baby food chart includes the following:
Fruits: Apples, avocado, bananas, pears
Vegetables: Green beans, butternut squash, sweet potato
Grains: Barley, oatmeal, rice, iron fortified cereals
There is no set order of which foods to introduce first. However, it is important to introduce iron rich foods for your baby’s healthy development. Start by feeding your baby soft, mashed or mushy foods, then go to small pieces as your baby gets used to solid foods. Our chart can be used as a 4 months baby food chart and above.
Fruits: Apricot, mango, nectarine, peach, plums, prunes
Vegetables: Carrots, parsnip, peas, pumpkin, zucchini
Meat: Chicken, tofu, turkey
Many babies will only eat a tiny amount to start with (less than ½ teaspoon) while other babies may surprise you by wanting more. Let your baby tell you when they are hungry and full. For example as they get full they won’t show as much interest and may look away more. You can read more about our guide to a 6 month old schedule for a happy baby here.
Fruits: Blueberry, melon, cherries, citrus, coconut, cranberries, figs, grapes, kiwi, papaya, persimmons
Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, leeks, onions, peppers, potatoes, turnip
Meat: Beef, pork
Grains: Buckwheat, flax, kamut, millet, pasta, quiona
Dairy: Eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt
If you haven’t already, start to give your baby finger foods to hold. They may need your help to begin with. At this stage your baby is still learning to chew. So make sure the finger foods are soft and are cut into small pieces so your baby does not choke.
Fruits: Citrus, strawberries
Vegetables: Beans, lentils, corn, spinach, tomatoes
Meat: Fish, wild game (first consult your doctor)
Dairy: cow’s milk
An important thing to remember when feeding your 10-12 month old baby is that you can start supplementing breast milk or formula with regular foods that your family enjoys. You can start giving them finger food or mashed food instead of breastfeeding. However, there is no hard and fast rule as to when you must stop breastfeeding entirely. This is a decision that you should take after consulting your doctor.
What foods do I avoid feeding my baby?
Our baby solids chart does not include what food you should avoid feeding your baby. While it’s an exciting time for your baby’s development here’s a list of foods that you should avoid in the first 12 months:
Honey: Honey should be avoided until your baby is at least 1 year’s old. Honey can harbor Clostridium botulinum, a very dangerous bacteria that may cause a very serious condition called infant botulism.
Sugar: Too much sugar can be very bad for your baby. It can rot their teeth and make them put on too much weight.
Salt: Adding too much salt to a baby’s food can be harmful to their immature kidneys, which might not be able to process the excess salt.
Nuts: Whole nuts present a choking hazard for young babies. The same goes for grapes, and other hard foods.
Fruit juice: This may come as a surprise, but fruit juice is high in added sugar and has little nutritional value for a young baby
Our baby food chart is for guidance only and should never be used as a replacement for advice from your doctor or health care worker.
The foods listed are grouped together based on your baby’s age and the digestibility, taste, texture and possible allergy risks for the relative food groups.
If possible, try to get your baby into the routine of eating at the same time as the rest of the family. Your baby will benefit from the social interaction.