Ideal Foods for Starting Solids
Start off by offering iron-rich foods that are well-puréed, smooth, soft foods that don’t require chewing.
Puréed meats and vegetables or iron-fortified rice cereal, mixed with either breast milk, water or formula, can resemble a smooth semi-liquid and have a mild flavour. To babies it can be delicious, especially when it has been combined with some puréed fruit such as apple or pear.
Iron-fortified rice cereal tends to absorb a lot of liquid and can resemble a thick glue if it does not have sufficient fluid added. It mixes well with other introductory foods, such as puréed vegetables and fruit.
New foods can be introduced alone or with other foods that baby has not tried before. It is not necessary to introduce them slowly, but it is important to offer nutrient rich foods to your baby.
Weaning Food Combos
Here are some great combos to add to iron rich foods such as puréed meat, chicken, fish or iron-fortified rice cereal:
- Pumpkin, sweet potato and broccoli
- Pumpkin, carrot and apple
- Zucchini, yellow squash and potato
- Green beans and sweet potato
- Green beans, yellow squash and potato
- Pumpkin and potato
- Cauliflower and carrot
- Cauliflower, potato and carrot
- Avocado and pumpkin
- Broccoli and potato or pumpkin.
- Melon and banana
- Papaya and banana
- Apple and pear
- Pear and peach
- Dried apricots stewed, soaked and puréed
- Dried apricots, peaches and sultanas stewed and puréed
- Avocado and banana (yes, they love it!)
- Avocado and apple.
Weaning foods to avoid:
- Honey can potentially contain the spores of a harmful bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. This can cause a serious health issue in babies aged less than 12 months. For this reason, honey is not recommended until after the age of 1 year
- Avoid adding salt, sugar or other flavourings to your baby’s food
- If there is a family history of any allergy, discuss it with your healthcare professional before introducing solids.
Weaning tips to remember:
- Continue to offer milk feeds before solids
- Be patient and don’t expect your baby to love new tastes the first time they try them
- While it’s not vital to have a blender or hand blender, it can make life easier. Alternatively, you can mash baby food with a fork or push it through a fine sieve
- Offer solid food from a spoon. Solid foods should not be added to a bottle
- Use a soft, shallow spoon which fits comfortably into your baby’s mouth and which they can manage to get the food off
- Make sure your baby is sitting upright when they’re eating, preferably on your lap or in a high chair
- Expect some mess and lots of spitting out at first – getting used to eating takes lots of practice!
- It’s fine to cook in advance and freeze solid foods until you are ready to use them. Ice cube trays, small individual containers and zip-lock bags are all perfect for this. Try freezing individual portion sizes in an ice-cube tray and then storing the cubes in an airtight plastic bag. Remember to be careful about hygiene and storage
- If you can see your baby’s teeth, clean them each day. The best time to do this is during bath time with a soft washcloth or a very soft bristled toothbrush
- Do not blow on your baby’s food to cool it or share the same spoon. This can cause tooth decay because of the transfer of oral bacteria.
For further information on Introducing Solids watch our animation.
In this animation we look at when to start introducing solids and the best kinds of foods and textures to start with.