Introducing Solid Foods

A baby sitting in a high chair with colourful solid foods on the tray in front of them. They are grinning at the camera.

Introducing your baby to solid foods is exciting but can also be a bit scary. For information to get you started on this exciting new experience, check out the sections below.

For more details about introducing solid foods, including information on what to offer, textures, allergies and much more, check out Healthy Eating for Babies Age 6-12 Months.

Why are solid foods important? (click to expand) »

From six to 12 months of age, breastmilk (or store-bought infant formula if you are not breastfeeding) is still the main food for your baby, but your baby also needs solid foods. Solid foods give your baby the extra energy and nutrients they need to grow and develop.

Introducing solids also lets your baby experience new tastes and textures from a variety of foods and helps them build the skills to become a life-long healthy eater.

When should I start giving my baby solid foods? (click to expand) »

At around six months of age, most babies are ready for solid foods. You will know your baby is ready for solid foods when they can:

  • Hold their head steady.
  • Sit up and lean forward.
  • Show you when they have had enough food or do not want to try a food (such as turning their head away).
  • Try to pick up food and put it in their mouth.

Note: If your baby was born pre-term, ask your healthcare provider when your baby should start solid foods.

What should I feed my baby? (click to expand) »

To help meet your baby’s iron needs, iron-rich foods should be your baby’s first foods:

  • Offer iron-rich foods to your baby two or more times each day.
  • At least one of these foods should be an iron-rich protein food.

After introducing iron-rich foods, start offering a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods.

Foods offered to babies can be many of the same healthy foods enjoyed by your family.

Check out Healthy Eating for Babies Age 6-12 Months for important information about what foods and beverages to offer your baby.

How much food does my baby need? (click to expand) »

There is no set amount of food that your baby should eat. Each baby’s appetite is different and can vary from meal to meal and day to day. Let your baby decide how much to eat. Pay attention to their cues about wanting more or having had enough.

Check out Healthy Eating for Babies Age 6-12 Months to learn more about how much food to offer your baby.

How can I help my baby learn to eat well? (click to expand) »

You may be thinking about what foods to give your baby, but how you offer those foods is also important.  As a parent or caregiver, you can help your baby learn important food skills and develop positive attitudes towards food and eating.

Check out Healthy Eating for Babies Age 6-12 Months to learn more about helping your baby learn to eat well for life.

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Last updated: 2024-01-19