From six to 12 months of age, breast milk continues to be the main food for your baby, but your baby also needs solid foods to develop and grow. Solid foods provide a variety of nutrients, flavours and textures for your baby.
At around six months of age, most babies are ready for solid foods. Babies are ready for solid foods when they:
- can sit up.
- can hold their head up.
- show interest in food when others are eating.
- can open their mouth when food is offered.
- can take food from a spoon and swallow it.
- can lean back or turn their head away to let you know when they have had enough or that they do not want to try it.
The first foods you offer your baby need to be iron-rich. Some examples of iron-rich foods are:
- well-cooked and unprocessed meat, fish and poultry.
- well-cooked meat alternatives such as whole egg, tofu, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
- peanut butter spread thinly on toast or crackers.
- iron-fortified infant cereals.
After introducing iron-rich foods, include a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Foods for your baby should be prepared with little or no added salt or sugar. By one year of age, your child can eat a variety of healthy foods. Whenever possible, eat meals together as a family and offer your child the same foods that the rest of the family eats.
For more details about introducing solid foods, including information on textures, allergies and much more, check out Healthy Eating for Babies Age 6-12 Months.