Types Of Foods You Can Introduce To Your Baby
Your baby has reached six months, and it's time for him to try solid food. Every baby is different, so there's no telling how your baby will take to this new experience. He may need a while to get used to different textures and tastes or he may tuck in straight away.
Some families swear by baby-led weaning, whereas others find their babies are happier with spoon-fed purées. We explain which foods are best to give your baby over the coming weeks and months, to help him get a good start at mealtimes.
Once your baby is six months old, you can in theory give him most foods, and try new ones quite quickly. Here are some foods you may wish to begin with:
- puréed or well-mashed cooked vegetables, such as potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnip, carrot, courgette, broccoli or cauliflower
- fruit purée, such as ripe cooked apple, pear, mango or papaya or mashed fruit such as ripe avocado or banana
- baby rice or other cereal mixed with your baby's usual milk
Purées may be easiest for your baby at first, but some babies can cope with soft lumps, as long as the food is well-mashed. Babies can quickly learn to chew soft, lumpy food even if they have no teeth.
Once your baby is happy eating from a spoon, you can increase the range of foods you offer. Just like us, babies can get bored with the same thing. So rather than just offering fruit or cereal purées, try these:
- Puréed or blended meat, fish or chicken. Be sure to cook the food thoroughly and remove bones.
- Puréed or well-mashed lentils, split peas, chickpeas or other pulses.
- Wholemilk yoghurt, fromage frais or custard. But remember your baby shouldn't have cow's milk (or goat's or sheep's) as his main drink until he's a year old due to an inadequate amount of several nutrients like iron, proteins, Vitamin C or Vitamin E.
- Vegetable purées which have stronger flavours, such as peas, cabbage or spinach.
Try as best you can to offer your baby home-made fare. It's best to use pre-prepared jars or packs of baby food as a stop-gap rather than for all your baby's meals.
Whenever you buy any pre-packaged food for your baby, check the labels and choose the products that are lowest in salt and sugar.