Introducing your baby to solids is an exciting time as it means your little one is growing up. But it can also feel a bit overwhelming trying to know the best way to do it.
By around 6 months of age, breastmilk (or infant formula) will no longer provide your baby with all the nutrients and energy it needs for growth. You may also find that your baby may also have a greater appetite and be ready to try different foods, different textures and ways of feeding.
Good nutrition is always important but is especially important for babies as they need the right type of nutrients and good sources of energy to grow and develop healthily. Good nutrition for bub can also help prevent chronic diseases and influences their bone growth.
So, what is the best way to introduce your baby to solids?
Some of the best foods to introduce your baby to solids
- SunRice Baby Rice Cereal: It’s important that your baby’s first foods should be iron-rich. A convenient and healthy way to include iron into your baby’s diet is with SunRice Baby Rice cereal, which is a good source of iron. It’s made in Australia with Australian rice, is naturally gluten-free, has no added sugar, no added salt and no artificial flavours. Other iron-rich foods to introduce to bub include pureed meat, poultry and fish (all sources of haem iron), or cooked tofu and legumes.
- Pureed vegetables and fruit: Introducing your baby to different types of vegetables and fruit is such a brilliant way to ensure they’re getting a varied diet from a young age. This can help make sure they get the right supply of nutrients and energy for their growing body. Some healthy pureed fruit and vegetables to try including avocado, peas, broccoli, berries, banana, pumpkin, carrot and spinach.
- Full-fat yoghurt: Yoghurt provides baby with calcium, probiotics and protein. While yogurt naturally contains some sugar, choose a yoghurt without adding sugars.
Tips for transitioning your baby to solids
- Continue giving your baby breast milk or infant formula while you are introducing solids. Apart from cooled boiled tap water, it’s best to skip all other drinks until your baby is 12 months old.
- When introducing your baby to solids. start by offering your baby purees. Then as they are ready, progress them to mashed foods, then minced and chopped foods.
- Most babies are chewing by 7 to 9 months of age and can manage finger foods at 8 months!
- You can continue to increase the range and quantity of foods you give to your baby so that by 12 months, your bub is consuming a wide variety of family foods.
- Research shows that delaying introduction of solid foods, including allergenic foods like nuts and eggs after six months can actually increase risk of allergies. Do further research on how to best introduce bub to allergenic foods.
- There is no need to add salt or sugar to your baby’s food. They will find the food you give them flavourful without any flavour additions that adults are used to.
Article by dietitian, nutritionist and wellness ambassador at SunRice, Lyndi Cohen