Feeding your baby - what and when?

First solids are a big milestone for your baby – and you too! If you’re concerned about what foods to introduce when, use our timetable as a guide

Our handy timetable offers a rough guide to what you can give your baby and when, but remember that all babies are individuals – and that applies to their appetites too.

0-6 months: Breast or formula milk

Both the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed until the age of six months. The same age guideline also applies to formula-fed babies. Before this age, your baby’s digestive system is too immature to cope with solid food and early weaning has been linked to an increased risk of allergies, eczema and diabetes.

6 months+: First solids

Once your baby hits the magic six month mark, he’s developmentally ready to try solids – if you’ve noticed he seems less satisfied by his milk feeds, it’s a good sign he needs more than milk to satisfy his hunger. Don’t offer solids before six months unless your doctor or health visitor advises you to do so.

Ideal foods

How often

Aim for twice a day with milk feeds in between (your baby should still receive most of his nourishment from breast or formula milk – a minimum of 500-600ml/16-20 ounces a day). Introduce new foods one at a time, three to four days apart, to ensure that you can pinpoint the cause of any potential allergic reactions (such as a rash or diarrhoea).

7-9 months: More texture

Move your baby gradually away from sloppier foods to mashed foods with a thicker, chewier consistency as his teeth start to cut through.

Ideal foods

How often

Three times a day plus finger food snacks, with a minimum of 500-500ml/16-20 ounces of breast or formula milk a day. Now is when you can offer first finger foods too – diced frozen veg cooked to a soft consistency is ideal, as are toast or pitta bread slices, soft fruit, rice cakes and Cheerios cereal.
*If you have a family history of food allergies, avoid wheat-based foods until your baby is over one.

10-12 months: Greater variety

This is your window of opportunity as far as getting your baby used to a wide variety of tastes and textures. Combine foods with sauces and mince or chop your baby’s food less finely now, so he can continue to grow accustomed to chunkier textures. Continue to offer lots of finger foods to help hone your baby’s fast developing thumb-and-finger pincer grip.

Ideal foods
As 7-9 months, plus…

How often

Four times a day plus finger food snacks, with a minimum of 350-400ml/12-14 ounces of breast or formula milk.
*If you have a family history of food allergies, avoid eggs until your baby is over one

12 months+: Family food

Try to plan family meals so your baby can eat what you’re eating but don’t give him sugary foods or processed food that may contain too much salt – if you use salt in cooking, set aside a salt-free portion for your baby before adding it. Around now you can give your baby his own spoon at mealtimes, so he can make his first attempts at self-feeding (though don’t expect him to get much in there himself!) while you feed him.

Ideal foods
As 10-12 months plus

How often

Four times a day plus snacks, with a minimum of 350-400ml/12 ounces of breast or formula milk. You can start to offer larger meals as your baby gets on the move and needs more calories for energy.

What to avoid


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