How to introduce your little one to solids

Weaning on to solids

Weaning involves making the switch from milk to solids. This process should be started at around 6 months old when they are physically ready for solid food and it can be spoon-led or baby-led. Weaning is a very important part of your baby’s development and is a great chance for your baby to explore new flavours and start enjoying a variety of different foods together.

Weaning your baby will be a process that develops over time, and to begin with you’ll still be giving them breast milk for most meals and then a small amount of pureed or mushy food for the other. They’ll be getting their nutrients and energy from your milk, so don’t get too hung up on specific amounts at this point.

Your baby will likely love to feed themselves, so if you choose to, you can offer them soft finger food rather than pureed food from the get-go. It’ll give them good chewing practice and the opportunity to develop hand eye coordination, just make sure you’re ready for some messy feeding times which are all part of the fun!

It’s not unusual to be a little unsure about the types of food you’ll want to be feeding your baby, especially as this will differ as your baby grows.

At 6 months you’ll want to try pureed fruit, vegetables and baby rice and by 7-9 months they’ll love tucking into some cooked carrot sticks, broccoli and small fingers of toast, you might even want to try some baked potato or scrambled egg.

By 9-11 months your baby will be able to eat everything you eat just in tiny baby sized chunks. Your baby should now be joining in with the family meal having 3 small meals a day of a well-balanced diet including starchy food like potatoes, portions of fruit and veg and servings of protein including meat, tofu, fish and eggs.

From 12 months , your little one will be a dynamo of energy and will need high energy foods in smaller portions to keep them going. As well as 3 small meals a day it’s a good idea to give them two or three healthy snacks including raisins, a banana or a cup of milk.