How to prepare
(Fortified cereals give your baby iron, an important nutrient he needs now.
A baby is born with a natural reserve of iron that begins to deplete around 6
months of age.)
Mix with baby formula or breast milk, or even water on occasion.
Puréed or strained fruits (bananas, pears, apples, apricots, prunes).
Wash all fresh fruits, then bake, boil or steam until soft. You can purée in
either a blender or a food processor, or use a small food mill; add a little
liquid such as breast milk, baby formula or water at first. Make it watery at
first, then use less liquid as your baby gets used to solid foods.
Puréed or strained vegetables (avocados, carrots, peas, potatoes,
Wash all fresh vegetables; then bake, boil or steam until soft. You can
purée in either a blender or a food processor, or use a small food mill; add a
little liquid such as breast milk, baby formula or water at first. You can use
less water for a thicker purée as your baby gets used to the new foods.
Protein: pea-sized pieces of cooked chicken, turkey or other meats, or
boneless fish; pulses such as lentils, kidney or haricot beans.
(Doctors used to recommend waiting longer to introduce meats, but now they
note these are a good source of iron, particularly for breastfed babies, who
may not be getting enough.)
Cut meat or fish into very small pieces; cook and mash or cut up pulses.
Mashed fruits and vegetables.
No need to purée; just cook foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes until
soft, or mash up soft foods such as bananas and avocados.
Finger foods such as small O-shaped cereals, teething crackers, small pieces
of cooked pasta.
Cut up to make sure the pieces are small enough for your baby to swallow
Dairy: small amounts of yoghurt, cottage cheese, any pasteurised cheese.
Cut cheeses into small pieces.
Scramble or hard-boiled and cut into small pieces.
Your baby can eat most of the foods you eat now, providing they are cut up
or mashed properly so that he can safely chew and swallow. Unless you have a
strong family history of allergies, the Department of Health now says there is
no need to avoid eggs, wheat or fish until after one year, although many
experts are still cautious about peanuts and shellfish due to the strong
allergic reactions sometimes associated with them. Avoid full-fat cow’s milk
and honey until at least one year. Honey can cause a dangerous illness called
As your baby gets more teeth and learns to chew more effectively, he will
begin to be able to eat larger pieces of food. Continue to monitor his chewing
carefully, and when in doubt, cut pieces smaller than you think necessary. Be
especially careful with round, firm foods such as grapes and sausages, which
pose a particular choking hazard to babies. Chop these into very small