Your baby will generally be ready to start trying solid foods at around six months, though some start earlier.
It's an exciting time as, up until now, your little one will only have tasted breast milk or formula, and water.
But it will very much be a case of trial and error as they experience and respond to a variety of new colours, textures, and flavours.
Babies may be spoon-fed infant purees, or they may feed via the baby-led weaning method.
What is baby-led weaning?
Baby-led weaning is characterised by infants feeding themselves small pieces of soft foods they can pick up on their own.
Yes it will go in their hair and in their ears and on the floor, but it can help improve appetite regulation and motor skills.
Perfect weaning foods
It can sometimes be overwhelming trying to think of what to give your weaning baby so that it's nutritious and safe.
So here are some ideas:
- Pear: It's easily mashable, soft to eat, and packed full of healthy fats, fiber, potassium, folate, copper, and vitamin E.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a great weaning option and it's packed with calcium, protein, and gut health benefits. But avoid sugary varieties and opt for unsweetened whole milk yogurt. The calcium is good for your baby’s teeth and bones, which are growing at an incredible rate.
- Carrots: Vegetables like carrots contain all kinds of important vitamins and minerals for your baby’s development. The more colours in their bowl, the wider the variety of nutrients they’ll be getting. Carrots offer Vitamin A which will strengthen your baby's immune system, and they're good for their developing eyes.
- Meat and fish: These protein-rich foods are great for weaning babies. They are also full of other essential nutrients for growth and development, including easily-absorbable iron, vitamin A, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc.
- Apples: Apples are very popular with weaning babies and are extremely versatile. They are high in Vitamin C, which is also important for iron absorption.
- Sweet potato: Starchy foods like sweet potato are great for energy and they can be used for snacks as well as meals. They are versatile and contain fiber, which can help prevent your baby getting constipated.
- Oats: Oats are usually popular among babies because of their texture, mild taste, and the fact that they're easy to eat. And luckily they are packed with fiber, copper, selenium, zinc, and many other nutrients crucial for immune function and gut health.
- Eggs: Not only are they affordable and easy to prep, but eggs are also full of nutrients such as protein, vitamins D and A, and choline. In fact, eggs are one of the top sources of dietary choline, which is essential for the development of babies’ brains and eyes. But make sure the egg is fully cooked. And because eggs can trigger allergies, introduce them in very small amounts to begin.
- Water: Ok, not technically a food, but an extremely important part of your weaning baby's day. Babies who are at least six months old can safely drink 4–8 ounces of plain water daily, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.