Baby Food Weaning Chart.
From around six months old your baby will need more than breast milk/formula alone to meet their nutritional needs. At this stage they should be introduced to a varied diet alongside their usual milk feeds.
We have complied a handy list of great first baby foods, possible allergens & how to help spot these & baby foods/drinks best avoided.
Baby First Foods.
These can be categorised into the following five groups:
Offer a variety of vegetables, including ones with bitter flavour, not just the sweeter ones. Great first vegetables are:
- butternut squash
- green beans
Wash & remove any pips, stones & hard skin. We would also recommend gently cooking harder fruit to soften them. Easy first fruits are:
- blueberries – half them
This group is very versatile as cereals can be mixed with breastmilk/formula or whole milk/goats/sheeps milk if your baby is 6 months plus. Whilst others can be cooked/mashed/blended to a suitable texture for your baby or offered as finger foods. Starchy foods include:
- sweet potato
- pitta bread
Included is the group is meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses & nuts (*see allergen section). Eggs produced under the British Lion Code of Practice (stamped with the red lion) are considered very low risk for salmonella, and safe for babies eat cooked. Protein rich food examples:
- fish (no bones)
- pulses, such as chickpeas
Whole pasteurised (full-fat) cows/goats/sheep’s milk can be used in cooking or mixed with food from around 6 months old, but not as a drink until your baby is 12 months plus. But pasteurised dairy foods such as full-fat yoghurt & cheese are suitable from 6 months. Good examples of dairy foods include:
- cream cheese
- plain yogurt
- milk - not as a drink until 12 months old.
Please don’t lose heart if first foods are refused. It may take more than 10 tries for your baby to get used to a new food’s taste & texture. Patience & wipe down floor mat are key!
If you have a family history of food allergies, eczema, asthma or hay fever, you may need to be particularly careful when introducing possible allergen foods. We recommend seeking advice from your GP or health visitor first.
If there is no history of the above these foods can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby's diet just like any other foods but one at a time and in very small amounts so that you can spot any reaction.
- foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
- cows/goats/sheep milk
- *nuts and peanuts (crushed or ground)
- sesame seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
- shellfish (don't serve raw or lightly cooked)
The NHS recommend if these foods are tolerated to keep offering them as part of your baby's diet. Evidence has shown that delaying introducing peanuts and hens' eggs after 6-12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy.
If your child has a food allergy, read food labels carefully. Avoid foods if you are not sure whether they contain the food your child is allergic to.
Baby food & drinks to avoid.
A list of food best avoided for a baby of 6 months:
- honey – avoid until your baby is 12 months old – it contains bacteria that can lead to the illness infant botulism.
- sugary – sugar leads to baby preferences for sweet tastes & also causes tooth decay on new baby teeth.
- salty foods – babies shouldn't eat salty foods as it isn't good for their kidneys, there’s no need to add salt to their food & try avoid salty foods such as bacon, sausages, chips, crackers, crisps, ready meals, takeaways, gravy and meals made with stock cubes.
- soft cheeses — these can contain a bacteria called listeria & include:
- mould-ripened soft cheese, such as brie or camembert
- ripened goats' milk cheese, such as chévre
- soft blue-veined cheese, such as roquefort
- unpasteurised cheeses – due to the risk of listeria. Check the labels to make sure you're buying cheese made from pasteurised milk
- raw shellfish – this can increase the risk of food poisoning. Babies & toddlers should only try shellfish that has been thoroughly cooked
- shark, swordfish or marlin – high levels of mercury in these fish can affect your baby's growing nervous system so best avoided.
If you have any weaning or baby’s first food queries please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to help.