How do I know my baby is ready?
How do I know my baby is ready?
Once weaning’s begun and your baby is used to smooth puree, try introducing fork-mashed foods. How will you know they’re ready? Sitting without support, chewing their gums (a sign of teething) and taking more of an interest in food are all clues. They’ll also be drinking from a sippy cup, with a little help from you.   

What foods should I be giving at this stage?
What foods should I be giving at this stage?
You should still be giving 4-5 feeds of breast milk or infant formula per day – or whatever amount your health visitor recommends. But it’s best to offer solid food before milk to encourage weaning. 

Here are some foods you can start giving. Avoid adding salt or sugar to anything and if anyone in your family has suffered from an allergy, it’s always best to check with your doctor first.

  • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, pulses (lentils or beans)
  • Mashed, well-cooked vegetables
  • Mashed lentils (dhal), split peas and hummus mixed with veg
  • Mashed well-cooked tofu or pulses
  • Wheat and other grains, well-grounded nuts and nut butters
  • Mashed ripe fruit e.g. banana or cooked, peeled apple and pear
  • Full-fat yogurts and cheese
  • Finger foods, such as well-cooked carrot sticks, melon slices, Heinz Farley’s Rusks or Heinz Biscotti
  • Mashed egg, cooked until solid all the way through
  • Heinz Baby foods with mashed texture

    Foods to try your little one on at this stage
    Foods to try your little one on at this stage

    Vegetables you can introduce at this stage

    • Cauliflower
    • Mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Yellow pea and legumes

    Fruits you can introduce at this stage

    • Blueberries
    • Blackcurrant
    • Lemons

    Other foods to introduce at this stage

    • Beef
    • Cheese
    • Chicken
    • Coconut milk
    • Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines)
    • Lamb
    • Lentils
    • Oats
    • Pasta
    • Wheat and whole grains
    • Yogurt

      What foods should I avoid?
      What foods should I avoid?
      • Cow’s milk: Can be used in preparing foods for your baby but is not suitable as a drink until your baby is 12 months old
      • Honey: Occasionally honey contains bacteria which produce toxins which are harmful to your baby. Honey is mainly sugar and can damage teeth
      • Sugar: Try avoiding sugary foods and drinks to help prevent tooth decay. Regularly brushing your babies teeth may help prevent tooth decay
      • Salt: Babies don't need salt adding to their foods as it isn't good for their kidneys. Do not add salt whilst cooking foods for your baby
      • Saturated Fat: Try to avoid giving many foods which are high in saturated fat
      • Raw Shellfish: Increases the risk of food poisoning so avoid giving them to babies
      • Shark, Swordfish and Marlin: Can contain significant quantities of mercury which can affect a baby’s growing nervous system
      Introducing new textures
      Introducing new textures

      Chewing is important for your baby’s muscle development and speech. To help them chew, start with finely mashed foods, then try lumpier mashed textures. When they can sit without help in a high chair, soft or cooked fruits and vegetables are good finger foods.

      At first, offer them with mashed or pureed food. And of course, always supervise your little one during feeding, especially when you’re introducing new textures.

      Here are some good ones to try:

      • Finely minced meats, chicken and fish
      • Mashed beans and lentils
      • Chopped egg and avocado
      • Whole cow’s milk added to their food
      How much should I be giving?
      How much should I be giving?

      Milk – your little one still needs breast milk or at least 500-600ml of infant formula a day. If you’re breastfeeding after 6 months and/or your little one is drinking less than 500ml of infant formula, they’ll need baby vitamin drops. Ask your health visitor for more information.

      Protein at this age your little one needs up to 2 tablespoons of protein at each main meal. Offer servings of soft-cooked (e.g. stewed or braised) meat, fish, hard-boiled egg, tofu or pulses i.e. beans or lentils. And because the store of iron your baby was born with will now have run out, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb or pork or veggie sources like legumes or eggs are all excellent sources.

      Starchy foods – aim for 2 tablespoons of foods such as potatoes, pasta and rice with every meal.

      Veg and fruit– include 1-2 tablespoons of veg with every meal, which can be followed by some fruit. Try to include the ones with lots of Vitamin C like butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, red peppers and tomatoes. Citrus fruit, soft fruit such as mango, melon, peaches and berries such as blueberries can be served with breakfast or following a meal. Vitamin C helps your baby absorb iron from non-animal sources.

      Water – encourage your baby to drink cooled boiled water from a cup at mealtimes.