6 to 9 months

Introducing new tastes and textures

If you introduce solids at 6 months, it’s now thought that you should offer mashed (ie with a fork) instead of pureed food, to help your baby except lumpier food, and learn more quickly about chewing.  Chewing can will also galvanize the digestive juices helping to prevent things like constipation. For some guidelines on the best way to start weaning, take a look at the first small steps .

If you started weaning before 6 months you should be over the introductory stage and if your baby is taking 3-4 teaspoons 2-3 times a day, you can begin to add in new tastes and textures. You can also start thinking about your baby’s nutritional needs a bit more and can aim to try and include a little of the following in their daily diet:

  • Starchy foods e.g. potato, pasta, bread, rice
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Protein such as meat, fish, pulses e.g. peas, beans, lentils or a well cooked egg yolk

Six months

  • You should let your baby explore with their hands and touch the food.
  • You can introduce cereals and grains at 6 months, as well as increasing the range of fruit and vegetables.
  • Try mixing vegetables which have already been tried together for some different variations.
  • You might like to try some chicken and fish (if not vegetarian) and you can also introduce cheese to some dishes. This will need to be pureed.
  • The more varied you can make your baby’s diet at this stage, the more adventurous and excepting of different tastes they will be in the future.
  • You could start offering solid food before a milk feed which will help to reduce the amount of milk your baby is taking and increase the amounts of solid. But do this slowly.
  • You should still give at least 600-800ml of breast or formula milk per day.
  • Drinks for this age: cooled boiled water.

Seven to nine months

Tip

You can try adding some herbs and spices to simple food to make it more interesting. Basil, rosemary, parsley, mint, dill and thyme are all great herbs that babies just love.

  • Finger foods an be introduced from 6-7 months in the form of cooked pasta, sticks of soft fruit and vegetable, cheese, bread/toast. (Some parents like to introduce fingerfoods from the outset – see our article on Baby Led Weaning)
  • You can try introducing foods such as egg – well cooked/hardboiled and just the yolk mixed with milk, and citrus fruits and berries. You could also try nut butters if there is not history of nut allergies in your family. As before, try each of these on their own to monitor any negative reaction to them.
  • Yoghurt and fromage frais are a good source of calcium from this age onwards but do check the labels as some makes have all kinds additives and preservatives your baby just doesn’t need, not to mention the added sugar.
  • Breast or infant milk should still be offered first thing in the morning and at bedtime as well as once or twice in the day as consumption of milk is still very important for your growing baby. They should still be taking up to 600ml per day.
  • Drinks for this age: Cooled boiled water with perhaps a squeeze of fresh orange or a small amount of fresh apple juice (BEWARE: Fruit juice and particularly cordials are very high in sugar and not great for developing teeth!)
  • Cow’s milk is not suitable to include in the diet as a drink until at least 12 months of age.

Foods still to be avoided at this stage

  • Shellfish
  • Honey
  • Goats and sheep milk
  • Cows milk as a drink
  • Shark, swordfish or marlin (due to high mercury levels
  • Mould ripened soft cheeses
  • Salt
  • Whole nuts

Related links
Finger foods

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