In general babies are ready for solids around six months. First foods need to be smooth, soft and plain (ie, puréed foods).
Your baby is ready to start solid food if they:
- can hold head up
- sit with less help
- often put their hands in their mouths
- easily open mouth when spoon touches lip or as food approaches
- have no tongue extrusion reflex (ie, tongue doesn’t come out when spoon touches lip). Instead the tongue moves gently back and forth as food enters mouth
- can keep food in their mouth and then swallow it, instead of spitting the food out
- show signs of chewing movements
Around six months – first foods
Examples of appropriate first foods are:
- iron-fortified infant cereal or baby rice
- cooked and puréed beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish or legumes
- puréed fruit without skins, pips or seeds – cook to soften if needed (eg, apple, pear, mango)
- cooked and puréed vegetables without skins (eg, kūmara, kamokamo, cassava, tapioca, pumpkin, potato)
- puréed plain cooked rice or congee
- age-appropriate commercial baby foods.
Find out more from the Ministry
The Ministry works to ensure that nutrition recommendations for New Zealand health practitioners and consumers have a sound evidence base.
Visit the Nutrition section in Our work to find out more, or read the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0–2 years).