Did you know that within the first 12 months of life, a babies weight can triple? Good nutrition is important for normal growth and development. Breast milk is preferable as the sole source of nutrition up to 6 months, or formula if you are not breastfeeding. At 6 months, solids can be introduced. Breast milk, however, remains the most important source of nutrition. By 12 months, your baby should be eating similar foods to those eaten by you, including breads, cereals, fruit, vegetables, dairy foods and meat.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents (NHMRC) recommend the following order of introducing solids. Introduce only one food at a time and wait a couple of days before trying another food.
First food: A rice-based infant cereal fortified with iron
Second food: Vegetables and fruit can be introduced, for example pureed potato, pumpkin, carrot and stewed apple and pear
7 months: Meat and chicken
7-8 months: Oat and wheat-based cereals
10-11 months: Cooked egg
From 12 months: Offer milk as a drink
Initially offer blended/ pureed foods. From 7-8 months your baby may be able to manage mashed foods with smooth lumps. Once your baby can hold things, finger foods can be offered. By 12 months babies should manage chopped/ diced foods. Recent studies have shown avoidance of allergenic foods does not reduce allergies. Consult a GP if you are concerned about your babies growth or suspect possible food allergies.
Accredited Practising Dietitian
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