Introducing your baby to solid foods

At around six months most babies will be able to manage many different textures. Some babies will prefer to start with soft foods (mashed or grated) from a spoon and others will prefer to start with finger foods, such as steak strips and cut up fruit. 

Breastmilk still gives your baby important nutrients, immune system support and comfort after six months.

Learn more about introducing solids safely in the NSW Health Starting family foods brochure. For advice that is specific to your child’s needs, talk to your local Child and Family Health Nurse or General Practitioner.

First foods to give your baby around 6 months

You can start offering foods in any order and rate, but make sure iron-rich foods (*) are included in your baby's first foods.

  • Iron-enriched rice cereal
  • Minced, stewed or grated meat, poultry and liver (cook, freeze then grate)*
  • Fish
  • Cooked egg (yolk and white), legumes, tofu and tempeh*
  • Cooked vegetables (e.g. carrot, potato, pumpkin
  • Fruit (e.g. apple, banana, pear, melon
  • Bread, pasta, toast fingers and rusks
  • Nut pastes/spreads
  • Full-fat yoghurt, cheese and custard

Until 12 months, cow’s milk should only be used in small amounts to mix with family foods and in cooking.

What to feed children from 12 months

Most children should be eating family foods and drinking from a cup by 12 months. 

Aim to include a variety of foods from the five food groups which follow the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

Avoid foods with high levels of saturated fat, sugar, or salt (like cakes, biscuits, lollies, chocolate and potato chips).

Finger foods

Exploring, holding and chewing food helps babies to enjoy eating and develop social skills. Babies like foods that they can pick up with their hands and eat by themselves. Wash your baby's hands with warm soapy water first.

Some foods that are friendly for little fingers include:

  • Boiled or steamed vegetables

    Potato, pumpkin, carrot circles, zucchini strips, beans, peas or slices of beetroot. Hard vegetables need to be well cooked and offered as large chunks.

  • Raw foods

    Whole small banana, tomato slices, a small ripe pear, a small whole orange, peeled.

  • Cooked lean meat

    Meat may be cut into strips for chewing or small thin pieces to be picked up with the thumb and forefinger.

Healthy eating habits for the whole family

Try our food calculator to learn more about healthy eating for different age groups and explore some simple tips for developing healthy habits.