Suitable choices of foods and drinks food weaning

Babies first foods can include soft or mashed fruit and vegetables, such as parsnip, car-rots, apple or pear. It may be good to start on vegetables rather than fruit to help reduce the risk of the child enjoying sweet foods more. Many mothers try baby rice, unsweetened to start with, this is fine, however do not give your baby wheat or gluten until over 6 months.

Keep breast or formula feeding until your child is one year. There are follow on milks for babies over 6 months, however there is no evidence that there is any extra benefits. Cows milk may be mixed in with foods but only given to drink over one year.

Semi skimmed milk may be given from 2 years.

Only use soya based milk if your GP has advised you to.

Toddlers and young children under 5 should not be given rice milk because of the levels of arsenic they contain.

Keep offering a variety of foods, it can take lots of tries before your baby will accept new tastes or textures.

It is important to have a healthy diet from the start, do not give your baby salt or anything with salt added. Choose foods with no added sugar and remember fruit and some vege-tables has natural sugars in.

Vitamin drops, particularly vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin C are recommended from 6 months until 5 years.

Only water should be given to drink and a cup introduced at 6 months.

Baby led weaning involves letting your baby feed themselves finger foods right from the go rather than spoon feeding purees or mashed foods. The baby should be able to sit up-right on their own. The difference is that babies learn feeding skills quicker, managing lumps and chewing from the start. The benefits are; it is believed that baby led weaning means the child will not be a fussy eater. It is easier to eat together as a family. Babies are more adventurous with foods. And there is less work for parents.

The downsides are; there will be more mess and it may take longer,

Only give small amounts of food at a time and always stay with your child.

Useful websites:


Sugar (

Salt (

https://www.start4life/baby-foods/vitamins how-to-wean advice centre

Baby-led weaning (library edition); The Essential Guide to introducing Solid …
Book by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett. Parenting family