Nutrient-dense complementary foods should be introduced to your babies from six months of age, along with continued breastfeeding. Gradually introduce a variety of different foods to expose your little one to different tastes and textures.
Introduce avos from six months, mashed with a fork, progressing to cubes once your baby can tolerate finger foods. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which are good for brain development and growth.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, which is needed for the healthy development of your baby’s eyes. They’re also high in beta carotene and potassium, vitamin E, calcium and folate – all of which encourage growth. Start introducing pureéd sweet potato, then mash it with a fork and cube it once your little one can tolerate finger foods.
Meat (chicken, lamb or beef)
Meat is a good source of protein, iron, zinc and most of the B vitamins. You can introduce chicken, lamb or beef into your little one’s diet around one month after starting solids (usually when he is around seven months old). Cut the meat into small pieces or shred it to begin with. As your child progresses to finger foods (around eight to nine months) you can cut the meat into small cubes.
Yoghurt can be offered in small amounts once good sources of protein and iron (chicken, fish, beef, egg) have been established in your baby’s diet. Yoghurt should not be offered as a meal, only as a snack. Rather opt for plain unsweetened yoghurt. While yoghurt is a good source of calcium, at this stage most of your child’s calcium requirements will be met by breast milk or formula, so it’s not necessary to offer frequently.
Egg yolk is a good source of protein, potassium and calcium and can be given to your baby at least one month after starting solids (usually around seven months). Try scrambled eggs first to see if your little one enjoys it.
Bananas are a good source of fibre. They also contain potassium, which is important for nerve development. Offer it to your baby from six months, mashed with a fork at first.
Peas are a good source of fibre. Introduce green peas from six months of age, pureéd at first, then mashed with a fork. Add some mint as a way to expose your little one to different flavours. Whole peas can be offered when your baby can tolerate finger foods – between nine and 12 months. Always encourage your baby to chew and eat without distractions.