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Official government advice recommends that weaning should begin at around 6 months, but it is widely acknowledged by health professionals that you can start from 4 months if you feel your baby is ready. Weaning however, should not begin before 17 weeks, as the baby’s digestive and immune systems are still not fully developed. For more information on when to start weaning and signs that your baby is ready, click here

When you think your baby is showing signs that they are ready to begin weaning, here are some ideas to get started. Remember your baby is the best guide on how much food you need to give. Try offering different foods at each mealtime for more variety.

Try mashing & puréeing the following foods:

  • Cooked starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato or yam
  • Potatoes with other vegetables such as butternut squash, parsnip, carrot, courgette, broccoli or cauliflower
  • Ripe fruit such as banana and avocado
  • Cooked ripe fruit such as apple, pear, mango or papaya
  • Baby rice or well cooked white rice
  • Oats or other starchy foods such as maize, millet or cornmeal mixed with breast or formula milk

 

   Foods to avoid:

  • Wheat-based foods, including baby rusks
  • Eggs
  • Meat & fish
  • Citrus fruits
  • Nuts
  • Salt
  • Fatty foods
  • Unnecessary sugar
  • Chillies or other strong spices
  • Artificial additives
  • Runny honey
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Between 5 and 6 months

Feeds will still be mainly milk, but now is the time to slowly start increasing the amount of solid foods you offer after the milk feed. Move gradually from solids at 1 feed a day, to 2 and then 3.

Begin to add different foods and different tastes - you can start to introduce simple herbs, without adding salt or sugar.

Follow-on milk should not be used to replace breast or formula milk before 6 months.

Foods to try:

  • Purees using cooked chicken or lentils
  • A wider variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese

 

Foods to avoid:

  • Wheat-based cereals, including bread
  • Eggs
  • Citrus fruits
  • Nuts
  • Chillies and other strong spices
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For more information

Download the Department of Health’s policy on introducing solid foods by visiting their website

Visit the NHS Choices website for more information on weaning.

 

When to start
Starting at 4 months
Starting at 6 months
Weaning recipes
Allergy risks
Top tips