Choosing first foods
When your baby starts eating their first foods, how much they eat is less important than getting them used to eating. They will still be getting most of their nutrients from breast milk or first infant formula. Babies don’t need three meals a day at first, so you can start by offering them foods at a time that suits you both.
Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount and variety of food your baby eats. By 10-12 months, your baby will be having three meals a day and enjoying a wide range of tastes and textures. As your baby grows, eating together as a family can encourage them to develop good eating habits as long as you’re eating healthily.
From about six months old, your baby’s first foods can include soft cooked vegetables, fruits, starchy foods, protein foods and pasteurised dairy foods.
How to start
Some babies like to start with mashed foods. Other babies need a little longer to get used to new textures, so may prefer smooth or blended foods on a spoon at first. To help your baby progress to a range of textures and tastes quickly, try to move on from purees to mashed foods as soon as your baby is able to have them.
From six months, encourage your baby to have finger foods they can easily hold in their hand to help them practise feeding themselves. Start off with finger foods that break up easily in their mouth and that are long enough for them to grip. Always stay with your baby when they're eating.
Try not to worry about how much your baby eats at first. There will be some days when your baby eats more and some days when they eat less, and they may reject some foods altogether. Don’t be put off. All babies are different and some babies learn to accept new foods and textures more quickly than others.
Keep offering different foods, even foods your baby has already rejected, and allow your baby to go at their own speed. It can take many attempts before your baby will accept a new food or texture. Don't give up!