Weaning from 6 months
If your baby is getting the hang of smooth, mild tastes and accepting them quite easily, now’s the time to move up to the next stage of weaning! As well as introducing more adventurous tastes, this next stage is all about moving on to a more mashed consistency to help them learn to chew.
Offer a wide variety of foods from now on as it takes less exposure for your little one to learn to love new foods at this age, compared to toddler age. Between 6-12 months, babies are happy to try lots of different tastes and textures. The type of food they eat during weaning can predict what they will eat later in childhood, so introducing them to a broad range of flavours and textures now will help them to learn to love a wide range of foods early on.
As your little one becomes more active, you’ll probably notice they want more food too! A simple rule of thumb is to just let your baby’s appetite be your guide as you gradually increase the amount of solid foods in their diet.
Some food ideas from 6 months
Your baby might enjoy trying the new tastes and textures of these foods now:
These may not be your baby’s favourites, but don’t delay introducing bitter tasting foods, such as broccoli or cauliflower as it will only get harder as they get older! Try offering your baby our carrots, cauliflower & peas savoury pouch.
Don’t worry if your baby doesnt have any teeth yet as they will use their gums for chewing on more textured foods.
For an idea on quantities and other foods to give at this stage, why not download our weaning chart?
Download our weaning simplified leaflet which explains all about the goodies and baddies in food when it comes to feeding your baby.
Your own routine
By now, you and your little one may be starting to develop your own mealtime pattern. Babies, mums and ways of life are all different, so weaning charts can only be an approximate guide to what and when you feed your baby.
For example, you may like to give the baby breakfast early, together with a milk feed, or you may prefer to give the baby an early morning milk feed by itself and then give breakfast (with no milk feed) an hour or so later. You’ll know what works best for you both.
How much milk?
At this stage, babies having 3 solid meals every day should still be having about 500-600ml of their usual milk per day.
For more advice, watch Helen's video below.
Foods to avoid for babies from 6 months:
- Salt - don't add salt to foods you give your baby because young babies' kidneys can't cope with it. Baby foods do not contain added salt, but other ready-made foods that aren't specifically for babies might have added salt.
- Babies under a year should have less than 1g of salt per day, which is less than 0.4g sodium.
- Sugar - there's generally no need to add sugar to foods, so avoid it if possible.
- Honey should not be given to babies under a year (it can contain a type of bacteria that young babies' intestines cannot cope with).
- Do not give whole nuts, including peanuts, to children under 5 in case they choke.
- Fish - most fish is OK, but avoid shark, swordfish or marlin as they contain mercury.
- Shellfish - avoid raw shellfish to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
- Eggs - babies over 6 months can have eggs, but they must be thoroughly cooked until both the white and the yolk are solid
- You should NOT give babies low fat foods and wholemeal foods are also unsuitable
Good foods for your baby from 6 months
Foods containing iron
Iron is essential for your child's health and a lack of it can slow down their physical and mental development. You can help your baby to get enough iron in their diet by offering them a wide variety of foods, including these extra iron-boosters:
- Red meat
- Pulses and beans
- Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach and watercress
- Fortified breakfast cereals (avoid gluten before 6 months)
Many recipes in the HiPP Organic baby food range contain these ingredients, find out more by looking at our food products.
Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron better so try offering your baby some fruit juice or other food high in vitamin C at the same time as the iron-rich meal. If you are at all concerned about whether your baby is getting enough iron and whether they need supplements, ask your doctor or health visitor.
Omega 3 foods
Omega 3 is an ‘essential fatty acid' and our bodies need it for good health, particularly for brain and nerve function and healthy skin. Oily fish, rapeseed oil, walnut oil and linseed oil are all good sources of omega 3 fats.
We have added rapeseed oil to our stage 1, 2 & 3 savoury jars*, which is a vegetarian source of omega 3. Rapeseed oil provides a source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is converted to omega 3 in the body. Each jar contains at least 25% of your babies recommended daily intake of ALA (RDA = 0.39g per day for 4-12 month olds).
*except tender carrots & potatoes and pasta in a ham & tomato sauce