Weaning (Starting solids)

Weaning means introducing a variety of solid foods gradually to your baby’s diet alongside their usual milk until they are eating the same healthy foods as the rest of the family.

You can begin to introduce solids when your baby:

  • Can sit up
  • Begins to pick up food and puts it in his/her mouth
  • Has better hand-eye coordination

Health experts now recommend that at around 6 months old, most babies are ready for other foods in addition to milk.

If your baby was premature, ask your GP or health visitor for advice on when to start weaning.

For good oral health around weaning, remember these two pointers:

  • No sugar or salt in any form should be added to weaning foods.
  • Make your own home made weaning foods, as you can make sure that they are lower in sugar.

Ideas for starting solids

Experiment with different foods to see what your baby will eat. Try these suggestions for first foods:

  • Cooked vegetables - broccoli, carrot, parsnip, turnip or cauliflower.
  • Mashed fruit - banana, apple or pear.
  • Baby rice or other cereal mixed with their usual milk (expressed breast milk or formula) mixed in a bowl, not in a bottle.

Start with a few teaspoons of well-mashed food for one meal a day. Gradually increase the amount.


Be guided by your baby’s appetite, this may be a few teaspoons or a quarter of a cup. Allow your little ones to feed themselves and offer them a range of foods and textures.

View the ‘Fun First Foods’ leaflet for more information about feeding your baby during weaning.