The introduction of solid foods at around six months should start with iron-containing foods, including iron-enriched infant cereals, pureed meat, poultry and fish, or cooked tofu and legumes. Vegetables, fruits, and dairy products such as full-fat yoghurt, cheese and custard can then be added to their diet.
Other than starting with iron-rich first foods, there are no recommendations on the order in which things should be introduced.
The most important factor is nutrient content, including adequate amounts of iron and zinc, fat, protein, vitamins and other essential minerals. Try and select foods that represent each of the five food groups. Also, even from an early age, fruit and vegetable purees should be varied to ensure adequate energy and nutrient supply.
Some examples of appropriate first foods include:
- Single-grain iron-fortified cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Start with one or two teaspoons.
- Pureed vegetables or fruit with no added sugar or salt. Start with single ingredients like mashed banana. Then, after three to five days, introduce mashed avocado, then mashed pear, mashed pumpkin, and so on.
- Bite-size soft finger foods like a spoonful of a small pasta like risoni, small amounts of cottage cheese or ricotta, or well–cooked meats like bite-size pieces of soft chicken.
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