The Ultimate Guide to Starting Solid Food for Your Baby: Tips and Recommendations



Starting your baby on solid food is an exciting milestone, but it’s essential to do it at the right time and in the right way. This guide will provide you with expert advice on when and how to introduce solid foods to your baby, ensuring a smooth transition and promoting healthy eating habits.

When to Start Solid Food

We recommend introducing solid foods to your baby when they reach 5-6 months of age. Until then, breast milk or formula should be their primary source of nutrition. Starting solids too early can lead to digestive issues, food allergies, and obesity risks. Always consult your pediatrician before making any changes to your baby’s diet.

Signs of Readiness

To determine if your baby is ready for solids, look for these signs:

  • Ability to sit up with good head control (on a high chair or your lap).
  • Interest in food, such as watching you eat or reaching for food.
  • Swallowing abilities, as evidenced by not pushing food out of the mouth or dribbling it.

How to Feed Your Baby Solid Food

Introducing solid foods is an excellent opportunity to establish healthy eating habits. Gradually introduce a variety of nutritious foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Start with soft, easily chewable foods and gradually progress to more complex textures.

Tips for feeding your baby solid food:

  • Introduce new foods one at a time to identify potential allergies.
  • You can use jarred baby food or create your own with a blender or food processor.
  • Cook fresh foods without adding salt to make them baby-friendly.
  • Watch for cues that your baby is full, such as turning their head away or spitting out food.
  • Encourage self-feeding with spoons and fingers to promote independence and self-regulation.

Managing Food Allergies:

Recent research suggests that delaying allergenic foods might increase allergy risk. Consult your pediatrician before starting solids, especially if your baby has a high risk of allergies (e.g., strong family history of allergic disease). If you notice any adverse reactions after introducing a new food, seek medical advice immediately.

Feeding Schedule and Quantity

In the beginning, solid foods should complement, not replace, breast milk or formula. Offer a few spoonfuls or small pieces of food at first. As your baby grows and their digestive system matures, gradually increase the amount of solid food while reducing milk feedings.

Here’s a rough feeding schedule for babies:

  • 6 to 12 months: Introduce complex proteins and offer “meals” to replace 1-2 milk feedings daily.
  • 9 months onwards: Offer two to three healthy meals per day, in sizes and textures safe for your baby.
  • Continue breastfeeding or providing formula until your baby’s first birthday.

Vitamin D and Iron Supplements

Breastfed babies might require vitamin D and iron supplements during their first year. From 6 months onwards, include iron-rich foods like turkey, chicken, and legumes in their diet. Iron-fortified cereals are also a good option to boost iron intake.

Beverages at Mealtimes

Offer water in a cup during mealtimes. Avoid giving juice or sugar-sweetened drinks, as they can harm teeth and lead to obesity.

Transition to Cow’s Milk

Around their first birthday, you can introduce whole cow’s milk if your baby has a balanced diet of solid foods. Limit milk intake to 500ml per day to encourage the consumption of solid foods. Consult your pediatrician for personalized guidance if your child has specific health concerns or dietary issues.


Starting your baby on solid food is an essential phase in their development. Be patient, observe their cues, and gradually introduce a variety of nutritious foods. Remember to consult your pediatrician for personalized recommendations, and always prioritize your baby’s health and well-being throughout this exciting journey. Happy feeding!