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ASCIA Information for Parents - How to introduce solid foods to infants

pdfASCIA PCC How to introduce solid foods 2016231 KB

How to introduce solid foods to infantsIntroducing foods

  • It is important to ensure that texture of solids foods is appropriate for the developmental stage of your infant. Progress from pureed to normal texture from around 6 months (but not before 4 months) to 12 months.
  • There is no particular order in which to introduce foods. However, iron rich foods such as iron fortified cereals, meats, fish, poultry, cooked egg and legumes, need to be included from around 6 months.
  • Once pureed foods have been introduced, many parents choose to continue to introduce foods in increasing textural variety (as below), others prefer baby led weaning.
    • Start with smooth, pureed foods including iron fortified cereals such as rice, oats, semolina, pureed meat, fish and poultry.
    • Then add other foods such as cooked and pureed vegetables, legumes, cooked eggs and fruits.
    • Move on to mashed and chopped foods and finger foods.
  • Aim for a wide variety of different foods to be included in your infant's diet such as:
    • Cereal foods (bread, crackers, pasta, wheat based breakfast cereals.
    • Dairy foods (cow's milk on cereal, cheese).
    • Meat and alternatives (poultry, cooked egg, fish, other seafood and nut products such as nut pastes and foods containing nuts).
    • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Take care not to replace milk feeds too quickly with solid foods.
  • Foods should include adequate amounts of iron, zinc, fat, protein, vitamins and essential minerals.
  • Drinks such as water and infant formula can be generally offered from a cup from 8 months of age.
  • Prevent infants choking on food by grating, cooking or mashing all hard fruits or vegetables. Do not give your infant foods that have small hard pieces such as raw apple, carrot or whole or chopped nuts. Use nut flours, nut flours pastes and nut butters.
  • When introducing foods that other family members are allergic to, it is important to follow risk minimisation strategies to prevent cross contamination of allergens, for those who are allergic to the foods.
  • Aim for your child to be eating family meals by 12 months of age where possible.


This document has been developed by the ASCIA Paediatric and Dietitian Committees, and reviewed by the ASCIA membership, with significant input from the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR), a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence (CRE).

Further information and references

ASCIA Guidelines for allergy prevention in infants 2016


This advice differs from previous advice as it is based on the most recently published reviews and studies, including those published since 2010. ASCIA information is reviewed by ASCIA members and represents available published literature at the time of review. The content of this document is not intended to replace professional medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner. Development of this document is not funded by any commercial sources and is not influenced by commercial organisations.

© ASCIA 2016

ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology and allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand  

Content last updated July 2016   

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