For Baby

Very First Solids - what to offer

What to Offer Your Baby in the Beginning

Your baby has a lot more taste buds than you do, so even bland food can be a flavour sensation! Remember, up until now your little one has just been used to the taste and liquidness of milk- getting used to the texture and taste of solid foods will be quite an adjustment for them. Be patient, expect a few messy mishaps, and be calm and persistent. It can take babies 10 or more tastes of a new food to get used to it and accept it.


Start with small amounts of a single ingredient food. As a very first food, it's popular to use a rice cereal like Farex Baby Rice or Wattie's Rice Cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula to give a familiar taste and a smooth, runny texture. Infant cereals are also iron-fortifed so they give your baby extra iron which is necessary at this stage. 

You can also try suitable fruit or vegetables cooked and pureed until smooth. Pumpkin, potato, kumara or carrot are all good choices, or if you're giving them fruit try cooked and pureed apple or pear. Try mashed smooth ripe avocado and banana.

As baby gets used to these foods, introduce iron-rich foods such as cooked pureed meat, chicken and fish - excellent as an iron boost because your baby's iron stores start to run low around 6 months.

Wattie’s Baby Foods in the blue label cans and jars are all suitable first foods and can give you a good idea of the correct consistency to aim for.

Comment 12

Have your say...

Aneesha's Comment

my plunket nurse suggested to give vegetables first, because if we try fruit first the child tends to eat only sweet food more and does not like vegetables...

Kate Ellison - ForBaby's Comment

Thanks for your comment Aneesha. Some health professionals suggest offering vegetables before fruit and there is certainly nothing wrong with this approach! However, it doesn’t mean fruit can’t be introduced as a first food alongside vegetables and other suitable foods such as baby rice cereal. In fact the more variety the better, try one new food every 2-4 days alternating between different vegetables and fruit is a good idea. Check out our blog on ForBaby Chat - Should I offer vegetables before fruit?

Cynthia's Comment

my daughter does not like baby rice cereal. each time I try it always end up on my face.. very keen on solids watties stage 1, she will be 6months on thursday

Kate Ellison - ForBaby's Comment

Thanks for your comment Cynthia. Are you mixing the rice cereal with either breast milk or formula (if you are formula feeding)? This helps add a more familiar flavour to the rice. The other trick is to mix it with a little fruit puree to make it taste naturally sweeter, it can be rather bland on its own. Let us know how those tips work for you! The Forbaby Team

Kirsty's Comment

hi there, my son in nearly 7 months old and has only just started to like eating solids. He especially loves fruit. He is now having two meals a day. Firstly, how many meals should be vege and how many fruit? Do most people give one vege and one fruit? Also, do I just keep feeding him until he has had enough or is there a maximum quantity to feed him?

Riddhi's Comment

Hello there, My son turned 6 months yesterday(23rd Nov.) I'd like to know if we are vegetarian what food should be offered which is Iron rich at this stage?

Reply from The ForBaby Team

Hi Riddhi, Baby rice cereal is an excellent food for vegetarian babies just starting on solids because it is iron-enriched. You can mix it with breast milk (or formula if your baby is receiving formula) for a more familiar taste.
There are other foods containing iron which may be suitable first foods for your baby, but because vegetarian diets can be very individual – it’s best if you call us on the Careline (0888 55 66 66) and we can discuss your little one specifically,
Kind regards and thanks for your message.

Jenny's Comment

Hi, my baby is 5 1/2 months old and has been on solids for 3 weeks. So far he has had pears, apples, banana, pumpkin, potatoes, kumara and carrots (carrots not so often as he doesnt like them and cant digest them, not sure if that's normal?). I am wondering when I should introduce meat (and what sort)? And he also seems to get constipated (he poops once a day but goes bright red, poops are not hard but are not as soft as they where before he was on solids). Thanks

Reply from For Baby Team

Hi Jenny,
Babies can have cooked pureed meat, chicken or fish anytime from when they’ve started solids. These foods are important sources of iron for healthy growth and development. Just make sure the texture is suitable for your baby – start with smooth and lump free, and as baby gets used to lumpy foods, progress to a minced texture. In terms of his bowels, what you describe is perfectly normal. It’s common for babies to have changes in bowel motions (poos) when they first start solids because their digestive system is adjusting to food. Some babies’ poos become firmer and some get looser. All babies are different, and there is a wide range of normal. True constipation is when your baby’s stools become hard, dry and pellet like and difficult to pass. With regards to carrots, again its normal to be able to see what baby has been eating in their nappy! Sometimes babies need to try a food up to 10 times (or more) before they’ll accept it! Don’t stop offering a new food to your baby just because it’s refused at first, the more they see and taste the food, the more familiar it will become. For more help call our health professionals on the Forbaby Careline 0800 55 66 66.

megan's Comment

My 5 month old girl loves the pear/banana farex it was the first thing I started her with combined it with breast milk :) she loves solids I find too much banana constipates her so I alternate veges one day fruit the next :) Love the premade farex pouches too

Anshu's Comment

i am not getting rice cereals in my area. i want to start solids and i was very sure to start with cereals. but now what should i do? when these would be back in Christchurch or any place where i can find?

Reply from The ForBaby team

Hi Anshu,

We are working hard to get these back on shelves as soon as we can. In the meantime yes you can use white rice, well cooked in plenty of water and then pureed. If you would like further advice around starting solids you can call our Careline on 0800 222 936 to speak with one of our Dietitians.

Thanks, The ForBaby team

May's Comment

I am not getting rice cereals in my area too. i want to start solids and i was very sure to start with cereals. but now what should i do? when these would be back in Auckland New Lynn or any place where i can find? Thanks
May

Laura's Comment

Hi there what is the best way to cook the meat ?

Louise's Comment

I started LO on solids a few weeks ago. 4mnths 11 days. Just stage one watties. However 3 days ago i made steamed, mashed Kumar and put some breast milk in it, she took about a tablespoon. She hasn't pooed since! I havent given her solids again until tonight, just watties apples 2 table spoons. Should I be stopping at all? Or should I just keep up the once a day feed that I was doing??

Reply from The ForBaby team

Hi Louise, 

It is common for babies bowel habits to change when babies start solids and some are more prone to constipation than others, so I would continue with small feeds as you are doing if you baby is showing the signs of being ready for solids, see more information here.

If a baby becomes constipated on first starting solids it’s most likely because their digestive system is still adjusting to solid foods.  Remember that a normal bowel habit will differ for every individual baby. Some babies have a bowel movement every day, others will go for several days before this happens. Both scenarios are OK - whatever is usual for your child is your benchmark. Note babies don’t need high fibre diets, baby cereals, fruit and vegetables tend to provide all of the fibre that they require.  True constipation is when your baby’s stools become hard, dry and pellet- like and difficult to pass. However if your baby is constipated, what is usually required is extra fluid to help with the constipation (not more fibre). You haven’t mentioned if you have introduced baby rice or not but is worthwhile mentioning it does absorbs quite a lot of liquid when it is prepared, so you need to make sure you are mixing enough breast milk, formula or water with the rice cereal so it doesn’t dry out. When you prepare baby rice cereal, make sure it’s nice and wet like a runny yoghurt consistency.  

We hope this helps, but if you would like more advice please give us a call on our toll free number 0800 55 66 66.

Thanks the ForBaby team

Other articles you might like