Food: progress as time goes on

Once solids are a familiar part of your baby’s nutrition it’s time to start introducing new foods, flavours and textures to encourage your baby’s development.

 From 6 or 7 months you can move on to Wattie’s stage two foods. You can choose anything with a red label from the colour coded baby food range, or a dessert option with a yellow label. These are designed to have a good selection of tastes and textures to keep baby interested. 
If your baby is happily taking solids from around 7-8 months you can also think about finger foods. This will give them a bit more independence at meal times and really help them to develop their hand eye co-ordination skills.

Here are a few foods to try:

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  • Sliced cooked egg – the white and yolk should both be firm and well cooked
  • Soft cooked pieces of veges. Try kumara, green beans, cauliflower or broccoli
  • Slices of soft, ripe fruit like banana, mango or nectarine (without skin or seeds)
  • Small, well-cooked tender pieces of meat – you can cut slices off the family roast
  • Cooked pasta and noodles
  • Cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese, custard
  •  Farex Stage 2 baby cereals
  • Crackers, bread (white or wholemeal)
  • Toast fingers, rusks, porridge (oats)
  • Wattie’s Baby Foods with the red labels
  • Wattie’s Baby Foods desserts with the yellow labels

 Choking hazards and foods to watch out for:

  •  small hard foods that are difficult for children to bite or chew (e.g. nuts, large seeds, popcorn husks, raw carrot, apple, celery)
  •  small round foods that can get stuck in children’s throats (e.g. grapes, berries, raisins, sultanas, peas, watermelon seeds, lollies)
  •  foods with skins or leaves that are difficult to chew (e.g. sausages, chicken, lettuce, nectarines)
  •  compressible food which can squash into the shape of a child's throat and get stuck there (e.g. hot dogs, sausages, pieces of cooked meat, popcorn)
  •  thick pastes that can get stuck in children’s throats (e.g. chocolate spreads, peanut butter)
  •  fibrous or stringy foods that are difficult for children to chew (celery, rhubarb, raw pineapple)

Reduce the risk of choking on these foods – you can:

  •  alter the food texture – grate, cook, finely chop or mash the food
  •  remove the high risk parts of the food – peel off the skin, or remove the strong fibres
  •  avoid giving small hard foods, such as whole nuts and large seeds, until children are at least five years old.

For more information on choking hazards see Ministry of Health guidelines here.

Never leave your baby alone while they're eating – always stay close by and keep an eye on them.

Remember it’s important to continue to still offer milk before solids. Breast milk or formula is still the most important food.

For more information see our Feeding Guide here.


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