Health Canada recommends starting baby on solid foods at six months of age, not at four to six months. This is a change from the recommendations in feeding baby solid foods. Starting solid foods at six months applies to breastfed and formula fed babies. For information about when to introduce solid foods to babies born before 37 weeks gestation or with specific medical conditions, contact your doctor, public health nurse or registered nutritionist/dietitian.
For the first six months, breast milk or iron-fortified formula is all baby needs. Breastfeeding can continue after solid foods are introduced at six months and for up to two years of age and longer.
Iron Rich Foods at Six Months
From six months of age and older, your baby will need solid foods with iron. Iron is needed for baby's growth and development and to prevent anemia. Iron-fortified baby cereals and/or other iron-rich foods should be offered daily to maintain health.
Other iron-rich foods include:
Vitamin C - How It Helps Iron
Eating foods high in Vitamin C at the same time as iron rich foods, helps baby absorb iron. Most vegetables and fruit contain Vitamin C, and add variety to your baby's diet.
Foods with Vitamin C include:
Your baby needs to eat foods with different textures. This helps baby learn to chew, swallow, and enjoy the same foods as the rest of the family.
The main points to keep in mind as you introduce solid foods are:
When introducing baby solid foods at six months of age, you can be more flexible with the order of foods given to your baby. Offer your baby a variety of plain nutritious foods, keeping in mind the main points listed above.
Include Baby in Family Mealtimes
Baby can have the same foods as the rest of the family as long as the texture is appropriate and the food is plain. Plain foods do not have added salt, sweeteners or coatings.
Developed by the Provincial Community and Public Health Nutritionists' Infant Nutrition Working Group. © Government of Alberta. Reprinted with permission.