Our baby is 14 months now and he has eaten almost any kind of food.

But during the first months, it was so confusing the fact that each doctor and/or "expert", suggested their own schedule about when it's right to try each food.

For example, some doctors suggested to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, while others to start eating fruits (like apples) from the 4th month.

Other examples include eggs, fish, oranges, yogurt, certain fruits, etc. where their opinions were pretty much diverse.

The main reason for the delay of some type of foods was the high risk of allergies, which seem pretty much logical.

But, my question is this:

Are there any "official" proposals from organizations or something similar, about when it's right/safe to start feeding to your baby each type of food?

  • The child knows best. Simply let the child decide when its time to start eating food. Give him little pieces to chew at and if he likes it hell ask for more but only start with a couple of pieces at a time to see how he reacts.
    – Barfieldmv
    Jul 12, 2011 at 7:14
  • They have found that the food allergy thing is actually counter-productive - children who are at risk for certain types of allergic reactions get them less if exposed to food. Makes sense - allergy is an inappropriate immune response (body attacks an unfamiliar protein pattern). Also, once a child is on solid foods, they could/should eat whatever the rest of the household eats, generally speaking. May 15, 2017 at 19:00

6 Answers 6


I don't know of anything "official", but I'm not sure "official" would be better. Kids are different from one another, and no average or generality is helpful in predicting what will work best for any individual.

I've found that kids are pretty good at signaling those transitions. I could definitely tell when breast milk alone wasn't enough for my son, and then I started introducing other foods. I do make it a point to wait a few days after introducing a new food before introducing another, just so that if something causes a problem we know which food is the culprit.

  • 1
    I like your approach. They are some food though should be strictly avoided before a specific age, because of high chances to get allergies from them. For example I've being told that fish, eggs, honey should not be given before the 12th month. So my question was based on these beliefs, and wanted to know if there is something more..formal about those foods.
    – nuc
    Mar 30, 2011 at 20:42
  • 1
    @nuc Actually, the advice to avoid fish is because of possible heavy metal exposure, NOT because of allergy issues. Consumption of eggs from a safe source is absolutely acceptable for young children. However, for people not raising their own I have no idea how you know how well the birds are kept. Honey is not an allergy concern, either -- it's because there is a bacteria in some kinds of honey that babies may be sensitive to, and it's hard to know if it is in your honey. Some people claim avoiding peanut products early on will avoid peanut allergies, but I've seen no studies on it.
    – HedgeMage
    Mar 31, 2011 at 0:56

What is "official" changes from one country to the next. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding until at least 6 months (and continuing as a complement until 2 years!).

It is commonly advised to start with some fruits or vegetables around 4 months, but more as an opportunity for discovering different tastes and textures: don't expect a child of that age to get any real nourishment from that! If you give pieces instead of mashed food the child also has the opportunity to practice holding things and manipulating them. It can be a mess, but in the long run it really pays off.

Along the same lines you can look up on baby-led weaning: let your child show his/her interest in other food, like the one in your plates, and let him/her try what he/she wants (although you'll find some more precise guidelines).

A child doesn't really need anything else than breastmilk or formula before at least 6 months or even a year.

  • 1
    I disagree strongly with the notion that a child doesn't need anything other than breastmilk or formula before 1 year. What about the need to explore different tastes and smells to stimulate the senses? What about the need to develop good habits of eating vegetables? Bitter tastes take time to develop; at 6 months my baby would just spit things out, but at 12 months, she'd throw them at you. And she has a pretty impressive arm. The exact time should be up to the parent, but with the knowledge that the closer they get to toddlerhood, the more stubborn they get! Jun 20, 2011 at 7:17
  • @Corvus: maybe it was not clear, but I was referring to "physiological" need. Of course it's good for the child to try other things before one year: anyway she'll be interested in what you are eating well before that.
    – bangnab
    Jun 21, 2011 at 8:17
  • I'd be careful about some vitamins for babies older than 6 months. And baby led weaning is fantastic, but (obviously!) be careful about salt.
    – DanBeale
    Aug 5, 2011 at 13:40

I've found that the WHO's recommendations seem geared toward developing countries with poor sanitation, nutrition, and education. If that doesn't apply to you, they can be rather draconian.

Every time I hear some recommendation about solids, I hear about another new study that debunks the old one. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months used to be the recommendation, but a recent study from the British Medical Journal called that into question. I deeply question whether an infant needs only breastmilk for a year; a baby died recently in France because she was exclusively breastfed for 11 months and the mother had vitamin deficiencies possibly due to veganism. While it's true this could be an outlier case, even mothers who follow non-vegan diets are often encouraged to supplement their breastfed babies with Vitamin D.

Further, while a baby may not strictly need solids at any given point (4 months, 6 months, etc.) at some point, I believe from my own experience that it is helpful to introduce a baby to many different things to stimulate the senses. We expose babies to color and motion early, to many kinds of sounds, music and voices, many people, many textures, and I don't think taste and smell should be considered any differently. When exactly to do this depends on the child, but as an example, my baby was introduced to green beans at approx. 7 months and now screams like a banshee if she doesn't get them for lunch. I'm happy to have helped her develop a positive taste for them.

I feel that blanket policies about infant feeding can cause poor outcomes because there is such variation between infants and families that it seems useless to give anything other than general guidelines and then refer parents to their physician and their instincts for the rest. For example, policies like "breast is best" completely ignore all the times in which breast is NOT best--premature infants unable to breastfeed, infants with lots of food allergies making an elimination diet nutritionally unsound for the mother, mothers with insufficient glandular tissue, mothers with PCOS in which their bodies don't make enough milk, mothers with auto-immune disease requiring more energy than they actually have to breastfeed, mothers who have had breast surgery for cancer/reduction/reconstruction/etc.

Blanket policies don't take into account your baby and your situation, and taken to the wrong level promote lazy health care. A doctor who is pressed for time may just regurgitate the "recommendations" about solid foods without really taking the time to ask you about a family history of food allergies. In my case, my baby's pediatrician did a very good job addressing all my concerns about my and my husband's strong family histories of allergies, and we came up with some timetables for certain foods that differ from any of the recommendations I've read elsewhere. She was also very responsive when my baby showed signs of dairy allergy at 1 yr and was able to give us advice on whole milk alternatives--we didn't have to waste time going through the family histories then.

Even if there were official guidelines, I'd be very careful to take them as mere guidelines, not the hard and fast rule that "breast is best" has become despite ample evidence that one-size-fits-all medicine doesn't actually work for all.


The UK National Health Service has something called "From Birth to 5" (also called 'the green book') which is available to all parents. This covers a wide range of evidence-based advice.


Growing children, especially those not eating a varied diet, sometimes don't get enough vitamin A and C. It's also difficult to get enough vitamin D through food alone. Therefore, the Department of Health recommends that all children from six months to five years old are given supplements containing vitamins A, C and D, in the form of vitamin drops.

Here's a list of food to avoid, and why.


(The advice about honey and infant botulism has since changed, but it's still a sugar and risky for teeth.)

Here's their lists about first weaning, weaning the next steps, and first foods.




It might seem that the advice is always changing, but some of that is practitioners who are not keeping up to date with modern advice; some of it is genuine debate about best practice; and some of it is changed advice because there's new research. For example, the reason not to introduce foods (especially gluten) before six months is to do with development of the villi in the intestines and the risk of allergy.


I read this article and it explains well about the baby food in the first year.

Baby Food Stage 1: Birth to 4 months

What to feed: Only food for infants is breast milk or infant formula to meet all their nutritional needs.

Recommended milk is breast milk only. You should start giving formula or any other substitute in case breast milk supply is not sufficient for the baby or she feels hungry even after having mother’s feed.

Feeding Tips: You should increase baby’s diet as baby’s digestion system is developing. Stomach size is the size of baby’s fist.

Baby Food Stage 3: (4 to 6 months): At this stage, your infant’s milk or formula intake will increase (up to one liter in a day). You will also notice that your baby will start showing the signs “momma, I am ready to eat solid foods” By this time your baby’s first teeth will emerge. At this stage, your baby starts crawling.

What to feed:
Breast milk or formula milk
Mashed banana and apple
Well cooked, pureed and strained carrot and sweet potato
Pulse soup after boiling pulse in sufficient water (water of moong dal)

Feeding Tips: The first food must be a single grain food. You should keep a gap of at least three days between two new foods. Test with small quantities.

Watch out for any type of allergies.

Baby Food Stage 3: (6 to 8 months)
Her digestive system is developing. You should introduce new foods while your baby is busy in exploring the world. She is doing more physical activities, so she needs more solid foods along with milk.

What to feed to baby: Breast milk or formula
Iron-fortified cereal like rice, oats mixed with milk
Fruit Pureed like banana, peaches, pears, plum, mango. Mix two fruits together to taste it better.
Vegetable pureed (completely cooked) like sweet potato, carrots, squash, beans and potato.
Pulse soup after boiling pulse in sufficient water.
Rice water after boiling rice in clean and filtered water. Give your baby just strained water.
Unsweetened yogurt from low-fat milk (very small quantity)
Small portion of Tofu or cheese

Feeding Tips: Introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet doesn’t mean to stop breast milk or formula; these are the most important source of nutrients for your baby.

Never force your baby to eat a little more. Solid intake will increase gradually, it depends when you started giving her solid food.


Soft food like strawberries and bananas can be eaten from the age of around 4 months old. White grapes without the skin are great too. Start with (very) little bites and bits per day. Some crouton staves (white bread) with no herbs are great to start out with too. Light bread can be sucked on too. Plain potatoes and thoroughly boiled vegetables can be eaten pretty easily too. White rice is pretty hard to digest for a young kid.

If a child can't handle a food yet they'll probably spit it out.

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