When to introduce the different foods to babies

Table of introduccion of different foods to babies

How is the baby’s diet?

For many years, pediatricians and dietitians-nutritionists have studied what type of diet is best for the baby and young children. One of the main points is the proven fact that breastfeeding, whenever possible, is the best option, surpassing any other commercial product.

advertising of mother breastfeeding

Advertising a formula milk, implying that it is the best option to feed the baby. Whenever possible, breastfeeding is better than any commercial product.

Advantages of breastfeeding

Among the advantages of breastfeeding, are the optimal nutrition of the child, and that the mother can pass defenses and healthy intestinal flora to the baby through breastfeeding, something that formula milk can not. In addition, many studies seem to indicate that breastfeeding protects against certain diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

When it is not possible or desirable to breastfeed the baby, formula milk is the second best option.

Advice on bottle or formula

Within formula milk or baby bottles, there are many different qualities on the market (cow’s milk, goat’s milk, soy milk, beta-palmitate, alpha-palmitate, …). It will always be very important and the advice of the specialist is recommended before buying any of these products.

Table of introduction of foods to prevent allergies

For many years it has been recommended to follow a table of introduction of foods to prevent allergies in babies. For example, until a few years ago, the introduction of cereals with gluten was made after 8 months because it was thought that introducing allergens at earlier ages increased the risk of allergy. Another example, it was believed that if the baby took peanuts when he was very young, he would be more likely to develop an allergy to this legume.

However, recent studies say that delaying the introduction of allergens, that is, introducing foods according to the table of food introduction, does not seem to reduce the risk of allergy.

Supplementary feeding on demand (Baby-led weaning or BLW)

In recent years it seems that many dietitians nutritionists specializing in child nutrition, and many pediatricians, advocate complementary food on demand or BLW (for its acronym in English, Baby-Led Weaning).

It consists in offering food to the baby from a very young age so that he can experiment with the food itself, put it in his mouth, see its texture, etc. For example, offer solid, semi-solid or soft foods instead of porridges and purées. Hard foods can cause choking (for example, fruit). In that case it is better to grate them or cut them into extremely thin cubes. It is not appropriate to give nuts and other foods that can cause choking.

This type of feeding can only be carried out as the baby’s motor skills advance and must be done in an appropriate way, always supervising the child and preventing him from consuming foods susceptible to choking.

Tips for feeding baby and young children

There are different approaches to how to introduce feeding to the baby, but in all cases a complete feeding must be achieved. In general, we give you some basic guidelines that we can follow:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to the first 6 months of age, according to the latest WHO recommendations.

  • Do not force the baby to take food. There is no need since milk (maternal or formula) is its main food and is sufficiently nutritious. Babies and young children do not have very high energy requirements, so do not force them to eat more than they should and respect their appetite. If they eat little, offer breast or bottle more often, but do not force. If they are not interested in food, keep insisting, also without forcing.

  • Food that should NOT be given to the baby: you should not give products such as snacks and industrial biscuits, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, sugary foods, sausages, cold cuts, etc. Foods that are also not recommended in healthy diets for adults.

Classic table of introduction of food to the baby

Breastmilk or bottle milk should be the baby’s main food. The other foods are used to subsequently introduce a normal diet, but in no case are they given as the main source of energy. Therefore its ingestion must be less than milk.

Below is the classic table of introduction of food to the baby, made according to the recommendations to prevent allergies. Although there are points to be taken into account, we repeat that, as mentioned above, it has not been proven that introducing gluten or peanuts later reduces the risk of allergy.

In case of allergic parents or siblings of the baby, it is recommended to consult with a specialist in the matter to see if there are new investigations with conclusive results:


Whole bread

  • Babies from 4- 6 months can begin to consume glutenfree cereals. These are: rice, corn, millet, sorghum, quinoa, etc. Do not give cookies (wheat) before 8 months.

  • Cereals with gluten will be introduced after 8 months: wheat, bread, oats, rye, kamut, etc. Start with small quantities and increase very little by little.

  • Rice milk from 8 months, in small quantities.

  • Some commercial cookies contain too much saturated fat. It is recommended to choose cookies that contain less than 15g. of fat per 100 g.

* More information about Cereals for the baby.



  • First introduce the nonacidic fruits such as pear, apple, grapes (monitor choking risk), baked apple, half banana, melon, watermelon, etc.

  • Citrus fruits can be given in the form of orange and tangerine juices.

  • Tropical fruits and peaches will be introduced at 12 months because they can cause allergy.

  • For the same reason, red fruits such as currants, raspberries, blackberries, etc. they should be entered after 2 years.



  • In the form of purees, which will carry a potato and carrot base.

  • Go adding vegetables (one to one), first those that have less fiber such as onion, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet bean, sweet potato, etc.

  • Vegetables with oxalates are given from 9 to 12 months: Swiss chard, beet, spinach, etc. These should be boiled before and the broth is pulled (it is rich in oxalates).

  • After 12 months more fibrous vegetables can be given, taking into account that the quantities must be small (high doses can produce gases): hearts of artichokes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.


Olive oil

  • Olive oil is recommended. This is added to the purées, with a splash a day is enough.

  • The amount of oil increases progressively with age. The excess oil can be difficult to digest.

  • Foods rich in fats, butter, etc. should not be given.



– Eggs can be introduced at 9 months.

– We will start giving half an egg yolk.

At 12 months we can also give the egg white.

* More information about Eggs in the baby’s diet.



When the baby eats cereals, vegetables and fruits, he can start taking certain amounts of meat. This usually happens at 8 – 10 months.

  • At 8 months you can start to give white meat such as chicken, turkey or rabbit. With 20 grams of meat in the purées is enough for the protein needs of the baby. The protein deficit is bad, but so is the excess. We remember that the basis of the baby’s diet is cereals. (More information)

  • At 10 months you can introduce lamb.

  • At 12 months you can introduce red meat and pork (These meats contain a lot of collagen and cost more to digest, for this reason they are given later.)

  • Sausages are NOT suitable because they contain a lot of sodium and additives.





– Fish can be introduced at 10 months of age. Fish contains iodine, a very important mineral because it is part of the thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism and growth. Iodine deficiency is related to mental retardation.

First the white fish will be given as monkfish or hake. Being slightly fatty, they digest better than blue fish. The amount needed for the baby can be about 30 grams.

– We must be careful to remove the spines and make sure that the fish is in good condition.

At 15 months we can introduce the blue fish: sardines, mackerel, etc. Always removing the thorns.

Salty cod should not be given because of excess sodium. Nor are canned fish suitable.

– Shellfish have a high risk of food allergy and will not be given until 2 years.


Dairy products

  • Dairy products such as yogurt are recommended to be introduced after 12 months.

  • They contain βlactoferrin, a component that can cause digestive hemorrhages.

  • You can start by giving half a yogurt and increase the amount progressively.

* Expand information about Dairy products for the baby.



  • Legumes are the group of peas, chickpeas, lentils or beans. These foods should not be given until at least 12 months of age.

  • They contain too much fiber and would cause strong discomfort in the baby.

  • To facilitate digestion, we will cook them for a long time (you can also use cooked vegetables that are sold in the supermarket, which are very cooked).

  • Whole vegetables should not be given, but the skin should be chafed and removed.
  • Organic soy milk can be given after 12 months. (More information)



  • Nuts are walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias, etc.

  • Introducing these foods too early can cause allergies in the future, because before 3 years the baby’s immune system is still very immature.

  • They are also a type of food that due to its hardness and size present difficulties to chew and are at risk of choking.

  • For these reasons it is recommended to introduce nuts from 3 years. They should not be salted or fried. Raw or toasted, it is recommended to boil or soak them in water half an hour previously.

  • Seeds should also be given after 3 years (sesame, flaxseed, chia, etc.)



  • Do not add salt to the preparations, nor give salty foods such as ham, sausages, cod.

  • Do not give honey before 3 years. Honey before 12 months can produce botulism and before 2 years allergy, due to the immature immune system of the baby.

  • Do not give sugar or add it to food.

  • Do not sweeten the water or add flavorings.

nutrients characteristics

Characteristics of nutrients

child feeding course sign

Child feeding course index

punto rojoMore information on nutrition.

This article was endorsed by Vicente Martínez Centelles - Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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