Between 9 and 12 months old, your baby may be ready for stage three weaning - starting to eat the same food as the rest of the family, either mashed or sieved. In this stage, baby will be getting used to holding a spoon and learning to feed himself. He will also start to pick up pieces of food and put them in his mouth – it can be an exciting, and messy, time. Independent feeding can be a proud yet sometimes sad moment for parents. Here are a few pointers to help you with stage three weaning.
- Remember not to add any salt, sugar or honey. He will still need his milk (either breast milk or formula) - up to 600ml a day until 12 months old.
- Once your baby has mastered the art of chewing food, you can start to introduce finger foods and encourage them to start feeding themselves. It can be a very messy stage but this is how babies learn.
- Aim to have three good healthy meals a day at this stage and remember that although your child is becoming more independent you should never leave him alone while he is eating.
- Introduce your baby to combinations of flavours. More complex recipes such as spaghetti Bolognese and mixed fruits are ideal.
Foods to Consider
New foods to consider at this stage include:
- Wheat based foods e.g. bread, pasta and cereals
- Citrus fruits
- Eggs (ensure they are well cooked)
- Finger foods e.g. carrot sticks, peeled apple slices, breadsticks, fingers of buttered toast
Remember, just like adults, many babies tastes will change regularly. Be sure to give them lots of variety as they continue to grow up in order to encourage healthy eating habits in the future.
For more information about weaning, view our full weaning advice section, which includes information on baby weaning safety and baby drinking. You may also want to view our baby weaning products.