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Signs Baby is Ready for Solid Food

By Jan Murray

Studies show babies are not developmentally ready to tolerate solid foods before 17 weeks of age.

If your baby is hungry and not gaining weight before 17 weeks, you can increase their weight by providing extra breast feeds or introduce an additional bottle of Infant Formula. Seek professional guidance for the appropriate Infant Formula to use for your baby.


When to consider starting your baby on solid foods:

  • The ‘tongue thrust’ is gone.
  • Baby can sit in a semi-controlled, upright position. Not being able to sit or hold his back reasonably straight will prevent him focusing on eating
  • Baby’s weight gain has slowed down
  • Baby is waking at erratic times overnight when previously had been sleeping through
  • Baby is constantly dissatisfied when being breastfed. They are constantly pulling off and on the nipple and feeding is becoming less enjoyable
  • Baby is wanting to breastfeed more regularly during the day instead of spacing it out to every four hours
  • Baby is watching you eat with greater interest and could even be trying to take the spoon or food from your hand.

If you see any or some of these signs start your baby on some soft and sloppy foods.

Start your baby on soft solids once a day during their awake-time after a milk feed. This is best offered after the mid morning feed when your baby is alert and less tired. Add another solid feed mid-afternoon when your baby looks ready and willing for more.

Milk is still important for your baby’s nutrition so avoid introducing too much food too quickly. Introduce a third meal when ready.

More information on solids with recipes here



This can vary depending on:

  • Individual metabolism
  • Energy requirements, especially if they are sick or very active
  • Interest in food
  • Whether they are eating in a stressed or rushed atmosphere.

Bon Appetit!!

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.

Baby Feeding and Recipes

by Jan

As a parent raising children, it is important to understand that solids are not only commenced to fill a hungry tummy and to aid growth but are also to:

  • Develop and enhance their five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.
  • Develop their immune system for optimum health and illness recovery.
  • Develop their digestive system to allow for successful absorption of nourishing foods and the control of constipation, diarrhoea and bowel spasms.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles allowing for fluid movement and the protection of internal organs.
  • Develop and stabilise their nervous system.
  • Develop a strong pumping heart.
  • Stabilize hormones for metabolism and emotional and physical balance.
  • Effective functioning of the urinary tract to eliminate toxins.
  • Developing facial muscles to facilitate language production.
  • Introduce the culture and pattern around eating.
  • Provide certain nutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin C that are not ingested in adequate amounts through breast milk or infant formula from 6 months old.

Read more about developing babies in ‘Mum, Baby & Toddler – together we learn’

Yummy and easy recipes:

Fish cakes

1 large tin of pink salmon (squash bones for added calcium) also use tuna
2 large mashed potatoes (use white sweet potato if baby does not like potato texture yet
1 cup frozen peas and corn
Sprinkle of dill
1 egg


1. Combine all together in a bowl.
2. Roll into patties and coat in breadcrumbs or oat bran.
3. Fry in a pan with a little oil

“I serve the kids with mayo and ours with sweet chilli sauce. My kids love fish and they always enjoy this recipe.” – Provided by Belinda Dowling

Yummy porridge

½ cup Rolled oats
1 cup water
Fruit puree
Sprinkle of cinnamon


1. Put oats and water in a bowl and cook for 2 minutes on high in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove until soft
2. Scoop out 1 – 2 tbsp and porridge (you eat the rest)
3. Mix in 2 tsp of pureed apple, pear or pawpaw – Provided by Jan Murray

More easy to follow recipes in ‘taste it – easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’   plus loads of practical information to get you and your baby started on good eating habits as well as yummy recipes to try.

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.