Health Professionals
Baby with spoon in mouth

As part of a healthy diet, aim to offer your baby a variety of foods from each food group.

What Foods Should I Feed My Baby?

While foods can be introduced in any order, iron rich foods should be fed to your baby at around 6 months of age. Iron rich foods include iron enriched (fortified) baby cereals, meats, poultry, fish, well cooked egg and legumes (such as lentils or chickpeas).

If your baby is allergic to a particular food, DO NOT feed your baby that food. If you think your baby has a food allergy, you should seek advice from your doctor. It is important that food allergies are confirmed by a doctor.

The common allergy causing foods should be included in the foods you feed to your baby before they are one year of age. Common allergy causing foods include:

Egg

Egg

Cow's Milk

Cow's Milk

Wheat

Wheat

Soy

Soy

Peanut

Peanut

Tree Nuts

Tree Nuts

Sesame

Sesame

Fish

Fish

Shellfish

Shellfish

Introduce one new allergy causing food at a time (such as one new food at each meal) so that if your baby has an allergic reaction, it is easier to work out which food is likely to be the problem food.

Note: Children under 5 years of age should only be given peanuts or tree nuts as a smooth nut butter or paste or as nuts ground up to be a powder or flour.

How often should I feed my baby allergy causing foods once introduced?

Once you’ve fed your baby the common allergy causing foods, it is important to continue to include these foods in your baby’s meals, ideally at least twice a week. This is important to help prevent your baby possibly developing an allergy after eating the food. If you feed your baby the common allergy causing foods but your baby does not continue to eat the foods, they could develop a food allergy if they have not eaten the food for some time. There is no clear research to tell us exactly how much of the allergy causing foods your baby needs to eat to prevent food allergy, so it is recommended that you choose small amounts (e.g. 1 teaspoon) to start with and increase the amount as your baby grows and eats more.

As it is important to continue to feed your baby the common allergy causing foods once introduced, you should only feed them the foods that you are able to continue to feed them. Your baby will eventually be eating family foods, so if your family does not eat a particular food, you may choose not to introduce that particular food to your baby, knowing that they are not likely to continue eating it once they are able to eat family meals. You may wish to discuss this with your doctor or an allergy dietitian.

For example, once you have fed your baby egg for the first time, you should include well cooked (not raw or runny) egg in your baby’s food at least twice a week.

  • For a younger baby around 6 months of age, this may mean including well cooked egg in a food (such as pureed vegetables) that they normally eat.
  • For older babies on more textured food (around 7-9 months), you might feed your baby scrambled egg or mash a hard boiled egg together with mashed potato.
  • Once your baby is eating finger foods (around 12-18 months), you can include egg in many foods such as muffins, pikelets or a chopped up omelette in fried rice.

The important thing is to include the food in your baby’s meals at least twice a week.

If your baby has had what could be an allergic reaction or is allergic to a particular food, do not feed your baby that food. Consult a doctor if you think your child has had an allergic reaction.

Recipes for your baby

Looking for ideas to help you to feed your baby the common allergy causing foods? Download these food ideas and recipe booklets:

Download food ideas for babies around 6 months PDF
Download food ideas for babies 7-9 months PDF
Download food ideas for babies 10-12 months PDF
Download food ideas for toddlers PDF
DOWNLOAD RECIPE BOOKLET PDF (NEW) DOWNLOAD TREE NUT BABY FOOD RECIPES BOOKLET PDF

As part of healthy diet, aim to offer your baby a variety of foods from each food group, including:

CEREALS

  • Iron-fortified cereals
  • Bread
  • Pasta

Offer a variety of grains including wheat, rice, oats, and corn.

DAIRY

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Cow's Milk on cereal

Cow’s milk should not be given instead of breast milk or infant formula for babies under one year of age, however, small amounts of cow’s milk can be mixed with baby cereal, pureed meat and/or vegetables.

MEAT & ALTERNATIVES

  • Beef, lamb & poultry
  • Well cooked egg
  • Fish & other seafood
  • Legumes
  • Smooth nut butters/pastes, nut
  • meal (e.g. almond meal), nut
  • flours
  • Soy (e.g. tofu or soy flour)

FRUIT & VEGETABLES

Advice on how to feed a range of hard fruits and vegetables to your baby can be found under

Learning to Eat

Babies need to learn to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups to make sure they are getting all the nutrition they need. If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk or wheat, talk to your doctor or dietitian about how to choose foods that will provide the nutrition usually provided by these foods.

Once a baby accepts a food, keep offering them that food about twice a week.

Find Food Ideas

What about feeding my baby peanut and egg?

Parents are sometimes worried about giving egg and peanut to their babies, as they are common allergy causing foods in children.

However, it is important to offer your baby well cooked egg (not raw or runny egg) and smooth peanut butter/paste before they are one year of age as delaying the introduction of these foods increases the chance of developing allergies to these foods.

Once you give these foods to your baby, you should continue to offer these foods regularly (about twice a week).

Feeding the common allergy causing foods to your baby when you can watch for any signs of an allergic reaction is important. For example, feeding well cooked egg and smooth peanut butter/paste soon after your baby wakes allows you to watch your baby and easily respond if they show signs of an allergic reaction.

Signs of an allergic reaction

How to introduce peanut and egg to your baby

Introduce well cooked egg and smooth peanut butter/paste in small amounts to start with.

For example, mix a small amount (about a quarter of a teaspoon) of hard-boiled egg or peanut butter/paste into your baby’s usual food, such as vegetable puree.

Baby being fed from a spoon

If your baby does not have any signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction, gradually increase the amount next time to about half a teaspoon.

Never smear or rub food on your baby’s skin, especially if they have eczema. This will not help to identify possible food allergies and may cause skin irritation and possibly contribute to your child developing a food allergy, as the food was introduced through the skin and not the mouth.

If you are worried, you can place a small amount of the food inside your baby’s lip when you give the food for the first time. If there is no allergic reaction after a few minutes, you can start giving small amounts of the food as explained above.

A small number of babies will still develop food allergies even if the common allergy causing foods like smooth peanut paste and well-cooked egg are fed to them before they are one year of age. If there is an allergic reaction to any food, that food should be stopped and you should seek advice from your doctor.

What about drinks?

Breast milk or infant formula will continue to provide important nutrients once your baby is eating solid foods. As your baby eats more solid foods they will need less breast milk or infant formula and will demand fewer feeds.

Take your time when replacing milk feeds with solid food.

Water, breast milk, cow’s milk based infant formula or other infant formula can be offered from a cup from around 8 months of age. Other family milk drinks, such as regular cow’s milk, should not be your baby’s main drink until after one year of age.

Baby drinking

Sugary drinks such as fruit juices, cordials and soft drinks are not recommended for babies.

Content updated October 2022