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Starting solids and healthy eating for families

Healthy Eating for Families

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.

A balanced diet means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.


Starting solids

Why wait until six months?

  • Research shows that babies need nothing other than breast-milk or formula for the first six months of life
  • Babies get all the nutrients they need from breast-milk
  • Introducing solid foods before six months may increase the risk of allergy due to an underdeveloped digestive system and will also replace breast-milk or formula.
  • Introducing solid foods at six months means that your baby is more likely to quickly be able to feed themselves. They will enjoy participating in family meal times and establish a healthy and varied diet.
  • Baby needs to show signs of developmental readiness.

What is Developmental Readiness?

There are three signs that your baby is ready for their first foods.

  • Stay in sitting position and can hold their own head
  • Co-ordinate their eyes, hand and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it all up and put it in their mouth all by themselves.
  • Swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food out. So they get more around their face than they do in their mouths!

For help and advice on all things eating and drinking call your Health Visiting team.

Additional Links
Healthy Eating
Healthy recipes and eat well
Unicef Start for Life Introducing Solid Foods
Baby Led Weaning
Healthy Start click here

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