Once your baby has hit the seven-month mark and adapted to her first tastes of solids, you can start to broaden her repertoire of daily dishes. At this stage, it’s less likely that a new food will trigger an allergic reaction or a stomach upset. Introducing plenty of different tastes while she’s still small will also help her taste buds adjust to a range of flavours and – hopefully – help to ward off fussiness later on. So what are the best second stage weaning foods to try out on your baby?
You can now introduce citrus fruit and berries, but do monitor your baby as these may cause a reaction in some children. To avoid choking, remove pith from citrus fruit and sieve seeds from berries.
Start to expand your baby’s repertoire of vegetables, offering as many types and colours as possible. Try to introduce green veggies like broccoli and spinach at this stage, as they’re packed with nutrients including iron and calcium.
Seeds, ground nuts and nut products
As long as there’s no close family history of allergies, hay fever, asthma or eczema, you can try your baby with ground nut and seed products at this stage, for example smooth peanut butter or hummous, which contains tahini (sesame seed puree). Watch closely for reactions every time you give these foods to your baby, as some allergies don’t develop at the first exposure.
Beans and pulses
Lentils, split peas, butter beans and other pulses are a good source of iron and protein. They can be hard for young babies to digest but you can introduce them in small amounts at this stage, making sure they’re well pureed or mashed.
Bread and cereals
You can now introduce bread, rusks, pasta and breakfast cereals to your baby, with little risk of triggering an allergy. Look for baby cereals at this stage, as even plain adult cereals can be high in hidden salt and sugar.
Full-fat dairy foods such as yoghurt, fromage frais, cottage cheese, cream cheese and mild, hard cheeses like edam and cheddar are a good source of calories, calcium, vitamin D and protein.
As long as they’re well cooked until solid, eggs can now be offered hard-boiled or used in recipes, such as omelettes, scrambled egg or eggy bread.
Your baby can start eating well-cooked fish, although it’s best to purée it at first. Try blending it with green vegetables or a cheese sauce. Start with mild white fish like cod or plaice, and be sure to remove any skin or bones.
Meat and poultry
These can be offered now but must be well-cooked. Most babies prefer it liquidised with vegetables or fruit at first; you can gradually firm up the texture as she gets older and more adept at chewing.