Starting Solids

Current guidance (Department of Health (2003) Infant Feeding recommendation.pdf) on the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and introduction of solid foods states that:

  • Breastmilk is the best form of nutrition for infants; it provides all the nutrients a baby needs;

  • Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of an infant’s life;

  • Six months is the recommended age for the introduction of solid foods for both breast and formula fed infants;

  • Breastfeeding (and /or breastmilk substitutes, if used) should continue beyond the first six months along with appropriate types and amounts of solid foods; and

  • Mothers who are unable to, or choose not to, follow these recommendations should be supported to optimise their infants’ nutrition.

Parents are supported in making healthy nutrition choices for their families via the national healthy Start scheme both ante and post natally 

A guide to Healthy Start for health professionals explains the scheme and nutritional advice offered to pregnant women, new mums, babies and young children