After reading this section, you will have a better understanding of:
  • The nutritional needs of infants aged six months and over
  • The weaning process and suitable first foods
  • The milks that can be given to infants at this age and how they can complement a healthy, balanced diet.


1. The weaning process

From the age of six months, babies’ nutritional requirements change to meet their bodies’ growing demands, and the natural process of learning to eat solid food begins.

2. Practical advice

Moving on from milk to adding solid food to a baby's diet can be daunting for both the baby and the parents. But some simple tips can make the process run as smoothly as possible.

3. Homemade versus ready-made

Choosing to give babies homemade or ready-made food is often a big decision for parents and so ensuring parents have all the information they need to decide what's best for them and their baby is important.

4. Vitamins and minerals

Obtaining the optimal levels of important vitamins and minerals is essential to an infant’s growth and development, including vitamins A, C, D and E, iron, calcium and zinc.

5. Milk from 6 months

From six months of age, infant formula milk or breast milk takes a complementary role in an infant’s diet. Full fat cows’ milk should not be given to babies as a main drink until they are 12 months of age.

6. Milk from 12 months

From 12 months onwards, toddlers are walking, talking and interacting. As they start to eat family meals, it’s easy to assume that their dietary requirements are simply those of ‘mini adults’. This is not the case.

7. Ask the experts

At six months old, babies’ diets change to become less reliant on milk. So how do the experts advise health visitors and community practitioners help parents at this transitional phase?

8. Training & CPD

The following practice points and questions can be used to enhance your knowledge of this section.

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