Specialised Women’s and Children’s Nutrition

Infant Feeding

Babies are on a wonderful journey of food discovery. They are exploring different flavours and different textures. It is a time when both parents and children are on a steep learning curve and relevant support and information is important.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines are a good place to start for general information on children’s nutrition as well as more specific information on feeding infants. These can be found through the National Health and Medical Research Council at www.eatforhealth.gov.au. Look under “Brochures, posters and more”. More specific advice on allergies and solids can be found through ASCIA at www.allergy.org.au.

These websites offer alternative opinions on the best age to introduce solids. The National Health and Medical Research Council website summarises the Australian Dietary Guidelines and recommends solids from around 6 months while ASCIA has an allergy focus and recommends solids from 4 to 6 months of age (look under FAQs).

One of the most important but trickiest parts of feeding your baby is responding to their feeding cues. Signs that your baby is keen to continue eating are:

  • Excitement when the food is coming their way!
  • Body language that shows interest in food such as leaning forward and opening of the mouth
  • Spitting out food is not necessarily a sign that your baby has had enough and may be a sign that your baby is still learning what to do when food is in their mouth

Signs that your baby is no longer interested include:

  • Loss of interest and regular distraction
  • Body language that shows no interest in food such as turning head away and closing of the mouth
  • Babies may even push the spoon away
  • Throwing food away may not necessarily indicate loss of interest in the meal and may instead be an important part of food discovery

Ideally mealtimes should be when your baby is not feeling tired and there are no major distractions.

Sometimes a baby accepts solids well initially before seeming quite fussy. Some food refusal and fussy eating is normal. Just try again at another time. If you are concerned that your baby is not getting enough or is not accepting a variety of foods, we’d be very happy to assess your child’s nutrition and provide some advice and new ideas to set you on the road to mealtime harmony!