Healthy living

Food for older babies

By about 8 months your baby will be eating a variety of foods and trying thicker textures like soft lumps and minced foods.

Even if babies have only a few teeth, they can chew mashed food and finely diced meats with their gums.

Once your baby is eating a variety of foods you can offer solids before breast milk or formula.

Around 8 months, many babies like to feed themselves. It is a good time to give ‘finger foods’ that your baby can hold and chew. Try toast, bread and other finger foods such as steamed or roasted vegetable sticks, soft fruits, crackers and strips of cooked chicken, fish or meat.

Encourage your baby to drink cool, boiled water from a cup at this age.

Foods to move on to

Once babies are having different textures, most can eat minced or mashed food from the family menu. This may be messy, but it’s an important part of the learning process.

Try introducing a greater variety of foods from the 5 food groups which are listed below.

Meat and meat alternatives

Tender well-cooked meats

  • Stews and casseroles
  • Diced or chopped meat and chicken
  • Lean mince

Well-cooked and mashed legumes

  • Baked beans
  • Lentils

Fish without bones or batter


Breads and cereals

Plain unsweetened breakfast cereals

  • Porridge
  • Weetbix®
  • Vitabrits®

Breads (including toast)

Rice, pasta


Pieces of soft chopped, raw fruit

  • Banana
  • Melon
  • Tomato

Pieces of cooked apple or pear


Pieces of well-cooked vegetables

  • Carrot
  • Potato
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Broccoli

Milk, yoghurt, cheese

Cow’s milk should not be given as a drink until your baby is 12 months. However, small amounts of cow’s milk can be given as:

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Custard
  • Milk with breakfast cereal.

Where to get help

Local community or child health nurse

  • See inside your baby's purple All About Me book
  • Look in the service finder for child health centres
  • Visit your nearest child health centre

Local family doctor

Dietitians Association of Australia

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Ngala Helpline

  • 8.00am – 8.00pm 7 days a week
  • Phone: (08) 9368 9368
  • Outside metro area – Free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)
  • Visit the Ngala website (external site)

Raising Children Network



  • By around 8 months your baby will be eating different types and textures of food.
  • Many babies of this age like to feed themselves.
  • This is a good time to introduce more foods into your baby’s diet.


Child and Adolescent Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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