Plunket baby food

Introducing solids » Plunket

Feeding between three and six months

Milk (breast or formula) provides your baby with all the nutrition they need to grow and develop in the first six months.  

At around three months of age, your baby might start making more saliva and putting their fists or toys in their mouth, or experience a growth spurt and want to feed more often. These are part of normal development rather than signs that they’re ready for solid food.  

Solid food shouldn’t be introduced too early because babies aren’t physically or developmentally ready for it. 

Some of the reasons are:  

  • your baby may feel full and not drink enough milk to grow well 
  • they can’t coordinate their swallowing to cope with solid food 
  • their kidneys and digestion aren’t well-enough developed to cope with solid foods 
  • they may be more likely to get eczema, asthma, food allergies, respiratory infections.  

Feeding between six and 12 months

For the first six months or so, babies use iron stored in their bodies from when they were in the womb. They also get some iron from breastmilk and/or infant formula. But as they grow, a baby’s iron stores decrease, and by around six months old, they can’t get all the iron their bodies need from breastmilk or formula alone. That’s why it’s important to start introducing solids when your baby shows interest in solid foods, normally when they’re around six months old. 

Like the Ministry of Health, we recommend you continue breast- or bottle-feeding your baby - in addition to feeding them solids - until they’re one year or older. 

If you’re breastfeeding, by this time your breasts may feel softer, or not feel so full. This is normal, because by now your breasts and milk supply have settled and become more efficient. It doesn’t mean your supply is reduced. You can be confident your baby’s getting enough milk if: 

  • they’re sucking and swallowing well when on the breast  
  • feeding regularly 
  • having plenty of wet nappies with pale-coloured wee 
  • growing well.   

By six months old, your baby may get distracted by voices and noise while feeding, and might regularly come off the breast, or spit out the bottle, to look around. This is totally normal.  

If your baby was born prematurely, they may not be ready for solid food at around six months. Your baby’s paediatrician or Plunket nurse can help you work out when to start offering your baby solid food, and will give you the information you need. 

Signs your baby is ready for solid food

Your baby may be ready for solid food if they: 

  • seem hungry after breast or formula feeds
  • can hold their head up well, and can sit upright when supported
  • are interested in watching you eat - they reach out, open their mouth when you’re eating, and put their hands and toys in their mouth 
  • make chewing movements 
  • easily open their mouth when you touch their lip with a spoon or bring food to their mouth, and their tongue doesn’t push the food out 
  • move food to the back of their mouth and swallow.  

If your baby's hungry, they might:  

  • get excited when they see you getting food ready  
  • lean towards you while sitting in the highchair  
  • open their mouth as you're about to feed them. 

Signs your baby isn't interested include: 

  • turning their head away 
  • shutting their mouth when you offer food 
  • losing interest or getting distracted 
  • pushing the spoon away.  

If your baby is nearing seven months and hasn’t started solids, you might like to get some advice from your Plunket nurse or GP. 

Your baby’s food preferences

Every baby is different, and it’s fun getting to know what sort of food your baby likes. Some babies will devour solid foods as soon as they’re given them, while others prefer to have just breast milk or formula for longer. Some babies eat everything offered, and others have clear likes and dislikes. 

Don’t worry too much about your baby’s food preferences. Keep offering a range of nutritious foods so they can learn to enjoy a variety of food tastes and textures. 

When to introduce your baby’s first solid foods

Choose a time when both of you are relaxed, like around lunchtime or early afternoon.  

When babies are really hungry, they just want the breastmilk or formula they know will satisfy their hunger, so start by breast or bottle feeding your baby. They’ll still have room to try new foods after they’ve had a feed of breastmilk or formula.

Wattie's guide to baby feeding

Stage One solids (around six months)


Breastmilk or infant formula is still the most important food. Offer your baby breastmilk or formula before solid foods.  

Between six and 12 months, breastmilk, infant formula or water are the only liquids your little one needs.  

Food texture 

Make a very smooth and runny mixture using breastmilk, water or infant formula. 

Solid foods to try 

  • Iron-fortified infant cereal or baby rice, mixed as directed, or pureed plain cooked rice.
  • Cooked and pureed fruit: apple, pawpaw, apricot, peach, mango, pear, plum (with no seeds, skins or pips).
  • Uncooked mashed banana, avocado. 
  • Cooked and pureed vegetables without skins, seeds or pips, like kumara, potato, carrot, taro, pumpkin, kamokamo, marrow, cassava, manioke(a), parsnip or yam. 
  • Cooked and pureed meat like beef, lamb, pork, chicken or fish. Your baby now needs extra iron to grow well. Lamb’s liver is a good source of iron, but it’s best only to offer liver once a week. 
  • Cooked and pureed vegetarian alternatives like hummus, baked beans, lentils, soaked and cooked dried beans and peas.  
  • Pre-packaged baby foods in cans, jars and packets suitable for your baby’s age. 


  • Offer one or two teaspoons of slightly warm solid foods. 
  • Offer a variety of purées with different tastes, including naturally sweet, savoury and bitter flavours.
  • From around six months of age, babies can eat increasingly thick puréed, mashed and soft foods. Soft foods are those that can be easily squashed between your thumb and forefinger or on the roof of your mouth with your tongue.
  • If your baby refuses a food, offer another food instead, but try the food they refused again in a few days. It can take up to ten tastes before your baby may like a new food. 
  • Gradually increase how much and how often you give solid food. Let your baby’s appetite guide you. 
  • Gradually increase the thickness and how lumpy the food is. 
  • Your baby shouldn’t have salt, sugar or butter added to the food. 
  • Do not offer coffee, tea or alcohol.

Stage Two solids (from seven to eight months)


Breastmilk or formula is still the most important food. Offer milk before solid food. Your baby may enjoy drinking water. 

Food texture 

Thick puree, small soft lumps, or mashed. 

Try these foods 

Once your baby is eating a good variety of the foods from stage one, try: 

  • mashed fruit, cooked to soften if necessary before mashing 
  • mashed, cooked vegetables, offering a variety of different coloured veges. Be sure to remove stalks and stringy bits from leafy green vegetables like puha, spinach, and bok choy 
  • dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese and custard 
  • toast (white or fine wholemeal), and rusks 
  • cooked and mashed pasta and noodles 
  • tofu, tempeh
  • cooked and mashed egg.  


  • Try mixing foods with a range of tastes. Mixing less popular foods in with ones your baby really likes may encourage your wee one to accept a wider variety of food. 
  • Move towards three meals a day. 

Stage Three solids (from eight to nine months)


Your baby can have solid foods before their breast or formula feeds. It’s great for your baby to have water during the day as well.  

Water helps keep: 

  • babies hydrated 
  • poo soft (avoiding constipation), and 
  • teeth and gums nice and healthy.   

Food texture 

Your baby may now be interested in lots of different foods and textures. Try minced, mashed, grated, and finely chopped foods. 

Try adding in: 

  • fruits – add raw fruit as finger food, like oranges, kiwifruit, pineapple, and berry fruit 
  • vegetables, including salad veges 
  • meat, shellfish, kai moana 
  • cereals like porridge, wheat biscuits (iron fortified), or infant muesli 
  • peanut butter (smooth).  

Wait until your baby’s one year old before offering cow’s milk. 

Avoid small, hard and round foods like popcorn, nuts, grapes and berries because they can make your baby choke. Stay with your baby when they’re eating and encourage them to sit down to eat to avoid choking.  


Your baby might enjoy foods they can hold (finger foods). 

  • Try pieces of soft ripe fruit, cooked vegetable pieces, grated cheese, toast, and small pieces of soft meat. 

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Related topics

Baby – starting solids | Health Navigator NZ

Starting your baby on solids can be an exciting, fun and interesting time. Your baby will be learning new tastes and textures and you can help them enjoy this by knowing what to introduce when.

When should you start feeding your baby solids?

Your baby may be ready to start on solid food at around 6 months of age. They are likely to show signs that they are ready to start solids, such as they:

  • seem hungry after breast milk or formula feeds
  • can hold their head up well
  • are interested in watching you eat, eg, reach out, open their mouth when you’re eating and put their hands and toys in their mouth
  • make chewing movements
  • easily open their mouth when you touch their lip with a spoon or bring food to their mouth, and don’t stick their tongue forward to push the food out.

Some babies may not be ready for solids at 6 months, eg, if your baby was born prematurely. It’s important not to introduce solid food too early. If you do, your baby may not get enough milk and other nutrients they need to grow well and their digestion will not be developed enough to cope with solid foods.

Image: Canva

Continue breastfeeding 

As your baby starts eating other foods, breast milk is still an important part of their diet. Your baby will still need breast milk (or infant formula) until they are at least 12 months old. The best drinks for your baby are breast milk (or infant formula) and water. Don't give them other types of drinks.

Until your baby is 8–9 months old, it’s best to give them breast milk (or infant formula) before solid food. That way they’ll get all the milk they need to grow well.

Continuing to breastfeed while you introduce solids may help prevent allergic reactions to some foods. Use breast milk or formula as their main drink until your baby is 12 months old.

How to introduce solids at about 6 months

Eating solid food is a new experience for your baby. Here are some things to consider when starting solids.

  • Offer solids when your baby is most relaxed and happy.
  • Hold your baby while you feed them or sit them in a baby high chair.
  • Use a small teaspoon and put the food in the middle of their tongue.   
  • Start with small amounts – a half to 2 teaspoons at first, then slowly increase the amount until your baby is having about 3–4 teaspoons at a meal.
  • Your baby may spit out their first solid foods as they learn to get the food to the back of their mouth to swallow it. Be patient and give them time.
  • Try one new food every 2–4 days. If they don't like the food the first time, wait a few days and try again with a smaller amount.
  • Throw away any uneaten food left on your baby's plate.

Types of foods

Your baby’s first foods need to be plain, smooth and soft. Babies like the plain taste of milk, so first foods also need to be plain. Don't add salt, sugar or other sweeteners, soy sauce, cream, butter or margarine to your baby's food.

Don't give your baby honey. It may contain bacteria that can make young babies sick. Homemade food can be frozen in ice cube trays and used in the next 3–4 weeks. 

The following are examples of the best solid foods to start feeding your baby. To puree baby's food, use a blender or push food through a fine sieve. 

 Food   How to prepare

Cereal or rice

Use iron-fortified baby rice or infant cereal. Ensure the cereal you choose is suitable for your baby's age. Prepare the cereal using breastmilk or infant formula as per the instructions on the package. You can also puree plain cooked rice or feed your baby congee.   


Cook and puree vegetables. Remove skins on vegetables such as kumara, potato and pumpkin. Legumes such as peas, lentils and chickpeas must be well cooked and pureed.  


Remove the skins, pips or seeds from fruit. Puree the fruit. Cook to soften if needed.   


You can introduce cooked and pureed chicken, fresh fish, lamb, beef or pork. Do not give salty meat such as corned beef or tinned fish as first foods.     

From 7 to 8 months

As your baby gets used to eating solids, you can introduce different types and textures of food, such as mashed foods and finger foods. Your baby is likely to show signs that they are ready for these changes if they:

  • can sit without support
  • are learning to bite and chew
  • can pick up and bring food to their mouth
  • can keep thick puree's in their mouth.

Types of foods

 Food   How to prepare
Dairy You can introduce soft cheese such as cottage cheese, custard and plain yoghurt (without added sugar).  
Vegetables and fruits Introduce mashed well-cooked vegetables and fruit. Mash cooked legumes. Remove stalks and 'stringy bits' from foods like silverbeet, puha and bok choy.
Meats Continue to puree cooked chicken, fish, lamb beef or pork.
Finger foods You can offer finger foods in pieces that can be easily picked up by your baby, such as very soft fruit and vegetables (ripe banana, well-cooked pumpkin), toast fingers and thin slices of cheese.

Between 8 and 12 months

Give your baby solids before their milk feeds. Your baby may be ready for more textures and lumpy foods. 

Your baby is likely to show signs that they are ready for these changes if they:

  • are learning to crawl or can pull themselves up to stand
  • can bite well and chew soft lumps
  • are interested in a range of foods and textures
  • want to try eating by themselves with need some help from you.

Types of foods

 Food   How to prepare
Dairy Add chopped fruit to yoghurt or custard.
Cereal Offer breakfast cereal such as porridge, wheat biscuits and infant muesli.
Vegetables and fruits Try mashed vegetables mixed with minced or finely chopped tender cooked meat, chicken, fish, egg or lightly mashed cooked legumes. You can also add chopped up noodles, pasta or whole rice.   
Firmer finger foods Introduce slightly firmer finger foods such as:
  • soft ripe fruit or soft cooked vegetables such as kiwifruit or kumara
  • finely grated raw carrot and apple
  • toast fingers
  • puffed crispbread.

Learn more

Eating for healthy babies and toddlers HealthEd, Ministry of Health, NZ
Baby's first foods Plunket, NZ
Let your baby guide you – feeding your baby solids Health Promotion Agency, NZ
What are good first foods for my baby? Healthy Kids, NZ


  1. Feeding your baby Ministry of Health, NZ

Cara Hafner is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with an extensive background in maternal-child nursing as a postnatal nurse and public health nurse. She currently works as the Baby Friendly Advisor for the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance, which administers the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative for maternity services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dobrolet Airlines: what happened to the company

The once-famous airline called Dobrolet has officially stopped its flights since 2014 due to sanctions imposed by the European Union on the carrier. The reason for this was the routes to the Crimea. The company was still officially part of Aeroflot's staff at that time.

However, due to the circumstances, it was decided to withdraw Dobrolet from the state and, on its basis, create a new low-cost subsidiary called Pobeda. Thus, all aircraft of the former Dobrolet now operate under the Pobeda brand.

Flight equipment

The company's arsenal includes 12 brand new Boeing aircraft, equipped with the latest aviation comfort and convenience. Of course, there were also the former devices that carry out flights along the routes. However, the company intends to replace all of them with new Boeings in a short time and increase its fleet to 40 aircraft.

Route network and destinations

Pobeda low-cost airline currently operates dozens of flights both within our country and abroad. Many destinations are connected specifically with the Black Sea resorts and are positioned as budget airlines.

It is worth noting that the airline quickly gained momentum and found its niche among the most famous carriers in the country. All this was made possible by fairly affordable tickets. Also attractive to passengers is the basic services of the company included in the cost of the flight and baggage.

Available luggage in the aircraft cabin free of charge

As you probably already understood, the company does not charge its passengers for carrying standard items. The list includes: briefcases and handbags, outerwear or a new packaged item, laptop, tablet, baby food, periodicals, umbrellas, bouquets.

Everything that is not included in this list, the passenger must pay if he wants to take it on board the aircraft and carry it into the cabin. If for some reason a person did not pay for such luggage at the box office when buying tickets, it’s not scary.

This fee can always be paid later at check-in, when boarding the aircraft. However, you need to take into account the later the payment is made, the more expensive it will cost the passenger. The available baggage weight must not exceed 10 kg.

If a passenger needs to take 20 or more kg of luggage into the cabin, you can always purchase one or two extra pieces for your luggage. Moreover, it is better to make such an order for a place on the official website of the airline in advance, it will be cheaper, at the box office then the person will have to significantly overpay for the same baggage.

Non-simple baggage

It is also interesting that Airlines allows special types of baggage to be carried by plane. It can be: a musical instrument, a weapon, a bicycle, fishing tackle, snowboards and more. It is also better to pay for it in advance on the Dobrolet website in order to save about half the amount.

How to buy a ticket for a flight

Purchasing tickets for an airline flight is a fully accessible process and involves three options: the airport ticket office, through the call center and through the airline's website. Please note that when buying tickets at the box office, you will have to pay an additional agency fee.

Tickets can always be booked in advance. But any changes or cancellations are subject to a fee.

Comfortable services

The airline gained popularity due to its very attractive additional services, which are provided on a paid basis. They include:

1. Unscheduled screening in specially designated areas of airports.

2. Bus delivery, loading and unloading of passengers before and after departure.

3. VIP room, where there is a TV, Wi-Fi, drinks and snacks, periodicals and sockets for recharging your gadgets.

4. The "unaccompanied minor" service provides for the flight of your children under the supervision of airline employees.

Today the company's task is to enter the top five airlines.

Aeronova Airlines - tickets,

I like Aeronova Airlines:

Airline Information

Aeronova is a Class A airline founded in 1996. It specializes in both passenger transportation and the transportation of goods, including various dangerous substances. In addition, the airline's aircraft periodically act as air medical transport. The airline has six aircraft at its disposal - two ATR 42-300, designed for comfortable transportation of passengers, and five Metro III Heavy, some of which are equipped for cargo transportation, and some - to accommodate a small number of passengers in conditions of increased comfort.

In almost 20 years of its existence, the company has made more than 15,000 flights, and its aircraft have spent more than 45,000 hours in the air. During this time, she managed to earn the status of one of the best cargo carriers in Europe. The company's aircraft operate flights throughout Europe, as well as to many airports in North Africa. The destinations served by the company include Melilla, Burgos Palma, Mahon, Ibiza, Alicante, Malaga and others. The services provided by Aeronova fully comply with all international standards. This is evidenced by certificates issued by organizations such as EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), AESA (Spanish Civil Aviation Bureau) and JAA (United Aviation Agency). The airline also operates a pilot training school and an aircraft maintenance center.

Service classes

Aeronova offers its customers three service classes: Economy class. Passengers can be seated in comfortable seats inside the spacious cabin of the ATR 42-300 aircraft. Each seat is equipped with separate ventilation, lighting and a folding table. Passengers can choose from hot and cold drinks, as well as snacks. Business Class. Passengers in this class are checked in separately from all others. At airports, they can also be placed in separate lounges. During the flight, they are presented with a wide selection of press, as well as free meals, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. VIP class. For the transportation of passengers in conditions of increased comfort, separate Metro III Heavy aircraft owned by the airline are equipped. Passengers can enjoy a spacious cabin, delicious meals and expensive alcoholic drinks. Flight attendants, at the first request of customers, are ready to provide them with all the necessary accessories for sleeping.

Carriage of luggage

Each passenger of Aeronova Airlines can carry one item of hand luggage into the cabin of the aircraft with parameters not exceeding 55 x 40 x 20 cm and weighing no more than 8 kg.

Learn more