Summary

  • Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby.
  • Good food and nutrition is important to keep you healthy and stop you from getting run down, especially when you are breastfeeding.
  • You can introduce solid food to your baby’s diet when they are around six months old.
  • Feed your baby a wide variety of food to give them all the nutrients they need to grow and develop.

 Breastfeeding is best for your baby because:

  • Breastfeeding is the traditional way
  • Breastmilk has all the right nutrients
  • Breastmilk helps protect your baby from infection
  • Breastfeeding helps prevent asthma and diabetes
  • Breastfeeding is hygienic
  • Breastmilk is always ready for your baby
  • Breastmilk is free.
 
Breastfeeding should continue until your baby is at least 12 months old. Your baby should not be given cow’s milk to drink until they are 12 months old and cordial, juice and soft drink should be avoided.

Foods that are best for you when you are breastfeeding

Good food and nutrition is important to keep you healthy and stop you from getting run down, especially when you are breastfeeding.

Key nutrients include:

Protein this is needed to make breastmilk. Try to eat two serves of meat, chicken, fish, eggs or baked beans each day.
Water is needed to replace the fluid used to make breastmilk. Try to drink two litres of water each day.

Vitamin C levels in breastmilk can fall if you don’t eat enough fruit and vegies. Try to have some with every meal and snack.
Calcium is one of the main ingredients of breastmilk. Try to have four serves of milk, yoghurt or cheese each day.

Breastfeeding along with healthy eating and physical activity can help you get back in shape after giving birth.

Introducing solids to your baby’s diet

You know your baby is ready for solids if they:
  • Are about six months old
  • Can hold their head up without help
  • Reach out for food
  • Open their mouth when a spoon is offered.

Before six months, breast milk or formula is the only food and drink that your baby needs. At about six months of age, solids should be introduced to your baby’s diet. Your baby can also be given water from a cup from six months of age. Some tips about starting solid food include:

  • If you start solids too early, your baby can’t digest the food and could get diarrhoea or choke.
  • If you start solids too late, your baby may stop growing well and be low in iron.

The best first foods for your baby

There is a wide range of food that can be given to your baby when they first start to eat solids. These include:


Baby rice cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula
Pureed fruit, such as apple, banana, peach or pear

Pureed vegetables, such as pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, carrot, cauliflower or broccoli


After eight months, continue giving your baby fruit and veggies, but add more variety. Some examples of new foods that can be included in your baby’s diet are:
  • Minced lean meat, chicken and fish
  • Mashed baked beans and lentils
  • Custard, yoghurt and cheese
  • Rice, pasta, wheat cereal and oats (porridge).

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Victorian Aboriginal Health Services Tel. (03) 9419 3000 or 132 660 (after hours)
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Tel. (03) 9411 9411

Things to remember

  • Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby.
  • Good food and nutrition is important to keep you healthy and stop you from getting run down, especially when you are breastfeeding.
  • You can introduce solid food to your baby’s diet when they are around six months old.
  • Feed your baby a wide variety of food to give them all the nutrients they need to grow and develop.
References
  • Tucker talk tips – feeding your baby, 2010, Tucker talk tips: healthy eating and physical activity tip sheets, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. More information here.
  • Koolin Balit: strategic directions, Strategic directions for Aboriginal health 2012–2022, Department of Health Victoria. More information here.

More information

Babies and toddlers (0-3)

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Feeding your baby

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Health and Human Services - Aboriginal health

Last updated: April 2015

Page content currently being reviewed.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.