On 4 March 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care's Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) launched the Better Health Start for Life – Introducing Solid Foods campaign.
The campaign offers parents support and advice on introducing solid foods to their baby, during what can be a confusing time.
Weaning is a crucial milestone within the first 1,000 days. Children's food preferences and eating habits are formed early in life, with consequences for a range of health and development outcomes in later life.
Official advice is that most babies should not start solid foods until they are around 6 months old. This gives them time to develop properly so they can cope with solid foods. The campaign promotes waiting until your baby is around 6 months to introduce solid alongside breast milk or infant formula foods.
At this stage, they need solid foods as well as, not as a replacement for, their usual breast milk or first infant formula. This is why weaning is also known as "complementary feeding".
Weaning teaches your baby how to move solid food around their mouth, chew and swallow solid foods.