Babies learn to eat in a variety of ways. What works well for one baby may not work well for another, so when it comes to introducing solid foods to your baby the best thing to do is to be led by your own child. Some babies like to be offered food from a spoon, some want to feed themselves, and some are happy to do a mixture of both.

At some stage, all babies usually want to hold food and to feed themselves. Learning to feed yourself takes lots of practice and can be a messy business! Playing with food is the way babies explore their different textures, colours and smells. Let your baby get on with things, and resist the temptation to wipe their face and hands after every mouthful. Babies also need to learn to eat foods that the rest of the family eats, so start offering nutritious family foods early on.

Regardless how you choose to feed your baby always practice safe eating habits: Make sure your baby is sitting down when they are eating, and avoid giving them hard and chunky foods that are choking hazards.

For more information visit Raising Children Network (Australia)