Stage 2 weaning - new tastes and textures

Learn how and when to switch from purees to lumps with second stage weaning recipes including advice for vegetarian babies.

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At a glance

Go from smooth to mashed to lumpy by gradually changing texture

Foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction such as milk, eggs, nuts, seeds, wheat, fish and shellfish should be introduced one at a time


If you are feeding your baby a vegetarian diet, they will require at least 2 servings of protein every day

Serve plant proteins together to improve nutritional quality

By now, you and your baby will be getting more confident about weaning. The purees are going down a treat and you’ll be thinking about introducing greater variety into your little one’s diet. As well as new tastes, it’s time to try new textures by swapping the blender for a masher.

Baby playing with food while weaning

How do I introduce new tastes and textures?

Introducing new foods that you’ve mashed with a fork instead of blending into a puree can be a surprise for your little one. They may spit it out at first, or refuse to try it. To make things easier for you:

  • Pieces of food need to be really soft as your baby uses their tongue to mush the food against the roof of their mouth
  • Go from purees to mash over time to get them used to bigger lumps
  • Offer your baby three meals a day, as well as breast milk or 500-600ml of SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk a day
  • If you have a history of allergies, introduce foods such as eggs, wheat, nuts and fish, one by one
  • Offer your baby cooled boiled water with their meals
  • Allow your baby to smell and touch foods to arouse their senses and add to the experience. If your baby rejects a food, try it again a few days later
  • Eat with your baby. If your baby sees you enjoying healthy food, then it's likely they will want to try it too

What new weaning foods can my baby try?

Fish – Mackerel, tuna, salmon and sardines are all high in Omega 3 and Vitamin D. Serve cold or warm, with rice and green beans

Meat – Chicken is a great meat to start with followed by stronger flavours like lamb. Add to rice, red pepper and onion to make a simple casserole

Rice, beans and lentils – Serve cold or warm as part of tasty vegetarian recipes such as lentils with carrots and brown rice, or curried lentils

Eggs – A source of Vitamin D. Cook well and mash lightly with some yoghurt or mayonnaise

Cheese – Try a little grated mild cheddar to add texture and flavour to meals that your baby will love

Weaning foods for vegetarian babies

If you choose to wean your baby onto a vegetarian diet, make sure they get all the nutrients they need from the four main food groups. Meals that have lots of vitamins and minerals will help your baby grow into a healthy, strong toddler. Here are some extra tips to help out:

  • For protein and iron, offer at least two portions of meat alternatives a day such as beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, seeds and eggs
  • Protein from plant foods is not as good quality as protein from animal sources. Mixing plant proteins (beans on toast, cereal plus milk) improves protein quality
  • Avoid too many fibre-rich foods such as wholegrain bread and cereal which leave little room for nutritious foods
  • Iron is important so give your baby plenty of vitamin C in foods such as leafy green vegetables to help with iron absorption
  • SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is fortified with iron to support complementary feeding

Read about how to cope with a fussy eater

Stage 2 weaning recipes

Watch Sheree’s videos to see how to introduce new tastes and textures with meat and fish as she rustles up a tasty beef risotto and fish pie.

Beef and carrot risotto
  • 1 chopped carrot (approximately 60g)
  • 200g minced beef
  • 30g finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp of rapeseed or olive oil
  • 40g uncooked risotto rice
  • Approx. 200ml low salt stock (made with a cube)

Gently fry the onion in a pan for 2 minutes in a little oil. Add the chopped carrot and then fry for a further 10 minutes until the carrots soften. Then add the minced beef and stir occasionally until cooked through (if your baby is vegetarian you could replace the meat with additional vegetables such as mushroom and tomatoes). Add the rice and stir continuously for 1 minute before adding some low salt stock. Cover with either lid or foil, keeping an eye on the rice. When the rice is tender, your risotto is ready, though you’ll need to wait for it to cool to room temperature before serving.

Fish pie
    • 2 medium sized potatoes (washed, peeled and chopped)
    • 50g frozen sweetcorn
    • 50g frozen peas
    • 100g salmon fillet
    • 100g haddock (or cod, lemon sole or hake)
    • 125ml baby’s usual milk or SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk
    • Flour to thicken (approximately 3 tbsp)
    • 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
    • 3 tbsp of baby’s usual milk or SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk for the mash potato

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Meanwhile, poach the salmon and haddock in milk over a low heat. It should only take a few minutes to cook through. Remove the cooked fish, retaining the milk mixture and flake the fish, carefully removing any bones. Place the cooked fish into a small oven proof dish with the frozen sweetcorn and peas. Strain the milk you poached the fish in, add the flour to thicken and when done mix in two tablespoons of cheese. Spoon the mixture over the fish and vegetables. Drain and mash the potato with 3 tbsp of milk. Spoon over the fish and vegetables. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Lentil curry
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 400g can green lentils in water drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400g canned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ¾ tsp mild curry powder (more for older babies)
  • Little olive oil for frying

Cook the onion and celery and carrot in a little olive oil until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce the heat then simmer for 25 minutes. Cool down, and check that it is at room temperature before serving with rice.

Cod & Sweet Potato
  • 225g sweet potato
  • 75g skinless and boneless cod
  • 2 tbsp of your baby’s usual milk e.g. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk
  • Knob of butter

Cook the sweet potato in unsalted water for about 20 minutes or until it is soft. Put the fish in a microwaveable dish with the milk and butter, cover and microwave at full power for 2 minutes or until cooked. Then mash the fish (checking carefully for any bones) and then mix with the sweet potato until smooth. Check temperature and wait till it’s cooled before serving.

Tasty Plaice
  • 250g carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 225g plaice fillets, skinned
  • 2 tbsp baby’s usual milk (e.g. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk)
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, skinned de-seeded and chopped
  • 40g grated cheddar cheese
  • 15g butter

Steam the carrots for 20 minutes. Place the fish in a microwave dish, add the milk, 15g of the butter and cover leaving a gap for air. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. No microwave? Get a pan, cover the fish with a little milk and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked. Melt the rest of the butter in a pan, add tomatoes and sauté until mushy. Stir in the grated cheese. Mash the carrots with the tomato mixture. Remove the fish and flake it – be careful to take out all the bones. Then mix everything together, check temperature and serve with rice or potatoes.

My First Chilli
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50g finely chopped onion
  • 20g chopped celery
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ can cooked kidney beans in water, drained and rinsed
  • 100g lean minced beef
  • 300g canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried cumin
  • ½ tsp dried coriander
  • Pinch of mild chilli powder

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and celery over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. In a separate pan, dry fry the minced beef until browned, stirring occasionally. Add this to the onion and celery. Pour the tomatoes over everything and add the kidney beans and spices. Cover and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes. Puree if necessary in a blender and serve with rice after checking temperature.

Beef and Green Beans
  • 100g fresh beef lean mince
  • 50g trimmed green beans, cut into 0.5 cm pieces
  • 160g potatoes, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tbsp water or your baby’s usual milk (e.g. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk)

Brown the beef in a non-stick pan, then add 1 tbsp water. Boil the potatoes, steaming the beans in a sieve over the pan for around 8 minutes until tender. Then pop the beans and beef in a blender and whizz them together with a tablespoon of water until smooth. Mash the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of water or your baby’s usual milk (e.g. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk) then stir in the bean and beef mix. Check temperature and then serve.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The best way to feed a baby is to breastfeed, as breast milk provides the ideal balanced diet and protection against illness for your baby and also many non-nutritional benefits for both baby and mother. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional when deciding on your choice of feeding your baby. Professional guidance should also be sought on the preparation for and maintenance of breastfeeding. If you do choose to breastfeed, it's important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Infant formula is intended to replace breast milk when mothers choose not to breastfeed or if for some reason they are unable to do so. A decision not to breastfeed, or to introduce partial bottle-feeding, will reduce the supply of breast milk. If for any reason you choose not to breastfeed, do remember that such a decision can be difficult to reverse. SMA® PRO Follow-on Milk is only suitable for babies over 6 months as part of a mixed diet.  It should not be used as a substitute for breast milk during the first 6 months. The decision to start weaning or to use this product before 6 months, should be made only on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietician or pharmacist, based on baby’s individual needs.

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