Essential Nutrients for Growing Babies from 6 to 12 months old

Essential Nutrients for Growing Babies from 6 to 12 months old

As your baby grows from 6 to 12 months, their nutritional needs evolve to support rapid development and increased physical activity. Introducing solid foods alongside breastfeeding or formula feeding is crucial during this stage. Here's a detailed look at the essential vitamins and minerals your baby needs and where to find them.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A supports vision, skin, immune function and cell growth.  

Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, apricots, butternut squash


Vitamin D

Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption and strong bone development. 

Sources: Sunlight exposure, salmon, eggs,


Vitamin C

Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, tissue repair, supports the immune system, and promotes healthy skin.  

Sources: Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, papaya, bell peppers


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12  is important for brain development and the formation of red blood cells.

Sources: Meat such as beef and chicken, fish eggs and dairy products



Iron is necessary for the production of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.  It plays an important role in brain development and overall cognitive development, in fighting infections and for mental and physical growth.  

Sources: Pureed meats such as lamb and beef, beans, lentils, and dark leafy greens 



Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth, and plays a role in muscle function and nerve signalling.  It also helps nerves, muscles, and the heart work well.

Sources: Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fortified plant-based milks, tofu, lentils and green leafy vegetables



Zinc supports healthy growth as it is essential in cell growth and repair. It keeps the immune system strong, helps fight off infections and heal wounds. 

Sources: Meat such as chicken and beef, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, beans, lentils, and fortified cereals


Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are integral to many aspects of health such as brain development and overall cognitive function, heart health, vision and immune system.

Sources: Fatty fish like salmon, lamb meat, avocado and eggs



Protein is needed for the healthy growth, development, repair, and maintenance of tissues in the muscles, skin, organs, blood, hair and nails. It is crucial to major functions of the body.

Sources: Pureed meats such as chicken and beef, eggs, yogurt, beans, lentils, and tofu



Fibre aids in healthy digestion, prevents constipation and helps to reduce the risk of diseases. 

Sources: Pureed fruits, legumes like beans and peas, sweet potatoes and whole grains


Tips for Ensuring Adequate Nutrient Intake

  1. Varied Diet: Offer a wide variety of foods to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients.
  2. Fortified Foods: Opt for baby foods fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, especially if your baby follows a vegetarian or vegan diet.
  3. Continued Breastfeeding/Formula Feeding: Maintain breastfeeding or formula feeding to provide a comprehensive nutrient profile tailored for infants.
  4. Nutrient-Rich Solids: Introduce nutrient-dense solid foods around six months, ensuring they include vegetables, fruits, proteins, and grains.
  5. Supplements: Consult your GP or paediatrician about vitamin D or iron supplements, especially if your baby is exclusively breastfed.

Meeting the nutritional needs of your baby from 6 to 12 months is critical for their overall development and health. By providing a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, you can support your baby's growth and development during this crucial stage. Always consult with your GP or paediatrician for personalised advice and to address any specific nutritional concerns.

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