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Baby's health

07th Dec 2023

These are the nutrients your baby needs during weaning

Sophie Collins


If you’re approaching the six-month mark of breastfeeding your baby, you may be thinking about the weaning process and their vitamin needs.

According to experts, your baby should be given certain foods to make sure they receive the nutrients they need while they’re weaning to help them grow and develop.

Here is a list of some of the most vital nutrients they need during this time:


According to the HSE, iron is important to help your baby grow and develop. 

It is an important part of the pigment in red blood cells called haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body and prevents iron deficiency – anaemia.

They state that your baby needs to get iron from solid foods from about 6 months old, because their stores of iron are depleted.

Good food sources of iron

Iron from meat is easily absorbed.

The best sources are:

  • beef
  • pork
  • lamb

Non-meat sources

Iron in non-meat sources is not as easily absorbed as meat sources without vitamin C.

Non-meat sources include:

  • eggs
  • baked beans, lentils, peas
  • dark green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach
  • cereals with added iron
  • dried fruits, such as raisins, sultanas, apricots

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron when eaten at the same time as non-meat sources.

Good food sources of vitamin C include:

  • oranges or mandarins
  • plums
  • berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • kiwi fruit
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • peppers

Vitamin D

It is recommended that you give your baby 5 micrograms of vitamin D3 as a supplement every day from birth to 12 months if they are:

  • breastfed
  • taking less than 300ml of infant formula a day

All babies who are being breastfed should continue to get a vitamin D supplement after birth,  even if you took vitamin D during pregnancy.

The HSE stated that: “You do not need to give your baby a vitamin D supplement if they are fed more than 300ml of infant formula a day. 

“This is because there has been an increase in the amount of vitamin D added to infant formula.

“There are many suitable infant vitamin D3 supplements available to buy in Ireland. Use a supplement that contains vitamin D only.”

Omega 3

Omega 3 is important for brain and eye development.

Oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel or sardines are good sources of omega 3. These can be tinned, fresh or frozen.

The health experts recommend including two portions of oily fish a week from 7 months of age.

For more information visit the HSE website.