Nics Nutrition, a registered dietitian gives her top ten weaning tips for parents with babies at all ages and stages.
1.Don’t rush to start – The advice for most babies, is to wait until they are around 6 months old when they can sit up and support themselves with steady head control, coordinate bringing food to their mouth and then swallow it rather than immediately spitting it back out.
2. Allow your baby to become familiar with the highchair before they start weaning by popping them in it with some toys or baby spoons and bowls just to play with. We did this with my baby when he was around 5 months old and it meant that when we did start weaning he wasn’t distracted by his environment and could focus on the food! Checkout the Up & Down Highchair:
3. Start by introducing vegetables first (either as a puree mixed with baby’s normal milk and then alone, or as finger foods or both), before moving onto other foods such as; fruits, porridge, yogurt, potatoes as well as meat, eggs, lentils and fish.
4. When you introduce potential allergenic foods such as cow’s milk, egg, soya, wheat nut butters e.g. peanut, almond, tahini or fish, do so one food at a time and in a really small amount to begin with. The Start 4 Life website has some fantastic information on this!
5. Aim for your baby to be eating 3 meals a day by the time they are around 7 months old (including a source of dairy or alternative at breakfast and then a protein and iron source such as meat, lentils, fish or beans at lunch and evening meal)
6. Don’t give your baby whole grapes or nuts, popcorn or small pieces of hard, uncooked fruit and veg such as carrots and apples – as these are a choking risk. Babies under the age of 12 months also shouldn’t be given honey or anything with added sugar or salt.
7. Offer a small amount of tap water (cool-boiled if under 6 month) served in a cup suitable for a baby with every meal to teach your baby how to drink. Checkout Beaba’s 3-in-1 Evolutive Training Cup
8. Batch cook – my motto is cook once, eat twice so making sure to cook more than you need and pop it in the fridge or freezer for later. Just make sure that it is thoroughly reheated and then allowed to cool before you serve it. (I use my Babycook from Beaba to steam, blend and defrost my baby’s meals and pop what I’ve made into these multi portions or glass jars for the fridge and freezer)
Checkout Beaba’s Multiportions
9. Don’t forget your baby’s daily supplements – all breastfed babies and those who have less than 500ml of formula per day need a liquid supplement containing vitamins A, C and D daily, or just Vitamin D if they’re under 6 months of age p.s. breastfeeding mums, don’t forget you need a daily Vitamin D supplement (10ug/day) too!
10. Try to relax and enjoy it – the weaning period really does go so fast and if you create a calm environment then your baby will be much more likely to give the foods that you’re offering a go!
Why not try out these super simple recipes?
By Nichola Ludlam-Raine, Registered Dietitian @mummynutrition