There is a lot of information out there on weaning, and this can be difficult for a new mum to navigate through. In light of this, I have put together my tips for introducing baby to the wonderful world of food!
- Read information on the NHS website and understand the scenarios in which you should consult with a medical professional or health visitor before commencing with weaning.
- 3 signs that baby is ready, at around 6 months old:
- Baby stays sitting up (supported) and can hold their own head steady
- They have hand, eye and mouth coordination
- Baby can swallow food, rather than spitting out
While breast milk and formula do not provide all the nutrients baby needs after the age of 6 months, they usually remain the main drink until baby reaches one year.
My Weaning essentials:
- High chair or weaning chair
- Easy-clean Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit
- Cup (for sipping water)
- Steamer/steaming inserts for pans
- Blender/hand blender
- Feeding spoons- soft-tipped for gums
- Easy-pop ice cube trays with lid
- Sealable freezer bags
Check items are dishwasher friendly to save time!
- Offer solids when baby is well-rested, alert and not too hungry or full, so they can embrace the experience.
- Feed first tastes of new foods – especially common allergens – in the morning so you can monitor any potential allergic reactions over the course of the day.
- Feed around the same time and in a similar setting each day to build association and routine.
- Keep a food journal to track any symptoms that may present or recur.
- Embrace mess! It’s vital that baby satisfies their curiosity and enjoys learning this essential new skill! This is where the Tidy Tot Bib and Tray comes in so handy!
- Include less sweet, bitter vegetables early on to minimise fussy-eating! Variety is key for baby’s nutrition too. Lots of different colours and textures!
- Keep it clean – no salt or sugar!
- Be patient! Baby will signal when they’re finished with their meal by closing their mouth, turning their head away or trying to hit the spoon as it approaches. Take a break, offer a sip of water (boiled and cooled for babies under 6 months old) and either try again, or call it a day.
- Some foods may take multiple attempts to be accepted, and what looks like a grimace may be baby processing a new texture or flavour!
- Carrot + sweet potato are great base foods to sneak other rejected/bitter foods into, as they make them more palatable.
- Pair iron-rich foods like leafy greens with vitamin c (red peppers, citrus, etc) to boost iron absorption
Now for one of my favourite, easy recipes – Raspberry Ripple Bark
Perfect for the summer and soothing during baby’s agonising teething, this delicious yoghurt bark is so easy to make and ends up being very fun (and messy!) for baby to eat!
Handful of Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and make space in your freezer to lie this flat later
2. In a small pan, gently mash and heat the raspberries with a little water to soften them. When slightly sticky and cool you can purée the raspberry, or strain it to extract the juice only.
3. Scoop the yoghurt over the lined tray, gently flattening the peaks with a spatula.
4. Dollop a few small spoons of the raspberry purée/liquid around the yoghurt.
5. Using a toothpick, swirl the raspberry around to create gorgeous pink ripples.
6. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or so, or until frozen. Once frozen, take it out and break it up into pieces. Transfer into a freezer safe container or food bag to store.
Tip: for older children over 1 year old, or adults, you can add a touch of natural sweetener such as honey, maple, agave. Honey is unsuitable for children under the age of 1.
You can also add chopped nuts, and fruit pieces, anything goes as long as it’s safe and doesn’t present a choking hazard!
Thank you for reading about my weaning journey. Every baby is different so just take one day at a time and enjoy this exciting time, I’m certainly enjoying raising my future foodie! Come and follow me on Instagram @thefoodiemamma for more tips and recipes.