TOP TIPS FOR WEANING FROM 6 MONTHS+
Your baby eating solids is one of the first major milestones they will hit in their first year. There is so much information out there it can become quite a daunting task; when should I start weaning my baby? What should the first foods be? What about allergies? The list of questions can be endless, so we have worked with our Paediatric Dietitians to pull together our top tips on weaning.
SIGNS OF READINESS
Babies are usually ready for weaning around 6 months, but there are some key signs you should be looking for:
- Able to sit in a highchair without flopping forward
- Good head control and ability to bring hand to mouth
- Loss of tongue thrust reflex – if your baby spits/pushes the food straight back out with their tongue, they may not be ready
GREEN FOOD FIRST!
Try 1 – 2 weeks of introducing single green vegetables (bitter/savoury ones are the best). Introduce sweet tasting ones later to help them accept bitter tastes first.
The latest advice is not to delay the introduction of allergies. We would advice to include these from 6 months of age and keep within the diet regularly.
Begin with egg and then peanut, the others can follow in any order after this; cow’s milk, wheat, soya, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and sesame. These are the 9 common allergens.
If your baby is tolerating these ok, the advice is to try to maintain these in their diet 2-3 times a week.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Your baby may not take to weaning straight away, this is normal, and should be expected! Don’t give up, every taste and texture is new to them and it can take up to 20 exposures to a food before they readily accept it.
We know it can be frustrating but any exposure to food – mashing, touching, throwing – is good! Think of it as fun exploration time – the more the mess, the better!
Some babies may prefer to be spoon fed with purees, others may not and would prefer finger foods. Be flexible on your approach – even if you have your mind set.
Most babies prefer a mixture of both which encourages good oral motor skills! The V&Me menu is perfect for this.
Try to eat with your baby when you can so they can learn how to chew and eat from you. A highchair at the table is a great idea.
TEXTURE AND FINGER FOOD
Try not to stay on smooth puree for more than 3-4 weeks, they need to get used to different textures. Also, it’s very important to introduce finger foods to support oro-motor development and acceptance of textures.
We hope you found these tips useful. Weaning doesn’t need to be stressful, we’re here to help every step of the way through your weaning journey.
Our meals are suitable from 6 months, but we recommend you start weaning with single components first and introduce allergens before starting with V&Me. You can then use us all the way into pre-school!