When your baby is about six months old, it's time to gradually introduce solid, non-milk foods into your little one's diet. Weaning is a big step for your baby and you'll need to take care to offer a nutritious diet.
This page is full of handy tips to help you create a well balanced healthy diet for your baby, and overcome some of the common problems that you might face when weaning your baby.
what you may need...
- mini blender
- food storage pots or trays
- storage pots for freezing
bowls and beakers etc...
- beakers x 2
- trainer cups
- bowls x 4
- fresh food feeder x 1
- soft weaning spoons x 6 and storage case
- heat sensitive spoons
- bowl with suction pads – to stop older babies throwing dish on the floor
- splash mat
- bibs x 6
- bibs with crumbcatcher and overalls
- muslin cloths
- wet wipes for travel
- highchair toy(s)
- booster table seat for travelling with older baby
what to give your baby
- the amount your baby eats will vary. Always let your baby decide how much to eat.
- s/he may begin with about two teaspoons once a day but as their feeding skills develop babies begin to eat more food and need to drink less milk. By a year, they should be eating minced and chopped family foods and you can cut out all bottles of milk.
- offer finger foods right from the beginning of weaning so that
your baby can play with food and start to learn how to self feed. Start with soft finger foods like sticks of cooked vegetables, cooked pasta pieces, toast fingers or pieces of soft ripe fruit. When they begin eating minced and chopped food from about 9-12 months you can give harder finger foods e.g. raw vegetable sticks and apple slices.
- give a mixture of foods so your baby gets all the nutrients they need. Include: meat, fish, eggs,pulses, potato, rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, fruit, vegetables, cheese and yogurt
- used in moderation, jars aren't a bad thing – they're convenient, and made without additives and salt. But jar food tends to be smoother and some babies find it hard to move onto lumpier food. And it's better for your baby to learn to like your family foods that are made with fresh meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and fruit.
- if your baby has a vegetarian diet, include starchy beans, peas, lentils, dahl, tofu and eggs for protein and iron.
overcoming common problems
- overcoming common problems if your baby doesn't want to eat lumpy food, try increasing the lumpiness very gradually, moving from puréeing to thicker and thicker mash and then onto mash with soft lumps. Offering finger foods can help a lump-phobic baby to try new textures.
- if your baby doesn't seem to like vegetables, s/he just needs longer to learn to like that taste. Just keep offering them. Naturally sweet vegetables (e.g. sweet potatoes, yams, carrots and parsnips) are often more popular choices.
- babies learn by copying so eat the foods you want your baby to learn to like. After about 12 months it takes much longer to learn to like new tastes.– sometimes you have to offer a new food about 15 times before your child will try it. Always offer new foods with a positive expression/or in a positive way- it really helps. But don't get into a battle about it – mealtimes should ideally be fun for you and your baby
- if your older baby doesn't want to eat much, it may be that s/he is drinking too much milk or diluted juice. This can lead to iron deficiency, so try to moderate how much of these your child drinks
they'll soon want to feed themselves
aim for five a day
mash food at first