When your baby reaches six months old, you’ll probably start thinking about weaning her and introducing those first spoonfuls of food. Here are some hints and tips to make your weaning journey with your baby a little easier:
Weaning a little one is something that many parents find very daunting, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Thanks so much to FunkyGiraffe for sharing their expertise on the subject of babies and feeding in today’s guest post – such great advice! Here’s how to get started on your feeding journey…
ENSURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT SUPPLIES
When you begin your weaning journey it’s important to ensure that you have the right equipment to make the job as easy as possible. Plastic bowls, soft tipped spoons and baby bibs (you can find a wide range here: www.funkygiraffebibs.co.uk) are the essentials that every weaning parent should have in their armoury. A comfortable and secure high chair will also help your weaning journey to go much more smoothly, containing your baby (and the mess) in one place.
FOCUS ON FIRST TASTES
Once you have all the equipment you need, you’re ready to start introducing those all-important first tastes. Fruits and vegetables are the best foods to give your baby to begin with: leave meat, complex carbohydrates and anything containing high levels of artificial sugar for much later on.
One of the most common starter baby foods is pureed apples because it is sweet, smooth, and gentle to the stomach. Sweet vegetables, such as carrot and parsnips, are also great first tastes. Introduce just one fruit or vegetable at a time before you begin blending multiple tastes together: this will give you a clearer idea of what they like or don’t like, as well as anything that unsettles their stomach.
If you would rather try finger foods than pureed vegetables then cooked green beans, steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets and small chunks of carrot are all great starter foods. Remember the adage that ‘food before one is just for fun’ so if they end up with more food on the floor than in their mouths at this stage then it really doesn’t matter!
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
If you’re baby likes the pureed apples that you offer to them then it may be tempting to keep giving them more of the same: after all, it’s so easy to give baby something they like and you know they’ll eat. But it is important to keep offering different foods and new flavours from the earliest stage possible. The more variety of flavours your baby is introduced to during the early stages of their weaning journey, the more diverse their palette will become, meaning that their less likely to become fussy eaters as they get older.
Finally, flaky fish (that has been deboned and well mashed) can be offered to baby from the age of 6 months onwards. Fish is a great source of protein and vitamins. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which are important for early brain development in infants, making fish a great choice when you are ready to move on from the vegetable purees and introduce something a little more complex into your baby’s diet. Even if you don’t enjoy fish yourself (a surprising number of adults don’t enjoy eating fish) it’s still a wonder food that you should consider offering to your baby as part of their weaning journey.
Please do share your baby feeding stories in the comments below and let me know if you have any other tips to share. Thanks again to Funky Giraffe for creating this handy guide!