Top tips before you begin your baby’s weaning journey
With thanks to Nourish and Nurture Nutrition
If you are beginning your baby’s weaning journey, keep these simple tips in mind to support the adventure!
Weaning is not a race
Weaning is another area where comparisons can creep in but you really need to go at your baby’s own pace. Your baby is different to your friend’s baby and his/her siblings (if you have other children) so it is very likely they will have a different weaning experience. All the information you read or receive can be adapted to suit your baby. Don’t worry if you’re not following everything by the book.
Try bitter tastes before sweeter ones if possible
Recent research highlights the importance of starting with vegetables, ideally those that are the most bitter – think green varieties rather than orange ones – before trying sweeter vegetables and then on to fruits. This is to encourage the acceptance of vegetables over sweeter choices, which is our natural preference.
Introduce new foods one by one
This is particularly important with known allergens (e.g. fish, nuts, soya) as you will be able to monitor for any reactions. This will also help you to keep track of flavours your baby really enjoyed versus those that needed more encouragement to eat.
Include your baby in mealtimes & be a role model
Parents/carers are your baby’s role model at mealtimes and this is also true as your baby becomes a toddler and then a child. Children are learning all the time particularly around the dining table. Research highlights that children are more likely to accept vegetables if their parents/carers are also eating them. Make mealtimes a social occasion too so they understand there is more to food than just filling you up and providing energy. Babies pick up on stressful situations so always try to keep calm and relaxed during mealtimes even if your baby is not enjoying what you have served that day. This can be frustrating but it is an entirely normal occurrence.
Learn what to do if your baby is choking
While babies and toddlers are learning how to eat solid food, choking incidents can happen. It is incredibly important that you know instinctively what to do if it happens to your baby or child. There are plenty of baby first aid courses around and refreshers are available via You Tube. If you have someone else looking after your baby make sure they are first aid trained too.
Have your phone ready for all those photos!
Make sure you capture some video or photos of your baby’s early weaning journey to remind you and them of what the experience was like!
Don’t forget your own nutrition
The first few months of weaning when your baby is needing solids and milk at different time points throughout the day, can be quite time intensive. Always remember that what you eat is important too. Try and eat a variety of different fresh foods including fruit and vegetables.
Disclaimer: The views and advice given in this article are those of the guest writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Weaning Week or any other organisations represented on this platform