Main image by yalehealth – Pixabay.
Weaning is one of the most important milestones in your baby’s life, but the amount of advice and information out there can be overwhelming. As always here at UKMums.TV, we like to sift through and give you the basics in nice, bitesize chunks (excuse the pun!) There are lots of things you can do to take the stress out of weaning – for example, look up just what is happening inside your baby as they grow and develop, when they are ready for solids (and why) and how much they actually need of the different food groups. It can put your mind at rest when you see how little they need at first, especially because they are still receiving most of their nutrients through breastmilk or formula (which they should continue to have until at least 12 months according to NHS advice.
Also remember that weaning is different for everybody and most children don’t conveniently fit the national guidelines. This is where social media comes to the rescue with some amazing tips from real-life mums and nutrition experts, like @kidfriendly.meals and @newwaysnutrition. Almost all the advice has one thing in common – to make mealtimes fun and relaxed, not a stressful battle between parent and baby.
Check out our ideas and recipes below to help you get started – and let us know your favourite recipes and tips on social media @UKMums.TV.
- First foods
Mix easy tastes and textures – mashed banana is always a favourite, as well as carrots, sweet potato, cucumber, avocado and banana – with the less appealing veg such as broccoli and cauliflower. They might find some tastes less palatable but remember it’s all new to them – they might surprise you! Try this apple and blueberry stew recipe.
- Vitamin hit
Look for fruits and vegetables that pack the most goodness – so for example, avocados are a rich source of proteins and vitamins and will fill your baby up for longer.
- To puree or not to puree
There are a great range of pureed baby foods in the supermarkets these days, but remember babies also learn a lot from watching you peel, chop and prepare fruit and veg. One very handy new product for time-poor mums is the Ella’s Kitchen frozen puree cubes, only available in Tesco. These handy freezer packs can be quickly defrosted and added to your own recipes as an extra nutritional boost.
- Baby-led weaning cookbooks
It makes sense to check out the people who literally wrote the book on baby-led weaning – Tracey Murkett and Gill Rapley. But since their groundbreaking guide was first published in 2008 mums have come up with their own ideas. The brilliant Baby-Led Weaning Made Easy book by Natalie Peall (available on Amazon) also comes as a handy app which many might find more practical for advice and ideas on the go. Download it here for IOS or here for Android.
- Can’t cook? Don’t panic!
The NHS Start4Life website has a massive selection of really, really simple recipes that we think anyone can do. There’s everything from breakfast and dinners to snacks and healthy desserts, all arranged by age range so you can easily find something to suit your child. Try these Omelette Fingers for starters.