When it comes to weaning, this time fills me with a mix of emotions. It means that my baby is getting older and at the right age to give foods a try but it also means that my baby is getting older. 5 month old. How can Joseph be 5 month old already, time is passing way too fast.
But now, back on to the task in hand, weaning. I love the weaning stage. It's a time where you get to know your baby's likes and dislikes when it comes to food and where you have the best opportunity to give them the best start in loving food by trying them with so much variety.
We are lucky as Joseph and I have been invited to be Vital Baby Weaning Warriors. Vital Baby have a whole range of weaning items, perfect for those starting out on their weaning journey. Sending us out some items to help with this new venture, it has been great seeing Joseph soar at this new task.
Vital Baby have been working with resident weaning expert, Dr. Rana Conway and below are her top 5 tips for weaning:
1. Offer your baby a wide range of foods so she gets used to different flavours and textures. Babies naturally like sweet foods to start with, but offer slightly bitter foods too such as spinach, broccoli and green beans. Don’t be surprised if these are rejected at first. Every time you try, the chances of success increase.
2. Let your baby set the pace. ‘Responsive feeding’ is key, so if your baby shows signs that he’s had enough don’t keep trying for one more spoonful. Teething and colds can put a baby off their food and pressure to eat will just cause food battles.
3. Don’t give too much milk, as this is one of the main reasons for babies not taking to solids. Babies under 12 months need 3-4 breast feeds or 500-600ml of formula a day and giving more than this can make them too full for meals.
4. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to handle food. Whether you’re starting with spoon-feeding or baby-led weaning, give some finger foods every day. Steamed vegetables such as carrot sticks or pieces of broccoli and soft fruit like bananas and pears are ideal.
5. Make meal times enjoyable by sitting and eating together whenever possible. If you relax and take your time it will help your baby develop a healthy relationship with food.
I know that the new guidelines say that weaning should start at around 6 months, but that's exactly what they are, guidelines. I always say that a baby is ready for food at the point when they start taking notice of your food and getting mad that they aren't joining in with munching on it.
With Joseph, that was a couple of weeks ago and so I knew that he was ready for this new challenge. Joseph has taken to weaning like a duck to water. Ready to try out a range of different foods and tastes.
At the moment we are sticking with rice, breakfasts and fruit/veg due to him being under 6 months and not wanting to give him meats or cows milk based products until he reaches that age. So far, I'm happy to say that he's loved it, parsnip and potato purée being one of his favourites and mango is a no, no as he spits it out with a look of disgust.
I really cannot wait for him toe reach the 6 month mark so that I can start making him full and proper meals from scratch. Then the real fun begins!