Weaning is a hard to directly advise as each child is individual and the question of when, what and how will differ according to your child’s development and your personal preferences.
Key things to remember are:
- Food should complement milk for the first years, not replace it.
- It is a gradual process in which they need to learn to take in food with their tongue and you need to slowly allow your milk supply to adapt to reduced demand.
- It is a time for your child to develop an awareness of food textures and tastes.
- Keep introducing your child to new foods. Keeping their diet varied increases their desire for a wider range of foods.
When possible make food at home, or buy organic textured puree. Research has shown that children who are brought up on homemade purees have a higher intake of vegetables at 7 years old due to the varied textures.
When to start?
The recommended age is 6 months. Some good indicators your child is ready is when they can sit unsupported and reach for objects.
Before 4 months a baby’s digestive system is not mature enough.
What should you give your baby?
From 4–6 months you may introduce vegetables (except tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and aubergines), fruits, pulses, beans, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and fish.
Starting with vegetables to increase their vitamin, mineral and iron intake. Steam and blend or liquidise vegetables to a smooth consistency to start. Slowly try new vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and proteins.
How you choose to wean your baby
How is a matter of personal choice both baby led weaning and puree have their benefits and it depends on what you feel most comfortable doing. Combining both methods can create a nice mix in which the child is learning how to feed and the parent can ensure through puree’s they are receiving the right nutrients.
The puree method is originally thought to have come from parents masticating their child’s food and give them small mouthfuls during mealtimes. Which highlights introducing food really is to complement milk not wean off.
There are plenty of brilliant puree’s on the market with no added salt and sugar, but still read the label not all are as pure as you think.
Organix, Plum and Ella’s kitchen are all good options.