At the weaning stage or about to embark on it? It can be a stressful stage for any parent but luckily, we’ve got some great weaning tips from these amazing mothers below!
I started with vegetable weaning, the first two weeks I gave Shay green veggies purred and finger foods of steamed broccoli, then added in some more colourful veg then added in fruit. I did this so that he didn’t get used to sweet tastes and instead got used to bitter and more savoury first. I now just cook food that works for everyone. I love eating the same food as Shay and we always eat together. I always try and get Shay eating the rainbow so his plate is full of colourful foods. Shay eats three meals and two snacks per day. Having meal times is super important as it establishes good eating habits.
My advice for weaning is the freezer! I did a mix of puree and baby led for Jessie, so I would make purees on the weekend and then freeze small portions in an ice cube tray, meaning could have fresh, homemade food ready at all times!
I learned this from Calgary Avansino – when introducing a new food to your child, don’t build it up as they will automatically not want to try it. Instead, introduce it in a casual way – perhaps even in front of the TV, and then they will hardly notice that it’s new and are much more likely to try it and accept it!
Don’t make the same mistake I did by using a distraction to get food into them, they’ll eat when they are hungry. Whether you’re doing spoon-fed or baby-led weaning there is a great rule to stick by. They control how much and when they eat you control what they eat. I got caught in the trap of putting cartoons on and letting Rudy play with toys to distract him and went cold turkey on it all and after 4 days he was eating beautifully. Yes, he went to bed a couple of nights not eating but he was fine, he slept and was happy. Keep offering new foods alongside ones they love. Even if they don’t eat them straight away they will eventually!
Don’t overthink weaning. It feels like you get to 6 months and suddenly you’re spending half your life making tiny pots of puree! Take your time and start off with the easiest options liked banana, avocado, baby porridge and sweet potato. At 9 months I introduced more complex flavours with soups… red lentils, sweet potato and coconut milk was a favourite of my daughters. Ultimately the key to successful weaning is to make it fun for everyone. If you find it stressful cooking or you simply don’t have time, work out what’s easiest for you while still being nutritious.
My best tip is to try to make it as calm as possible and don’t worry about the mess. A new taste and texture can take some time getting used to, my daughter took a good few weeks to understand what was going on and in that time I just kept trying and letting her explore. For both my children I started with a tea time meal an hour or so after the last milk feed so they weren’t starving but they were hungry enough to want to try it. Then over the weeks that followed, I brought in breakfast and lunch trying a variety of different tastes.
My best advice when it comes to weaning is to listen to your baby – there is no ‘one size fits all’ as every baby is unique. It can take up to 12 tastes before a baby gets used to new foods, so sometimes it might just be a case of trying again another time; just relax and be responsive to your baby. My own Mediterranean background has encouraged me to introduce lots of variety to my daughter’s diet to develop her taste palate from a young age – a mix of vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and herbs – and that’s what we’ve strived to do with our products at Piccolo as well, to ensure they are both nutritionally balanced and also delicious.
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