athomeparentingwithJoFrost2017 - 73
BABY'S FIRST YEAR
SP OT T H E S I GNS
Organic baby and toddler
food company Ella's Kitchen
(ellaskitchen.co.uk) says babies are
probably ready to start weaning
when they can...
✦ Hold their head straight up on their
own and sit confidently with support
✦ Show good hand-eye coordination,
getting all their favourite toys - among
other things - into their mouths.
The company advises parents to
'trust your instinct and you'll know
when the time is right. Then if, when
you start, your baby just pushes out
what you give, don't worry - wait a
week or two and try again.
'Most little ones will be ready to
wean at around six months old but
every baby is different.'
'There are three
different types of
led, baby led and
the mix method.
All happen at
A WO RD O F CAUTION
Parents often misinterpret certain signs
as indicating their baby is ready for solids.
Chewing their fists, for example, reaching out for
other people's food or waking in the night and
wanting more milk. Be aware, though, that these
can just be signals your baby is doing all the normal
things expected of them as they grow up, so may
not mean your baby is ready for solid food at all.
If all types of
child will easily
one to the next.'
up apples and
W HE N NOT
TO MI L K I T
Babies who are not
interested in solid food can
thrive on milk, but between
six and nine months of age,
it is important to try solids
regularly as by this age they
will require more iron and
zinc in their diets.
Your baby will still need
breast or formula milk, too
- it is a matter of finding
the right balance.
As well as supplying
the additional nutrients,
introducing solid foods
will add textures to the baby's
diet, allow new experiences,
and will help them develop
through finger feeding.
WORDS: JANE NASH, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
Firstly, be prepared for a
mess. It probably won't just be
your baby who ends up covered in
mush - you will as well. And the
floor. And the walls...
Many parents start the weaning
process with baby rice mixed with
the usual milk, as it's easy for your
baby to digest.
Next, go to light foods such as
mashed or soft cooked fruit and
vegetables like parsnip, potato,
yam, sweet potato, carrot, apple or
pear, all cooled before eating.
Soft fruits like peach or melon
are also a nice treat. Make sure
you alternate, so vegetables are
introduced from an early stage.
The food should slide down
the baby's throat easily. Don't
be alarmed if it is not totally
pureed as they will learn to deal
with a few soft lumps.
I T 'S A FAMILY
After weeks of buying and
preparing your baby's solid food,
there will come a time - usually
at around 10 months - when your
baby can eat pretty much what
the rest of the family does.
As long as you keep mashing
everything up and steer clear
of too many spices, nutritious,
homemade meals are the way
forward. Colourful finger food
will appeal too so give your child
chopped up fruit and veg to
encourage them to feed themselves.
B ABY LEADS
T H E WAY
On the subject of feeding
themselves, baby-led weaning is a
popular method of teaching your
child to eat food with no spoons or
puree in sight. Basically, you just hand
them the food in a suitably-sized piece
and if they like it they eat it.
It can be a messy process, but many
parents enjoy that their baby is learning
independence from an early age.
OUT F O R
A L L ER GI E S
During the weaning process,
it is important to be aware of
allergies that may develop.
Foods such as milk, eggs,
wheat, nuts and fish should
be introduced one at a time
(and none of them before six
months) so you can spot any
signs of a possible allergic
reaction, such as diarrhoea,
vomiting, wheezing, itchy
skin and sore eyes.
If allergies run in your
family, take great care when
giving your child potential
Visit allergyuk.org or nhs.
uk for more information.
RE A DY, STE ADY,
G O. . .
S O U ND ADVICE
Recipe developer Tiff Warren helps create the food at Yeo
Valley (yeovalley.co.uk) - a family-owned farming and
dairy company that makes food for children.
On weaning she says: 'Don't make your baby choose between
spoon feeding or finger food. Mix it up so they get to explore
different ways to eat. And be OK with mess. It makes great photo
opportunities - everyone loves a yogurt-beard photo. Little kids
love interesting combinations so think about cutting food into
shapes - anything to make meal times more colourful and fun.'
www.athomemagazine.co.uk J UN E 201 7 | 073