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Moving on with Weaning

After the initial first tastes here at the next steps.........

By Katherine Whitby, Holistic Health Visitor, Maternal Wellbeing Practitioner, Paediatric Nurse, Baby Massage Instructor and Mummy of two

After you have got going with perhaps a few single tastes of vegetables, fruit and maybe some baby cereal what are the best foods to give next? What about textures? Giving water? How often to give food? - lots of very frequently asked and understandable questions!! I have been helping families with Weaning for 20 years so I am happy to share with you the latest and most practical advice.

So here are my top tips:

  • Gradually week by week, make the food thicker, mashed and then lumpy rather than pureed so the baby is receptive to different tastes and develop their skills of chewing.

  • Make sure the food is more calorific than the milk so don’t get stuck on watery veg as this is low calorie and could lead to negative calories in the day and them being hungrier in the night!

  • You can make purees or mash more calorific by adding Expressed breast milk, Full fat cow’s milk (from 6 months), Coconut milk/cream, Natural yoghurt (full fat), Cream

  • The next foods to gradually introduce after an initial 10 days or so of single veg are lentils, turkey/ beef (minced), chick peas, smooth peanut butter, rice, eggs, chicken

  • As you feel comfortable increase solids to twice a day and then three times a day, introducing new foods. Often this is initially a mid to late morning ‘lunch’, a ‘breakfast’, then lastly introducing ‘tea’ at around 5pm, however introduce as suits you

  • As an approximate guide you may feel ready to introduce a second meal after a couple of weeks and a third meal after a month, but this will all depend on how early you started Weaning and how they are enjoying and adapting to food e.g wind. Seek advice as needed.

  • With breakfast it is usually best to leave enough time for the morning milk to be digested before giving breakfast So ideally between an hour to an hour and a half afterwards. Likewise for tea, leave approximately 1-2 hours after tea, before giving the bedtime milk to ensure they take a good milk feed ready for the night ahead.

  • Next suggested foods are tinned beans (e.g. kidney, butter), porridge, fish (e.g salmon), pasta, banana, strawberries, plums, tomato, aubergine, potato, red pepper, tahini, cheese, range of veg

  • Water can be given at meal times in a cup. There is no rush to do this, feel comfortable with the meals first

  • Introduce fingers foods as soon as you feel comfortable they usually love them are they are important for developing their eye and hand coordination and muscles to chew. Make it easy and give something you have ready either from your own meal e.g. carrot batons, roasted vegetable wedges

  • Have 3 spoons! 1 for you and 2 for them. They will love holding and chewing on them rather than trying to grab at yours. You can dip them into the mash/puree for the baby to suck and chew on & hold like a lollipop. This can be a nice way to introduce something for them to hold and is the start of them feeding themselves, alongside finger foods

I hope these tips help you to move along your Weaning journey. As ever if you have any questions do get in touch and I we can have a chat to help answer them. I will happily help you with 1:1 support or with friends in your home, at the Studio or online. I love supporting families with Weaning! I have lots more Weaning tips on my Instagram and Facebook. We share loads of tips to help parents relax and make life easier, happier and lighter in my lovely FREE community which I would love you to join. We share loads of tips to help parents relax and make life easier, happier and lighter in my lovely FREE community which I would love you to join.

Keep an eye out for my new 'Happy Weaning' packages which are going to be launching soon to support you in your home or online. Can't wait!

Wishing you Happy Weaning,

Katherine x

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