Whichever weaning style you choose: baby-led, flavour-led, combo, traditional...there are some simple guidelines that nutritionists recommend following to ensure your little one is getting enough of the good stuff without too much of the bad. We've asked Siobhan Berry - founder of Mummy Cooks and qualified nutritionist to briefly talk us though some of these. She's very kindly provided us with a portioning guide too which you'll find at the bottom of this article.
At Mummy Cooks we really feel strongly about giving baby the best opportunity to be a healthy happy eater and set them up for life. Hi, I’m Siobhan Berry, creator of Mummy Cooks. For me successful weaning is about giving your baby as much control during the weaning stages and including lots of variety and texture from an early age.
So what do I mean by control? When you think of baby-led weaning the baby gets full control of what they are eating and this is great, however I don’t believe that this solution is perfect for every parent or indeed every baby. If you are anxious in any way this will transfer to the baby and lead to an unpleasant feeding experience. If however, you are confident in your ability to succeed at baby-led weaning then definitely give it a go.
For all the other parents out there that want to go down more a combination weaning experience remember you can still give control to your baby.
Tips on giving control:
Start offering finger foods along side your baby’s puree from six months of age. Your baby may not grasp it until around seven months but it’s really important to start early so your baby is familiar with finger food.
When you are feeding your baby give baby a bowl with some of the food they are eating. Your baby will love to smell, taste and dig their hands into the food! This is where you need your BIBaDO! Allowing them to become familiar with new foods and they will be less likely to reject foods as they move through the stages. You will then hold a bowl with most of the food and feed them in between. Your baby feels they have full control which is what we want to achieve.
First Finger Foods:
My favourite first finger food is Roasted Sweet Potato Fingers with Cinnamon https://www.mummycooks.com/blog/recipes/roasted-sweet-potato-and-cinnamon-fingers
The sweet potato while soft still holds together for your baby to pick up. The cinnamon adds a lovely flavour and also helps your baby grasp the finger food. I would start off offering it in the shape of a finger – placing it in the palm of your baby’s hand. Then moving onto pea size pieces when your baby has developed their pincer grab.
It is important to move on with texture from six months and so including meats and grains help add this texture. You can add Meat to your baby’s diet whether or not you are doing purees or just finger food. Simply make up a sauce using say chicken then serve this as a puree or coat a pasta with the sauce. Your baby should be ready for this texture from six months.
Here’s a great chicken recipe you can try; Mummy Cooks Chicken and Veg Puree https://www.mummycooks.com/blog/recipes/chicken-and-vegetable-puree.
At Mummy Cooks we think it is very important to look at portions when feeding your baby. Remember your baby gets most of their nutrients from their milk and they can actually survive on milk in the first year. I love the saying ‘Food before one is just for fun’! It’s good to remember this when your baby has rejected their meal. So therefore, portioning food ensures that you do not deplete the milk intake too fast. If your baby is still hungry after their portion of food then offer some finger foods or some fruit. Variety is key and will benefit your baby more then just offering the same foods.