Babies Who Lunch - Weaning Your Baby
Just when you and your baby are in a confident routine with milk feeds, along comes weaning.
It’s the perfect opportunity for developing a healthy and balanced diet for your baby. With each new flavour, your little one is taking another small step along the path to a lifelong love of good food.
It be might be messy and challenging, but weaning can also be exciting and full of fun. To help parents make sense of all the information Organix has launched its Little Book of Weaning. Here we share some of the great tips and advice from the experts who contributed to the handy guide so you and your little one can enjoy your weaning journey.
Discover Taste, Texture and ShapeAs your little one grows their sense of adventure does too, and from around 6-12 months they’ll become naturally open to trying new tastes. Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix, suggests trying to be relaxed about the stages of weaning – remember you choose what your baby eats, but it’s up to them how much they eat.
Top Weaning Tips:Have fun: Encourage your baby to experiment and play with their food.
Don't give up: It can take up to 14 attempts before a baby learns to like a new food, especially more challenging tastes, so don’t worry if your little one grimaces or refuses certain foods at first.
Offer two courses: A savoury food followed by a sweet one is a great way to offer a range of tastes.
How much milk: Either breast milk or formula milk continues alongside solid food as it still provides most of the nutrients your baby needs - as the amount of food your baby eats increases, the amount of milk will decrease.
Trust Mother Nature if you’re worried about choking: The gag reflex is further forwards in babies’ mouths than in adults’ mouths. So, if their food slips towards the back of their mouths, they cough it up – they’ll do this frequently while learning to manage new textures.
Just as taste and texture are a whole new world to your baby, so is shape. A cube of cheese or a tube of pasta are exciting new shapes, and your baby will want to reach out to grab these finger foods.
Fussy EatersSo-called fussy eaters can worry parents terribly! Lucy Thomas is a food expert who encourages children to eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables - but her baby, Molly, proved to be the fussiest of all!
Molly refused to feed from a spoon, turning her head away to escape it. I felt I was a terrible mother who couldn’t even feed her own baby and, given that this was meant to be my area of expertise, I felt very low. So, I approached it as if I was one of my clients. This is what I did:
Relaxed and always ate with Molly, so she could watch me munching my food.
Focused on my own food so I was less stressed and Molly took more interest in what I was doing.
Gave Molly foods that I was eating and she started to copy me, happily crunching cucumber, broccoli, raw red pepper.
Realising Molly simply wanted to feed herself I got creative with finger foods.
Change of scene - Molly can refuse new foods up to 10 times at home. But if I offer it to her in a different environment, such as the supermarket trolley, and when she is not over tired or too hungry - she often accepts it.
Boosting Babies’ Development
Weaning boosts your baby’s development, from picking up lots of different foods so they gather sensory information, to strengthening their tongue through licking and chewing. A strong tongue may also help them to articulate clear and crisp speech sounds, and talking to your baby about what they’re eating helps them expand their language.
Nicola Lathey, a speech and weaning therapist, says: “While your little one is smearing apple purée all around their mouth or sucking up spaghetti, arguably they are at the verbal gym, giving their mouth muscles a really good workout. As babies munch and crunch different tastes, textures and shapes, they,re building up facial muscles ready for talking, as well as developing a wide palate.”
To read more you can Download a FREE copy of The Organix Little Book of Weaning at www.organix.com/littlebookofweaning