Your Weaning Questions Answered
24th May 2018
Our nutritionist, Laura, was LIVE on our Facebook page for a chat about weaning. We have collated your questions and included Laura’s response below. Don’t worry if you missed out this time, Laura will be back very soon or you can always drop us a line on our social channels.
Are there any hacks for cleverly sneaking veggies into a meals and tips to having a nutritious meal with little time?
It’s great for children to have lots of exposure to vegetables as finger foods to get them familiar with them. This way they naturally become a normal part of their plate. Alongside this it can be useful to make sauces with lots of veggies in them. This is great as they contain lots of goodness. In the Kiddylicious Little Bistro range there’s a 5 veggie pasta with cheese to try out! Babies and toddlers often copy and imitate their parents or carers behaviour and so watching you eat well can positively influence them to do the same. Eat with your little one when you can, as eating together is a more enjoyable experience for everyone!
Is there anyway to help prevent your baby growing into a fussy eater? He currently eats a huge variety and I encourage it but I’ve heard it changes?
It’s so important to offer a wide variety of foods to your little one as it exposes them and helps them become familiar with many foods early on. Remember too that foods that your little one has rejected previously should be offered frequently. It can take many tries before your baby will accept a new food or texture.
Learning to self feed is an important skill for babies. As they get older they start to assert their independence more and sometimes foods that they may have once liked, they appear to suddenly dislike.
Try to remain calm through this phase and continue to offer a wide range of foods. From my own experience with my little boy, from exposing him to a wide variety of foods at a young age, he was more open and accepting of foods as he got older, as he was already familiar with them. It’s not to say he eats everything all the time, but I’m sure being conscious of offering a range of food groups helped.
I need some guidance about how much food / vs formula a 7 month old (who loves eating) should be having? Worried he is going to get too much so have been reducing formula but also worried that he still needs his milk?! (He still has 3/4 bottles per day)
During the first year of life milk is an important source of fuel and certain nutrients for your little one. Although they won’t actually be eating a wide enough variety of foods to give them all the nutrients they need, so that’s why the importance of formula in the first year of life. It takes babies a while to get used to the feeling of food in their mouth and swallowing, so they may not actually eat very much to begin with. As the weaning process continues, the amount of milk your child requires will gradually decrease.
Between 6 and 12 months and once having solids, your baby should have around 600 ml of milk a day, but all babies differ so don’t worry if they don’t want this amount, just be aware of their signs for hunger and fullness. By the time your little one is 7 months old they will be having 2 meals a day including breakfast and they soon quickly progress to 3 meals a day.
My 8 month old doesn’t want much milk but is also CMPA!
If you haven’t already I would suggest you speak to your health visitor and a healthcare professional such as a Dietitian to get detailed, accurate advice on this, so as to make sure your baby isn’t at risk of any nutritional deficiencies and so that you get care and advice specific to your baby on an individual basis. Note that dairy free alternative milks for babies with allergies aren’t recommended as a main drink until 2 years old.
I know Iron is important for brain development. Eggs are ok, but can I give my baby liver? And how?
Yes iron is an important mineral especially at this young age, as by 6 months the iron stores in your baby will have been depleted and breast milk alone will no longer provide adequate amounts of iron. Iron is essential for the function of many body systems including red blood cell production and nerve development. Too little in the diet can cause anuaemia. However it’s good to note that the Kiddylicious Little Bistro range is fortified with iron. Some other iron rich foods include eggs, green leafy veg, lean beef, lamb and pork, beans and fish. Liver is a source of iron, however its consumption is not recommended under the age of 1, as it’s a concentrated source of vitamin A, so should only be included in the diet occasionally.
Friends and family recommend rusks or baby rice to start with. Could I start with something else? When should formula fed baby start weaning?
There are a number of things to consider as you approach the weaning or complementary feeding stage, for example, can your little one sit up (it’s ok if they need a little extra support); can they grasp objects and bring them to their mouth; are they interested in your food and perhaps try to grab from your plate; can they hold their head steady and move around from side to side? Baby rice is a common first food alongside various fruits and vegetables. The award winning wafers from Kiddylicious are also great weaning foods, and encourage self feeding from little hands. Good luck!
My concerns relate to allergies
On the matter of choking, it’s a good idea to attend a first aid course specially designed for babies and young children so that you know how to respond if a choking incident occurs. Otherwise stay with your child when they’re eating new finger foods and discourage toddlers from eating when running around to minimise risk of choking. With finger foods be sure to cook them until they are soft and as weaning progresses and chewing skills develop you can introduce some raw vegetables.
Don’t be afraid to introduce food with chunks, as little ones need to learn how to chew around 7-8 months (it’s important to develop jaw muscles vital for speech development), and the smooth puree stage is a short phase. This is why Kiddylicious Little Bistro meals contain soft chunks.
If you are concerned that your little one has a food allergy or an intolerance then you should first get professional advice from your GP. Don’t just eliminate foods from your child’s diet, as they may become deficient in important nutrients. Depending on the severity and urgency, make notes of symptoms and the reactions and talk to your GP.
Whether your child has a food allergy or not our Kiddylicious oaty bars are suitable for all, but have been made in a specially designed bakery that is completely allergen free. The Kiddylicious oaty bars are dairy, nut and gluten free and free from all 14 declarable allergens.
Portion size and how much your little one eats can vary so much at this young age, depending on how they feel each day (are they teething or unwell?) and how much they’ve moved around; there are so many reasons why babies refuse food. Try and stay calm even if they don’t eat everything you offer them, just ensure to offer a wide variety of foods. It’s important for your child to regulate their own appetite, so do allow them some control.
More info on portion size here.
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