The Parenting Expert team catch up with Siobhan Berry, founder and creator of the popular website MummyCooks.com to give us amazing weaning advice. Siobhan helps parents to feed their children nutritious home-cooked foods by providing advice and products to help them on this journey. She is certified in infant nutrition, and SOS trained for strategies on feeding fussy or problem eaters. Her first book, of the same title released in 2018, was a huge success and has been hailed by parents as their feeding bible. Soon after Siobhan released her second book, Lunchbox Made Easy, to similar acclaim.
Q: What is the best food to start with on day 1 of weaning?
Starting with fruits or vegetables is your best option. A root vegetable is a good first option to offer your baby. There are some schools of thought that preference bitter tasting vegetables for the first few weeks but I believe in variety so you choose which one to start with. However over the course of the next two weeks mix up what you offer between sweeter tasting vegetables like carrots and sweet potato and bitter tasting like broccoli and courgette.
Tips to remember
● The first food for your baby should be quite runny.
● Thin your babies purées with water, breast milk or baby formula.(If you intend to freeze extra portions only add milk before you serve).
Q: My 7 month old suddenly refuses to eat solids, purses her lips. It is mostly just for the vegetables. What should I do?
There can be a number of reasons why your baby has stopped eating. If your baby has stopped eating all food on offer you can assume they are feeling unwell or teething. However, it sounds like your baby only purses her lips when less sweet vegetables are on offer. From 6 months it’s a good plan to move on with texture and offer more of a variety of meals to your baby. If you only offer fruit or vegetable purées, your baby will not move on with texture, and they may default to liking the fruit better. They learn very quickly that by pursing their lips and rejecting food, they get the preferred food. This is considered an alternative. If you offer alternatives, your baby will not move on with texture and a variety of foods, making feeding them a lot more difficult as they get older.
Q: My 9 months old has no teeth yet so still giving her soft enough food. When do I move on
with more texture?
Most babies develop teeth between 6 months and 12 months. Your baby’s teeth are behind their gums and so when they bite down on food, even when they have no teeth, they can munch it just like they would when their teeth come in. The only action of having teeth is to tear food.
It is important to move on with texture from six months of age and gradually build up the texture to soft manageable lumps to include soft finger foods. Your baby is now 9 months of age so it’s even more important to move on with an increase in texture in order to ensure they will go on to accept all foods as they grow up.
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