Our babies grow so quickly that in a blink of an eye, it’s time to start weaning them onto solid foods. Whether you’re wondering when the best time is, or how to introduce new foods, this is a guide for you.
When should you start weaning your baby?
Milk should provide enough energy and nutrients for growing and developing, until little ones reach six months.
At around six months of age, your baby will start to need nutrients not available in adequate amounts in their milk alone. So at this time it’s important they’re introduced to solid food that starts to meet their additional nutritional needs in addition to breastfeeding or formula milk for up to two years of age.
Signs your baby is ready
There are 3 signs that tend to appear together at around 6 months. The important thing to remember is that if your baby is ready for solid food all 3 signs will be there. Your baby is ready if they can:
- Co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth, can look at food, grab it and put it in their mouth all by themselves.
- Stay in a sitting position and can hold their head steady.
- Swallow their food: Small babies instinctively use their tongues to push foreign objects out of their mouths, and until this reflex fades, they are likely to do the same thing to a spoon or a piece of banana.
Tasty tips for first food adventures
It can take 10 tries or more before your baby will accept a new food or texture, so it is a good idea to keep offering a scrummy variety of foods even if they weren’t keen the first-time round. As mums and dads, we know it isn’t always going to be easy, but it is always going to be worth it.
As you and your baby grow more confident with introducing first foods, you can have lots of fun trying all sorts of different shapes, textures and tastes. Exploring, playing and getting hands on helps fuel your little one’s sense of wonder and encourages a love of good food for life.
10 tips to weaning:
- Relax! Try not to get too stressed, it’s just food. The wonderful challenge of being a mum or dad means you get to experience the giggles, gurgles and a fair share of tears and tantrums, too!
- Timing: Try your baby with their first taste of food when you know they’re at their best. Are they a smiley morning or a giggly evening baby?
- Plan for mess! It will be a gooey, messy extravaganza, putting a piece of fabric under the high chair which you can pop into the washing machine after each meal can make it easier.
- Full up: Your baby’s tummy is teeny weeny, so don’t worry if they start to turn their head after a few mouthfuls, they’ve just had enough for now.
- Veg first: Weaning vegetables first helps to set up healthy food choices for life for your little one.
- Small batches: If you’re trying out puree, make small portions of new recipes to start with – you don’t want 50 ice cubes of lamb tagine if you find your baby is more of a bolognese connoisseur!
- Basic kit: You don’t need lots of fancy equipment, just a few weaning spoons, little bowls, some bibs, a highchair, and a stick blender.
- Try again: Don’t despair if your baby is slow to like a new food, try it again another day.
- Eat together: Babies love being social. Sitting and eating with others embeds good habits and can be a fun filled experience.
- Play with food: Finger foods like scrummy Organix sweetcorn rings at meal times can help them try new tastes and encourage them to feed themselves.
Finger foods to try
As you and your baby grow more confident with weaning, you can have fun with all sorts of lip-smacking tasty foods. Your little one might take it very seriously, or squeal with delight as they squish and squash foods between their fingers. As they do so, they are boosting their hand-eye co-ordination and you’ll experience the wonder of watching your little ones first tastes.
Just as taste is a whole new, wonderous world to your baby, so is shape. A cube of cheese, a tube of pasta or a segment of orange are all exciting new shapes, and your little one will want to reach out to grip and grab these enticing-looking finger foods.
Finger foods are also a great tool for busy mums and dads when out and about. Have a packet of melty Organix Pea Puffs to hand for long journeys or hungry café moments. The Organix No Junk Promise means we only use the tastiest, best organic ingredients and never add salt, artificial colours or flavours to our foods. It’s our way of giving mums and dads the added reassurance of finger foods they can trust for their little one.
Research shows that babies who are offered a wide variety of tastes and textures are more likely to eat a wide range of foods later in childhood.
Try these finger foods:
- Soft cooked carrot batons or potato wedges.
- New textures and tastes like a juicy piece of mango.
- Chunky circles of fruity Organix apple rice cakes are a great way to offer different shapes for little ones to play with.
- Introduce citrus flavours – a segment of orange
- Delicious melt in the mouth Organix carrot sticks are a good way to explore new textures.
- Broccoli florets are a fun texture to grip and grab.
Early weaning recipes from Organix
You’ll find lots of tasty weaning recipes in the new Organix Baby & Toddler Cookbook – it’s crammed with 70 tasty recipes for all the family, with deliciously feel-good food for the key stages of your little one’s development. There are delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all perfectly portioned, to help busy parents fuel their little ones’ wonder with tasty, nutritious food – all tried and tested by Organix own teeny-tiny food critics who’ve given them the thumbs up!
For ease, the recipes are organised into four age groups to suit your child’s developmental age: 6+ months, 7+ months, 10+ months and 12+ months. They are all designed to have lots of different textures and tastes, to help budding foodies fall in love with yummy fruit and veg. What’s more, most of the recipes are suitable for the whole family too!
Thank you to Organix for sharing their top tips to weaning. We sure found this really helpful! You’ll find lots more advice, tips and recipe ideas for baby’s first foods at www.organix.com and searching social for #FuelTheirWonder. We’ve also got 3 copies of The Organix Baby and Toddler cookbook to giveaway. Head to our competitions page to find out more and enter.
Get in touch!
We’d love to hear from you! How old is your little one? Are they showing an interest in food? Have you already started weaning? Are you and your baby enjoying the process? Are you facing any challenges? Share with us your journey in the comments below.