• Rayne Roberts

Making Weaning Simple

Here are some quick notes for successfully weaning your bundle of joy based on the talk we gave at John Lewis, Cribbs Causeway last year.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends weaning your baby from 6 months old. Remember that before then your baby's gut is mesh-like to allow antibodies to cross into the bloodstream, allowing baby's immune system to learn its trade. Undigested food proteins can also cross into the bloodstream through this mesh, creating a misguided immune response which may lead to food allergies, and has been implicated in eczema, asthma and hayfever which can be the result of a hyperactive immune system.

Is your baby ready for weaning?

Normal development signs such as fist chewing don't necessarily mean baby is ready for weaning. Signs that you could consider weaning are:

  • Probably 6 months old or over

  • Healthy baby

  • Has a gag reflex to prevent choking

  • Can sit steadily, unaided

  • Interested in others eating

  • Mimics chewing movements

Spoon fed or baby lead weaning?

In short, whatever works best for your child.

However, there is some evidence that allowing your baby to set the pace of mealtimes and the intake of food results in fewer fussy eating moments, a preference for a wide range of tastes and good appetite control which prevents overeating.

Key Points

  • Baby's are designed to like sweet flavours so work on the sour, bitter, savoury flavours

  • It can take 10 - 15 tastes of the same food for taste buds to adapt to it

  • Start with easy to hold foods, like steamed carrot batons or steamed broccoli florets, that are finger size if you go down the baby-led route

  • Never add salt or sugar to baby's foods

  • Offer food after a milk feed when they are settled

  • Start with the equivalent of a teaspoon of food once a day then move on

  • Leave 4 days between the introduction of a new food to identify any intolerances or allergies

  • By 8 months old, baby should be having meals that resemble a normal plate of food - containing protein, carbohydrates and some healthy fats

  • No honey before 12 months

From 8 months focus on:

  • Iron rich foods with every meal to prevent anaemia (meat, fish, poultry, dried fruit, beans, lentils, tofu, fortified bread and cereals)

  • DHA from oily fish for brain development (salmon, mackerel, sardines)

  • Vitamins A, C and D for numerous roles in baby's development. You can buy vitamin drops for babies at chemists or you may be eligible for Healthy Start vitamin drops free of charge from your GP or health visitor (liver, fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, egg yolks)

  • Fibre from veg, fruit and wholegrains isn't just to stop constipation. Fibre feeds baby's gut bacteria which influences the immune system and their mental wellbeing too.

Do you need help?

You can book in a free 15 minute phone consultation for help, then go on to book a longer private consultation either in our clinic or over Zoom if you wish. Just email Rayne Roberts to set it up.

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