Wipe those weaning worries away with Annabel Karmel’s simple tips.
When should you start weaning?
The general rule is that babies should be weaned from around six months old. Milk provides all the nutrients your baby needs for the first 6 months or so, but some parents feel that their babies are ready before then. Every baby is different, and in families with a history of food allergy, hay fever, eczema or asthma, it’s best to try to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months.
Importance of milk during weaning
When you start weaning, milk will still form a major part of your baby’s diet. Whether you are breastfeeding or using a bottle, milk will provide all the nutrients they need. Babies should continue to have breast or formula milk throughout the first year.
First weaning foods
First foods should be simple, easy to digest, and unlikely to provoke an allergic reaction. Start with a single ingredient, ideally a fruit or vegetable. Root vegetables like carrots, sweet potato and butternut squash are very popular first foods; they have a naturally sweet flavour and can easily be puréed to a smooth texture. As a tip, try mixing them with a little breast or formula milk to ease the transition.
Great first fruits are apple, pear which you cook and puree, and banana, papaya and avocado which don’t require cooking, provided they are nice and ripe. These nutritious fruits are easy.
Baby rice is another good first food; its milky taste makes an easy transition to solids. Check the packaging to ensure you choose one that’s sugar free and enriched with vitamins and iron. Mix it with water, or breast or formula milk, or combine it with a fruit or vegetable purée.
For lots more recipes and advice for your baby, visit www.annabelkarmel.com