The first few months of spoon feeding are crucial. Find out how to tickle baby's tastebuds with these truly nourishing ideas...
Nutritionist Dr Emma Williams says: When you’re thinking of recipes for your baby and foods to introduce to your baby I think that the most important thing is that you’re offering a variety of foods to your baby, we would say a rainbow of fruits and vegetables along with proteins and carbohydrates to make sure that they are getting all the nutrients they need to grow into healthy adults.
Mum 1 says: "Throughout stages one and two of weaning, Ben was really, really, good in terms of the foods he would eat, that we would cook and puree or mash up for him. He really does like salmon and tuna and he’s had lots of different white fish as well and lots of red meat, which personally I’m not a big fan of, but I don’t want to deter Ben from those so his Dad often helps me make those and lots of different kinds of fruit and veg. Especially when he was going through weaning stages two and one, I actually enjoyed going to the supermarket and just scouring the fruit and vegetable section to try and find something new for him to try."
Simon, Cow & Gate Nutritionist says: One of the tips I will give you as a parent when feeding your baby for the first time is to go to your fridge, get out any vegetable that you’ve got, chop it up into small pieces, add a little bit of water in a container and put it in the microwave and steam it gently or you can put it in a saucepan it gently. Then get a blender, puree it up to a nice smooth texture and you can add a little bit of oil because babies really need a lot of fat in their diet. So, vegetable or olive oil is good to use, just a small spoon to start them off. And when you feed it to your baby, make sure you do it with a smile to really encourage your baby.
Mum 2 says: "So this is risotto and I’ve just put in different veg in that makes it look a bit brighter and more interesting but this one has peas and carrots and peppers in. And also I put a bit of butternut squash in as well so that that mixed up with it. That was the first time I made this last night but he likes it."
Mum 3 says: "My baby is six and a half months old and we’ve been weaning, or giving her food now, for about two and a half weeks. I try to introduce a lot of colours into what she’s having and that way I know that she’s getting all the vitamins and minerals that she needs. So, for example, I might think that it’s a good example for her to have red pepper, green broccoli and purple aubergine – you can make a ratouille from that. Just cut everything up, stir fry it and add a tin of tomatoes and you’ve got a lovely lunch."
Simon says: Think of your baby’s diet when you’re first starting out as a really blank canvas, they’ve only had milk as they only taste in their life so you really want to explore that as much as possible. The only don’ts that I would give you are not to give salt and sweet foods. The reason why is that you’re trying to train to your baby’s taste preferences and that will make it much easier in the future and that will make it a lot easier in the future when they going to want sweet and salty foods and you’re almost training them almost to not like those foods and those unhealthy dietary habits.