All Day Weaning Tips: February

Do you have a question about your baby or toddler’s nutrition? Struggling with complementary feeding? Looking for some tips to help your fussy eater?

Every month we hold an all day Q&A session on Instagram where our in-house dietitian, Paula, answers all your questions! If you missed February's Q&A, here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers - we hope you find it helpful.

 Photo from @samix11 on Instagram

Photo from @samix11 on Instagram

How do you know when it's time to cut down milk? My little one loves his food and is having 2-3 meals a day, but is still having all of his bottles. I don't want to over feed him, but he won't go without either. He's 6 months but has been on solids since 4 as he was more than ready. (@alexhammersley92)

Breast milk or formula are still an important part of babies’ nutrition for the first year of life. At 6 months, having started on solids at 4 months, I would expect him to still have at least 600ml of formula or about 4- 5 breastfeeds in 24 hours. As his intake increases, especially high protein foods, he will take less formula or breast milk.

How easy is it to move from formula onto cows milk? And when should the ‘night time bottle’ stop? (@annafield1)

It is usually fairly straightforward at about 12 months of age. You can use cows milk in foods from 6 months but not as a main drink until over a year old. The taste is similar so that shouldn’t be a problem. If your baby is not keen you can use yoghurt or some cheese for calcium. After a year of age, children only need about 10oz or 300ml of milk (less if taking yoghurt and cheese). A warm milky drink at bedtime is still fine but perhaps try to give it in a cup or beaker instead of a bottle.

We don’t eat meat so have been giving my 7 month old plenty of fish, pluses and lentils. What other sources of protein / iron rich food would you suggest? (@lexis120)

The foods you are offering are great. You can also try eggs, chickpeas, hummus, fortified breakfast cereals, nut butters or ground nuts and green leafy veggies. Offer a source of vitamin C with these foods to help increase the absorption of iron from vegetable foods.

My 17 month old now refuses to eat anything I cook for her, but she eats fine at nursery (also healthy food). I know she’s hungry so we sometimes end up distracting her with videos so she’ll eat which I hate doing. Any advice? Is this just a phase? (@jo.arteaga)

This is the typical age for fussy eating to set in, so fear not, it is most likely a phase that she will grow out of. Try not to get too anxious (it’s hard I know) as children pick up on this. Keep on offering her a variety of foods, even if she doesn’t eat some of it. Also, try eating with her as children learn by copying others. Don’t give up!

Our baby loves having a go both with solids and with purees that she feeds / covers herself with using a spoon! I can't help feeling nervous about choking though. How do we know that babies will definitely chew food before they swallow? (@lkg_369)

It’s fine to do a mixture of BLW and purées so don’t worry too much about having to choose one. It is messy, but embrace the mess, it’s so important as this is how children learn. From around 6 months of age, babies can cope with soft lumps. Research has shown that there is no increased risk of choking with BLW, so I totally understand you feeling nervous. Just start slowly with very soft foods such as avocado or cooked broccoli.

I’d like some ideas please for how to include nuts in my 16 month old’s diet as I’ve been told to make sure she has plenty of the full range of nuts. (@longbottomemily)

You can try nut butters such as peanut or almond butter. Try adding a teaspoon or two to her porridge or you can make a mildly spiced chicken satay sauce. You can also mix nut butters with a little water to thin and then add to a milky drink with some cinnamon and banana. Another option is using ground nuts stirred into foods.

For more weaning advice, and any specific questions, join us for our next Q&A. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.

Tom RedwoodComment