All Day Weaning Tips: January
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 January's Q&A, here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers - we hope you find it helpful.
I am due to start weaning my 5 month old next month and want to get prepared. Can I just go on veggies as his first food? I am getting a lot of encouragement to start with baby cereals (eg. baby rice, baby porridge). (@rosinneal)
Absolutely you can start with veggies such as broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, green beans – basically any veg! Just cook until soft and then mash or purée to spoon feed; or if BLW give as a small ‘baton’ about the size of your baby finger so that your baby can hold it in their fist. You can also give some porridge or baby rice, but as these are mixed with milk (breast or formula) we know that babies are very likely to accept them. It’s important to introduce them to all sorts of different flavours especially the more bitter tasting veg. They may pull a face at first but just ignore that and encourage.
We’ve had a few instances where our 8 month old has gagged and then thrown up - any tips on how to stop this happening? I know gagging is normal, but not sure the vomit is? (@stephriley_azarpey)
You are absolutely right, gagging is normal (it’s not choking), but the vomit is not very pleasant (for you or your little one). Some babies have a very strong gag reflex and we are not too sure why. What you don’t want is your baby associating eating/food with pain or discomfort as that can lead to feeding problems. I’d say if it happens occasionally, not a problem (just messy), but if it’s happening more often than not, speak with your GP. You could try to keep the purées smooth at first and thicken up gradually. Also try some ‘puffs’ as bite and dissolve foods as they can help babies learn how to deal with lumps in their mouth.
My baby girl is due to start BLW in a week. She’s tried a tiny bit of mashed potato and sweet potato yesterday and I was so scared because she totally choked on it. How can I tell the difference between choking and gagging? (@pinebrookcottage)
The gag reflex is a natural reflex in babies designed to help them stop choking. They usually cough and splutter a little to get the food out. It can happen more easily if the baby has too much food in their mouth. So try to pace your baby as to how much they put in their mouths. Of course it’s obvious but I must say that you should never leave your baby alone when eating, not even for a short time. If a baby is truly choking, there is often no noise or cough at all. The NHS website has a fantastic video to show you how to help a child choking. I know it sounds scary but you and your baby will soon gain confidence. Foods such as whole grapes, cherry tomatoes, olives and whole nuts can be culprits. Always cut up grapes, cherry tomatoes and olives into halves or quarters, and give peanut butter or ground nuts instead of whole nuts.
When can I introduce yoghurts into my baby's diet? Since weaning him he has not taken the bottle as much, so I was advised to give him yoghurts. Will that be ok? As it has cows milk. Also how should I slowly introduce him to stage 2 foods? I read couscous was a good addition to the purées. (@m_nejad_1)
From about 7 months you can give yoghurt. I’d go for plain full fat yoghurts for your baby. Still offer him milk feeds, and if he’s drinking less than 500ml per day, start vitamin D drops (ask your HV). You can slowly start thickening up the puréed foods and adding soft lumps to transition him into the next stage of weaning. Offer soft finger foods alongside puréed foods so that he learns how to chew and deal with lumps. You can add couscous as a way of thickening the purée that’s fine. Try other grains too to keep variety such as oats, quinoa, rice etc.
For soft finger foods I’d recommend soft cooked veggies such as broccoli, carrots (cooked until soft), asparagus, sweet potato, or any cooked veg really! Make sure the finger food is about the size of your little finger so that your baby can hold it in their fist with a little bit sticking out...hope that makes sense! You can also try bread or lightly toasted bread.