10 Top Tips to Ease into Vegetable Led Weaning
3 min read
Introducing solid foods is known as complementary feeding or weaning.
The process is intended to complement your baby's usual milk from around six months of age or when they are ready to begin the transition from exclusive milk feeds to solids.
The Benefits of Vegetable Led Weaning
Your little one's palate is a blank canvas that's easily shaped by new taste experiences and receptive to all five basic tastes (though naturally preferring those that are sweet or salty). Here at Babease, we believe that when you start to introduce solid foods, it's really important to start with vegetables in as much variety as you can manage.
The more bitter-tasting vegetables such as broccoli and kale will likely require more perseverance than naturally sweet-tasting vegetables like carrot or sweet potato, but it's definitely worth the extra effort.
Studies have shown that babies who eat a wide variety of vegetables during complementary feeding go on to eat more vegetables in later childhood than those that don't.
Our veg forward recipes start with our wonderfully smooth Stage 1, all designed to be gentle on your baby's taste buds and tums.
With our Stage 2 recipes, we introduce textures and exciting new ingredients, including herbs and spices, to help develop your baby's taste for healthy foods and a more savoury palate.
Introducing your little ones to a wide range of tastes and textures at an early age is the best way to raise healthy and adventurous eaters.
How to Know When Your Baby is Ready
Most babies are ready for their first tastes of food at around six months of age. Try to look out for signs they are ready, such as:
- Holding their head steady.
- Sitting up unaided.
- Being able to pick up food and place it in their mouth.
- Being able to swallow food.
Babease Top Tips to Ease into Vegetable Led Weaning
1. Develop a mealtime routine; ensure your baby is well supported in a comfortable highchair and is not able to wobble around.
2. Encourage your little one to lick away any food from around the mouth. This is a great way to get their tongue and mouth working towards swallowing effectively and developing tongue and mouth muscles for talking.
3. Have fun! Encourage your baby to have fun and play with food, experiment with mashing, squashing, licking and squeezing. These activities will encourage your baby to enjoy their food while learning new flavours and textures.
4. Eat together; sit with your baby and eat together when possible. Letting them share your plate and taste your food helps make mealtimes sociable and will give them an opportunity to learn from the rest of the family.
5. Offer both a sweet and savoury course. This enables your baby to discover a wide range of tastes and textures and keeps things interesting.
6. Trust Mother Nature. A baby's gag reflex is much further forward; if food slips to the back of their mouth, they will cough it up. They will do this frequently while learning to eat solid foods, so take it slow and try to relax.
7. Let your baby enjoy the real taste of vegetables. By masking the taste of more bitter vegetables, your baby may find them more difficult to accept later on. The Babease range is vegetable led, including premium organic ingredients.
8. Continue your baby's usual milk alongside weaning. Breastmilk or formula milk provide most of the nutrients your baby needs, and as they eat more food, the amount of milk they take will naturally decrease.
9. Let your baby decide when they've had enough. Let them set the pace and take their time at mealtimes. Rather than encouraging them to clear their plate, let them take as much as they need.
10. Don't give up and enjoy the process! It can take up to 14 experiences of a particular food before a baby gets used to it and enjoys the taste. Lastly, don't forget to enjoy this exciting new step and capture those food covered faces!