A Guide to Christmas for Babies
5 min read
Christmas is an incredibly sensory time for young children, with new sights, sounds, smells and tastes around every corner.
It’s especially exciting for weaning babies and their parents who get to experience all that festive magic for the first time!
For families who can’t wait to celebrate the season with their little foodies, we’ve created a basic guide to baby’s first Christmas. How can you ensure Christmastime is safe and enjoyable for all?
Can Babies Eat Christmas Dinner?
When it comes to Christmas, one of the big questions parents might have is ‘what can my baby eat?’
What exactly your baby can eat will, in part, come down to which stage of the weaning journey they are on. For those in stage 3, starting from around 9 months, you might encourage them to pick elements off of your plate, while foodies in stage 1 might get on better with purees or mashes.
Festive food is often characterised by richness and indulgence, but this does not have to be the case, and there are plenty of ways to get your little one involved in the Christmas dinner delights.
So, yes! Your baby will likely be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas meal with you, so long as you remain mindful of the things you let them try and ensure everything is prepared to an appropriate texture and cut into manageable sizes.
Babease Top Tip
If you do make your little one their very own tiny Christmas dinner or let them eat from your plate, make sure to avoid foods with high salt content. This will likely include things like gravy, stuffing and pigs in blankets.
Winter Vegetables for Weaning
Even if your little one is at the very beginning stages of weaning (at around 6 months), they can try some of your favourite seasonal veggies. The Christmas period includes an abundance of great vegetables full of nutrients and flavour.
These can, of course, be enjoyed at any time of year but are firm favourites for many households when it comes to the Christmas dinner plate. Some tasty veggies to explore in the winter months include:
- Red cabbage
There are countless ways to prepare these veggies – we particularly love roasted veg sticks, where you cut your chosen vegetable into batons and roast until soft. Roast vegetable sticks are the perfect finger food for baby-led weaning as they are easy to make and can be diversified in numerous ways.
For younger foodies or for those that want to explore smoother textures alongside crunchier textures, vegetable purees are another great way to experience different vegetables.
The Brussels sprout might be a contentious veg for some, but they make a fantastic puree and introducing bitter vegetables like this earlier on can help encourage a lifelong love of veg in your little one!
Using Christmas Leftovers for Weaning Meals
We’re no strangers to leftovers filling our fridge after a good festive feast! Incorporating these leftovers in your baby’s weaning meals is a great way to ensure they don’t go to waste while also treating your little one to creative meal ideas as you find new ways to enjoy leftover sprouts or roast potatoes.
Making purees from your leftovers is one simple way to use up food, but you can also take this opportunity to play around with textures and add additional flavours. For instance, turning leftover cauliflower cheese into fritters or making a baby-friendly bubble and squeak.
Check out our blog for more baby Christmas food ideas and advice on weaning during the festive period.
Can Babies Eat Turkey?
Another all-important question; will your little one be able to join in when the turkey is served?
If your weaning baby eats meat, then, yes, they can enjoy a taste of turkey along with everyone else! This comes with the usual caveats in that it will need to be diligently cooked and cut to age-appropriate chunks or blended with a puree.
You should also ensure you offer freshly cooked turkey rather than heavily-processed meat with a high sodium content.
Turkey, especially the dark meat, is high in B vitamins, zinc and iron, which all help support your baby’s growth and development.
Things to Consider For Baby’s First Christmas
Aside from all the intriguing holiday food options, what else should you consider when planning Christmas festivities with baby in tow?
Stick to Your Routine
While Christmas offers lots of excitement, this can also lead to little ones becoming overwhelmed. To help prevent any grumpy faces during all the festive fun, try to stick to your usual routine as much as possible.
Keeping some sense of normalcy will ensure your budding foodie still knows what to expect from mealtimes, even if the food is new.
Take Festive Photos
Preserve the memories of this time with a festive photoshoot! Gathering everyone around the Christmas tree for a photo will give you something to look back on as you cherish the magical memories.
You could also dress your little one up in a festive costume like a reindeer or one of Santa’s elves to capture that perfect Christmas card snapshot. Making decorations out of your festive photos will also help you spread the seasonal cheer!
Start New Family Traditions
Starting new traditions that your child will love for Christmases to come is another way to build the excitement and magic of the season.
This could include something simple like opening a gift on Christmas Eve or wearing matching festive jumpers or something very particular to your family.
Take The Pressure Off
While you might want to give your baby the ‘perfect’ Christmas, these kinds of plans often fall to the wayside when contending with the realities of hectic family life.
Try to appreciate the moment and don’t worry about making sure everything is perfect – because it likely won’t be, and that’s okay!
How will you be celebrating Christmas this year? Let us know if you have any tips for new parents embarking on their first Christmas with their little one on our social media channels.
If you have any questions about the weaning journey, our blog is the go-to hub for advice and recipe ideas, so be sure to delve in when you need an extra helping hand, especially when things start getting even busier in the build-up to Christmas!