A Guide to Gluten-Free Weaning
5 min read
We know that parents want to start the weaning journey with the utmost confidence that they are offering the best food to their little one.
Yet, with so much information out there, navigating the world of weaning can sometimes be tricky, especially if your child shows signs of having a food allergy. That’s where our gluten-free weaning guide comes in!
What is Gluten?
Gluten-free eating has made its way into more people’s lives over recent years, but what actually is gluten?
Gluten is the umbrella term for a family of proteins that helps certain foods keep their shape, acting as a kind of binding agent. It can also be used to improve a food’s texture. Gluten appears in natural grains; specifically:
While many can safely eat gluten as part of a healthy diet, a gluten-free diet may be necessary for those who have gluten intolerances like coeliac disease.
What Weaning Foods Contain Gluten?
Grains that contain gluten are found in numerous foods, many of which you’ll find on the weaning journey. Just some include:
- Some meat substitutes
- Baked goods and anything made with flour
As more awareness is raised around gluten intolerance, more gluten-free options become available, meaning that weaning babies that don’t eat gluten will by no means miss out when it comes to exploring all kinds of foods during weaning.
Nowadays, you will be able to find gluten-free flour and other products in regular supermarkets, so even if you come across a weaning recipe that usually contains gluten – like baby pancakes, for example – you can swap out the flour for gluten-free flour.
Weaning a Gluten-Free Baby at 6 Months
As a general guide, the weaning journey begins at six months, although some budding foodies may be ready slightly later or earlier.
We’re big fans of the veg-led weaning method, which refers to offering tastes of different vegetables at the very start of weaning. One of the ways experts recommend doing this is by giving your little one a taste of a different vegetable each day for around the first two weeks.
At this stage, you may offer the vegetable as a puree or as a soft finger food without any additional flavours or ingredients. Because vegetables don’t contain gluten, tastes of fresh, whole veggies are ideal first weaning foods for babies that can’t eat gluten.
As your baby enters the later stages of weaning and you start offering a wider variety of foods, you’ll need to keep an eye on whether their weaning meals or finger foods contain gluten.
Introducing Allergens During Weaning
If you think your child has a gluten or any other kind of food allergy, consult with a healthcare professional.
Generally, foods containing allergens (including gluten) can be introduced from around six months and should be given in small amounts one at a time so that you can take note of any adverse reactions.
Introducing Gluten at 6 Months
If you would like to introduce gluten into their diet, you can do so from around six months.
Although starting weaning with veg is great, you’ll also want to introduce new textures and flavours as your budding foodie develops. Things like pasta and couscous can make great weaning foods, especially when you combine them with a range of tasty veggies!
Are Baby Food Pouches Gluten-Free?
The Babease range includes a diverse selection of gluten-free baby food pouches, offering your little one delicious flavours, interesting textures and plenty of nutritional vegetable goodness!
When shopping for baby food, it may not always be obvious whether something contains gluten or not, so make sure to look out for that ‘gluten-free’ label. We always make clear which of our products are gluten-free with labels on the packaging and on our website.
Both our pea and lentil puff finger food products are gluten-free too.
Gluten-Free Weaning Recipes
Here at Babease, you’ll find plenty of tasty gluten-free recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Just check our recipe pages and look out for the ‘gluten-free’ sticker! You’re sure to be cooking up some tasty treats in no time.
Here are some of our favourite gluten-free weaning ideas.
Keralan Curry for Babies
This tasty curry is free from gluten, dairy and nuts, and offers a delicious dinner option for the whole family.
Packed with plenty of tasty veg, you can also get creative and mix and match other veggies like sweet potato or courgette.
For younger foodies, you can blend the curry to smooth out any too-big lumps.
Gluten-Free Banana Bread for Babies
You can’t get better than banana bread! Made with gluten-free flour or almond meal, this recipe allows everyone to enjoy a slice – and the recipe itself couldn’t be simpler.
Small slices of homemade baby banana bread can make excellent finger food options for baby-led weaning.
Brussels Sprout Salad for Babies
Sprouts are a fantastic bitter veg that are brilliant for introducing at the start of weaning. This texture-filled salad is wonderful for foodies from around seven months.
Sprouts aren’t just for Christmas! You could also try our recipe for tasty pea and sprouts puree, ideal from six months.
Easy Hummus for Babies
If you’re after a quick and easy recipe, this is the one for you. Just pop everything in a blender, and there you have it, the perfect dip for veggies and all manner of finger foods.
These are just a few of the gluten-free recipes we love, so why not explore the rest of our recipes and get creative in the kitchen?
Hopefully, you’re now a little more confident about gluten-free diets during weaning. Again, if you ever have any serious concerns about your baby’s diet and potential food allergies, consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible.