Weaning: Some top advice from the Babease family
5 min read
Some top tips from Tom (Dad, Chef and Founder of Babease), and our friends Madeleine Shaw and Charlotte Stirling-Reed.
We know from experience that weaning can be a bit of a daunting concept. There’s so much information out there – it can feel like a bit of a mind-field at times! As parents to little Alex, we've learnt so much from friends, our dieticians and nutritionists and of course our BABEASE family along the way, so we have decided to share some key tips to help you with your journey. Food is there to be enjoyed, so introducing amazing tastes and textures to your little one’s palate should be an exciting adventure!
Some of our top advice!
- Start small by offering your baby one or two teaspoons or a few soft, ‘strips’ of finger food and gradually increase this over the coming days, taking your baby's lead.
- When your baby loses interest in the food or turns their head away from the spoon, it's a sign they've had enough. There really is no need to rush this process and never feel like you need to force your baby to eat. He or she will eat when the time is right.
- Your baby will pull some amazing faces when they're trying foods for the first time but don't be put off, it doesn't mean they're not enjoying their new adventure with food. Just imagine how amazing it must be to taste something for the very first time.
- Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food and allow them to feed themselves with their fingers as soon as they show an interest. It’s a great way to encourage a baby to enjoy food and allow them to grow up with a positive relationship with food.
- Always stay with your baby when they're eating due to the risk of choking.
- We also like to recommend that whenever you feed your baby, you also take time to sit down and have a little nibble with them, even if it’s a little rice cake, or even better the same thing as they are eating. It’s a great way to introduce meal times and make eating a family time, creating a fun social atmosphere around food; as it should be.
Further advice from some of the Babease team
Tom Redwood, Founder & Chef, Babease
"Don’t be put off by a food face! Think about it. In the first 6 months or so, your little one has only tasted milk, milk and more milk! So when it comes to new flavours, everything is new!! Try to start off with veggies to help develop the savour tastes buds and embrace the faces. Little Alex would pull faces with most new foods, from broccoli all the way through to Mango! A few sucks, nibbles and spoon-fulls later he would be humming like he’s eating the tastiest thing ever! In the early days, it’s not about quantity as they are getting everything they need from the milk. So sit back and relax and embrace the food face!"
Madeleine Shaw, nutritional therapist, best-selling author and blogger
"Eat with your kids, if you lead by example with good eating habits they will follow suit. They key to getting the right amount of nutrients into babies is variety. Mix up the grains, veg, fruit, meat, pulses that you use so they get a range of nutrients into them. Eating the rainbow and having a colourful plate will help hit these targets and make food more appetizing looking."
Charlotte Stirling-Reed, specialist in maternal, infant and child nutrition
"Have fun with weaning and think about it as a time of exploring and experimenting. Nutrition is important, but so is helping your little one to develop a healthy relationship with food and creating yourself a little foodie! Role modelling is key, but I always say to parents when it comes to weaning: be persistent and consistent and you'll always come out winning!"
We hope that this article has helped to clear up any weaning worries you may have. Please get in touch if you have any unanswered questions – the Babease team is here to help!