Weaning is a significant milestone in your baby’s development and an exciting journey for both you and your little one. Messy, fun and fascinating, weaning can also be frustrating and sometimes even daunting at times, which is why it can help to arm yourself with a few tried-and-tested tips from real parents. Of course, weaning is a unique experience for every parent and every baby- but a few helpful hacks and a little supportive advice can never harm. So, as we head in to Weaning Week 2023 here are some top weaning tips from some of your favourite influencers.
Make use of your freezer
@foodiefunwithus: “Family life can be hectic and the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours in the kitchen. Batch cooking is a great way to prevent this. Before baby turns 6 months start cooking that spaghetti bolognaise, vegetable tots or blueberry pancakes. Most batch cooked foods are safe to be frozen for up to 3 months. This means that come the time baby is ready to wean and you have ‘one of those days’, you can reach for the freezer without worrying what to cook!”
Embrace the mess
@sian.stephanie: Never cook just one meal. You don’t want to be prepping and cooking everyday - not all us have time for that. Instead, double up portions and double up prep to save yourself time in the future. For example you might cook a large omelette for them and then save the extra in the fridge for a meal tomorrow. Batch cook meals to build up a nice freezer stash for meals you can grab and defrost and reheat. It can even be as simple as when you’re cutting up fruit, chop up extra, chuck it in a tub for the fridge and you can just grab it and pop it on the plate next time you’re serving it.”
@eating.with.amelia_: “If your baby is refusing to eat for the first week, or even few weeks, don't worry! Breast or formula milk will give them everything they need for up to a year. So just have fun with it and let your baby enjoy exploring new tastes and textures.'
Don't be afraid if they gag (but stay alert to choking)
@Lifeofalora: “Gagging is actually good - it means baby has mastered the reflex to help prevent chocking. It also means that baby is getting used to different textures. REMEMBER: Loud and red = go ahead. Silent and blue = they need you.”
Variety over quantity
@Mamasyummymenu: “Focus on the eating skills your baby develops, not the actual consumption of food. Starting solid food is a gradual process that takes time. Try to not focus so much on the quantity your baby consumes and instead focus on making sure your baby is exposed to a variety of textures, colours, smells and tastes. Do not stress, it will all come with time.”
Encourage food diversity
@ariella_mila: “To encourage my little one to eat more lumpy types of food we gave her portions of our healthy cooked meals to eat at the same time. it opened her up to more textured and flavoured foods which she loves getting stuck into now!
Get creative with ice cube trays
@squashedpickle: “Batch cooking can save so much time. I love making veggie purées up on the weekend and freezing in ice cube trays. Mix them up it’s all about experimenting and having fun. Simply defrost to offer new flavours and a great addition to porridge and baby pasta.”
Enjoy family meals
@Jessicalouise.home: “Eat together as a family. Archie eats so much better when his highchair is at the dining table and he watches the whole family eat with him. It encourages him to try new things too!”