Weaning and solids..
Whether you breast or bottle feed your baby, you should not introduce solids until at least 4 months. Some people may find they have a very hungry baby, however this just means they may need an extra breast or bottle feed, it is recommended that you only introduce solids between 4-6 months. There has been numerous studies into the links between childhood obesity and starting a solid feed too early. It’s worth checking this out on www.hse.ie and again if you feel you need to talk to your health nurse about it then go ahead, their always happy to help.
Moving to solids can be stressful for first time parents, especially when you haven’t a clue what to be feeding them. It’s very simple really, my number 1 rule would be to forget about the baby jars and sachets, and cook yourself. For the first few weeks of weaning baby rice and cereals are great, Milupa do a great range of baby rice’s and cereals check out www.milupa.com
Once their used to the baby rice then it’s time to move onto vegetables. Fruits are naturally high in sugar, so make sure to give baby more veggie mash then fruit. Once your baby has mastered the solid feed and you have introduced 3 solid feeds per day you will need to cut down their bottles, 3-4 bottles per day is fine, provided they are eating enough and staying hydrated. Remember to regularly check your babies weight to make sure they are in the healthy weight range for their age.
Top 10 Foods for babies (all foods must be pureed)
- Mashed up banana(Slow release sugars)
- Stewed apple(soluble fibres, preventing constipation)
- Stewed pear(soluble fibres)
- Stewed blueberries(Anti-oxidants)
- Mashed sweet potato(rich in Vitamin C)
- Mashed carrot(rich in Vitamin A)
- Mashed parsnip(Vitamin C and E)
- Butternut squash(Anti-oxidants)
- Steamed Broccolli and mashed potato(Superfoods, loaded with vitamins and minerals)
- Mashed Avocado(Loaded with good fats and full of vitamin E)
Introducing meat and dairy can be daunting, however the nutritional benefits are huge. The Iron in meat and fish and the calcium in dairy are very important to a child’s physical and cognitive development. Around 6-7 months is a good time to introduce meat and fish. Fish is a massive source of omega 3 which is extremely beneficial for brain development. Meat is a great source of protein and iron which helps growth and physical development. Dairy is a great source of calcium which is crucial for teeth and bone development.
Where you have decided your child will not eat meat, you will have to replace the lack of iron and protein with other foods..Dairy and Cheese are loaded with good fats and protein as well as Eggs, Fish and Avocado’s. Quorn have a great range of Iron foods full of protein and iron that you can add into your child’s diet.