Moving from milk to solids is pretty exciting for baby and you too. There are lots of tasty new flavours and interesting textures to discover, and feeding time involves a lot more fun and games than a simple breast or bottle. Babies eat differently from adults (you can’t start them off with a full roast dinner), so it’s perfectly natural to have a few questions.
How do I know if my baby’s ready to start weaning?
You should start thinking about weaning your baby when they reach six months old. They’re all set to wean if they can sit up and hold their head steady, and have enough co-ordination to pick up food and pop it in their mouths. They should also take an interest in what you are eating.
How much should my baby eat?
Not very much to begin with. Babies have small tummies, so a couple of teaspoons once a day is fine to begin with. Babies’ appetites vary, so if they want to eat more you can let them. Likewise, don’t force them to eat if they’re not too keen on it.
What counts as a portion of fruit or veg?
Even babies need to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg a day. If that sounds like a lot, just remember that a portion is what they can hold in a closed fist. One or two floret of steamed pureed broccoli, 1 mashed banana, half a mashed avocado and a couple of cooked pureed carrots.
Why doesn’t my baby want to eat?
Chances are they’ve already had enough to fill their tiny tum and don’t really feel hungry. If your little one is tucking into a good variety of food when they do eat, are growing well and are generally healthy then you can relax they’re doing just fine. Remember to give their pureed food first and then their normal breast or formal feed.
How can I make sure my baby’s getting enough iron?
At six months your little one needs more iron than they can get from milk. Red meat is a great source of iron, and so are veggies like spinach, sweet potato, plus lentils and mashed beans. Eggs are also iron-rich. Aim for one meaty portion of iron a day, or two veggie ones. Foods high in vitamin C also help the body to absorb iron. If you have any further questions about whether your baby is getting enough iron – speak to your health visitor.
Can I wean my baby healthily on a vegetarian diet?
Of course! It takes a bit more planning as you need to make sure they get plenty of iron. Vegan diets are a bit trickier because babies have small tummies, and fibre-rich foods can fill them up. However, adding a dash of olive oil to lentils can up the calorie content.