If you are about to start your baby on solid food, you probably have a few questions about how it all works – especially if this is your first baby.
Today we have some tips to make the weaning process as hassle free as possible.
All of this information (and more) is available in our Healthy Kids Cookbook – you can check it out here.healthy_eating

When should I start?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines for Infant Feeding recommend that if your child was born healthy and there are no allergies in your family you could introduce solids from around 6 months of age.
Of course, all babies are different and you might find that some babies are happy to start earlier or wait a little longer.
Watch for signs from your baby that they are interested in food such as watching you eat (some babies will even try to grab a piece of toast from your hands!).

 What equipment will I need?

  • Some soft tipped spoons are helpful as they will be gentle on your baby’s little mouth.
  • You’ll also need some bibs to catch the inevitable spills.
  • A highchair that is easy to clean – you can also get padded inserts to help your baby sit comfortably in the chair.
  • Small bowls with lids to serve the food from and take with you when you go out.
  • A food processor or blender to puree the foods.
  • Ice cube trays to freeze portions of food.
  • Lots of patience with the mess that is likely to be all over baby’s face, hands, clothes, high chair – and of course you.
  • Wipes or flannels to clean up afterwards. Lots of.Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 2.31.07 pm

Rice Cereal with Brown Legumes from the Healthy Kids Cookbook

How often should I introduce a new food?

It’s best to keep it simple at first, and just introduce a new food every few days. If your baby has an intolerance to any foods it can take up to 72 hours to present.
You might worry that your baby will get bored of eating the same things over and over, but don’t stress. Remember they’ve been having nothing but milk up until now, so don’t feel as though you need to be offering an extensive menu selection.

Do I need to puree everything?

Start with smooth, liquid type purees and then as your baby gets more confident you can slowly introduce more texture and lumps.
Lumps and bumps are important for baby to eventually get used to (down the track), as it is important for their oral development and acceptance of foods.
Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 2.26.19 pm
Rice Cereal with Peas from the Healthy Kids Cookbook

Are there any foods I need to avoid at first?

Yes. Honey, nuts, sugar and salt should be avoided. Find out more on this topic in our Healthy Kids Cookbook.

 What if my baby doesn’t seem interested?

It’s important to be patient as you introduce foods. Some babies will happily tuck in from day 1 while others may spit everything out or turn their heads away.
Don’t start off by making up huge amounts of food for your baby. Offer just a few spoonfuls and test the waters.
If they are happy to eat the food you are offering, great. If not, don’t stress. Just toss it out and try again the next day.

What drinks should I offer my baby?

Continue to offer breastmilk or formula as you normally would. You may find it suits your baby better to allow around an hour between a milk feed and solids.
You can also offer cooled boiled water when your baby has finished eating. You could try this in a bottle or sippy cup.
There is no need to offer babies other drinks such as juice or tea – water or milk is the best option.

When can I introduce cow’s milk?

It’s recommended that you wait to try your baby on regular cow’s milk until they are 12 months of age. There’s no need for a healthy toddler to continue with formula after their first birthday.

What are some good introductory foods?

healthy_eatingRice cereal has always been suggested as a great first food (check out the Healthy Kids Cookbook for our too-easy recipe to make your own).
You could also offer some steamed and pureed vegetables such as sweet potato, peas or carrot (or any combination).
Lots of babies like steamed and pureed apple or pear too. You can also add cinnamon to vary the flavour.

Do I need to cook everything fresh for each meal?

Of course you can if you want to, but you may find it too time consuming. Once your baby has shown that they are happy to eat a certain food (say, sweet potato) you can then stock up.
You could boil or steam a larger amount of sweet potato and then place some of it in a bowl in the fridge to use right away, and then rest into an ice cube tray. Once cooled, freeze overnight and then just pop out the portions to defrost as needed.
Want more information? Our Kids Recipe Book has so much to offer including:

  • stacks of baby food recipes
  • tips for introducing textured foods
  • ideas for healthy finger foods
  • foods to help your bub with the discomfort of teething

All designed to encourage a happy and healthy introductory food experience for your little one. Preview or buy the book here.
If you want to save money on household shopping bills and getting healthy then get our FREE guide to how you can save up to $150 in our FREE Free Budget Guide by entering your details below

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