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Online Weaning Guide

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Moving on to solids...

Weaning or the introduction of solids helps to expand your baby’s
diet. This allows them to get used to foods other than milk and
introduce new textures and flavours. It also helps them to prepare
for when milk alone will not meet all of their nutritional needs as
they become more independent. Your baby will require additional
calories and nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, that
solid foods can provide. Gradually, solids will become the most
significant part of your baby’s diet.

When?

  • Latest national guidelines (FSAI 2011) recommend that weaning should begin at around 6 months of age, not before 17 weeks of age and should not be delayed beyond 26 weeks of age.
  • It is important that you do not feed your baby solids before 4 months (or 17 weeks). This is because a baby’s digestive system is not yet mature enough to digest anything other than milk, and it can increase their risk of allergy if solids are introduced too early.
  • It is important to wait until your baby is showing signs of being ready to wean.

Signs your baby is ready for solid food:

  • Shows an interest in foods that others are eating
  • Sucks on fists or tries to put objects into their mouth
  • Demands milk feeds more frequently
  • Appears to be still hungry after a milk feed
  • May wake up for more milk feeds during the night.

Enjoy! Weaning can be fun

Allow plenty of time for feeding so you’re
not worried or tense. Weaning should be
an enjoyable experience for both you and
your baby.

How? start small

  • Baby’s first tastes of solid foods may begin anywhere between 4-6 months depending on their individual nutritional needs and when they are ready to begin solids.
  • Remember, up to now, your baby has only been used to drinking their usual milk. The idea of ‘eating from a spoon’ is a very new skill that your baby has to learn and practice.
  • Offer a small amount of puréed (soft, runny texture) food to start with – 1 or 2 teaspoons after a milk feed.
  • Place about a quarter of the spoon onto their tongue and allow them to suck the food off the spoon.

First foods should be:

1. Thin & runny

  • Start with a runny, liquid-like consistency similar to milk and gradually make the consistency thicker as your baby gets used to eating from a spoon.
  • Milupa Pure Baby Rice is as an ideal first food because of its gentle flavour and runny consistency.
  • Puréed vegetables and fruit, such as carrots, sweet potato, apples or pears are also suitable first foods for babies.

2. Smooth to start

  • Your baby does not yet have the ability to chew, so ensure there are no lumps and their food is smooth throughout. You will find a blender helpful.

3. Introduce one new food at a time

  • Foods should be introduced one at a time, leaving a few days between the addition of each new food. In this way, any adverse reaction to a new food can be spotted more easily.

Milupa Pure Baby
rice with apple purée

Suitable from 4-6 months onwards

Ingredients:

  • 1 level tbsp apple purée
  • 2 tsp baby rice
  • Your baby’s usual milk

Method:

  1. Spoon the apple purée into a small bowl and stir in the Milupa Pure Baby Rice (see mixing instructions on pack).
  2. Add enough warmed milk to make a smooth, runny purée, stirring well.

Why Milupa cereals?

Milupa cereals are made with the finest quality cereal grains and are fortified with other essential vitamins and minerals, providing nutritious foods for your baby. Milupa cereals have brought nutritional goodness to babies for generations.

Textures

  • As your baby becomes well established on solids,
    you should start to introduce different textures
  • At this stage, most babies won’t have a lot of teeth
    so will only use gums to chew food.
  • Softly cooked, mashed, coarsely chopped or flaked foods
    work well to give them plenty of chewing practice.

Finger foods

Allow babies to feed themselves once they express an interest in picking up the food. You can begin offering soft finger foods from about 6 months. Offer your baby simple foods such as the following:

Ripe, soft, peeled fruit –

banana, melon, peach, nectarine

Fingers of buttered toast

Well cooked pasta shapes

Soft Cooked carrot or parsnip sticks

Did you know...?

  • Red meat, chicken and fish are all suitable from the early stages of weaning once they are well cooked and there are no bones.
  • Well cooked eggs such as hard boiled eggs or scrambled eggs
    are suitable from 6 months onwards.

Fact:

Chewing and biting skills need to be developed at this stage as these new skills encourage and exercise the muscles in the mouth, which are important for speech development.

Tips:

  • If your baby refuses lumpy foods initially, try adding just a little grated or mashed food to a smooth purée.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix savoury with sweet e.g. vegetables with fruit; carrot & apple or pear & avocado are very tasty combinations.

Fact:

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. All babies should be introduced to gluten at about 6 months of age. Very small amounts should be introduced at first with the amount and frequency increasing gradually over the next 4-6 weeks.

Note on allergy

All allergies need to be diagnosed by a healthcare professional. If you are concerned about a suspected allergy or a family history of allergies, speak to your healthcare professional before avoiding particular foods or food groups.

Weaning... Do's

  • Sit your baby upright
  • Use a flat, narrow weaning spoon
  • Ensure all equipment is clean
  • Ensure your baby is secure if
    a feeding chair is used
  • Be patient, new skills have
    to be learned!
  • Introduce a beaker at 6 months.

Weaning... Dont's

  • Leave your baby alone with
    food or drink
  • Overload the teaspoon
  • Add salt or sugar to your baby’s
    foods or drinks
  • Add weaning foods to the bottle
  • Rush your baby to eat at mealtimes.

Milupa creamed porridge with banana

Suitable from 6 months

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of sliced banana
  • 1 tbsp of Milupa creamed porridge
  • Cooled previously boiled water
    (see mixing instructions on pack)

Method

  1. Mash the banana in a small bowl with a
    fork until it is smooth and runny.
  2. Add the baby porridge and enough water
    (or milk) to make a smooth, runny purée,
    stirring well.

Looking after teeth:

  • Care for your baby’s teeth by cleaning
    gently from the time of their appearance with
    a soft brush and water.
  • Fluoride toothpaste is not suitable for children
    under 2 years of age. After 2 years, a pea-sized
    amount of toothpaste can be used.
  • Milk and cooled, previously boiled water are
    the most tooth-friendly drinks.
  • Sugary snacks such as sweet biscuits, chocolate
    or sweets will damage your baby’s teeth.

Safety First

Cleanliness and food hygiene are extremely important
around young babies. The following are some basic
hygiene rules when preparing food for your baby:

  • Wash your hands before touching food
  • Thoroughly clean all utensils before using them
  • Make sure food is prepared and cooked
    hygienically and safely.

During this stage, your baby
should be having lumpy and chopped foods

Firmer finger foods such as fingers of cheese
on toast, apple slices or unsalted crackers can
be given at this stage.

If your baby is having difficulty moving onto lumpier
food, you could add a teaspoon of mashed food to
the usual puréed meal to make it a little thicker.
You can then gradually increase the number
of teaspoons of lumpier food.

Haddock with Sweet Potato

Recipe suitable from 10 months

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • ½ fillet of haddock
  • 1 tbsp of baby’s usual milk
  • A little olive oil

Method

  1. Put the sweet potatoes into a
    saucepan, cover with water and bring
    to the boil.
  2. Cover saucepan with lid and simmer
    for 20 minutes or until soft.
  3. Place the haddock in an oven dish
    with a small drop of olive oil.
  4. Cover with foil and cook in an oven
    preheated to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4,
    for 20 minutes.
  5. When the fish and potato are
    cooked, place in a blender along with
    the milk and purée until smooth.

Foods to avoid

Foods to avoid before 12 months

Added Salt

Baby’s kidneys are unable to process added salt like adults.
Added salt is often found in gravies and packet sauces.

Added Sugar

Added sugar encourages a sweet tooth and may lead to
tooth decay. It is often found in sugary treats and drinks.

Honey

Honey is not suitable for babies as there is
a small risk of botulism.

Soft & Unpasteurised Cheeses

Cheeses such as blue cheese and brie should be
avoided due to this risk of listeria food poisoning.

Undercooked Eggs

Undercooked eggs should be avoided due to the
risk of salmonella.

Whole & Chopped Nuts

Whole and chopped nuts should be avoided due to
the risk of choking.

Drinks to avoid before 12 months

Fizzy Drinks & Squashes

Fizzy drinks and squashes may be too acidic and may
contain artificial colourings, additives and/or sweeteners.
They can also be harmful for developing healthy
teeth and gums.

standard Cow’s MILK/Goat’s Milk

These milks are low in key nutrients such as iron
and vitamin D, which are essential for growing babies.

Tea/Coffee

Tea contains tannins which interfere with the absorption
of iron. Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant.

Note:

Bottled or mineral water is
fine to give to babies once
it has a low mineral content.
There should be less than
20mg of sodium in a litre.
Sodium is displayed as ‘Na’
on the ingredients label
of bottled water.
Bottled water must still
be boiled and cooled before
giving it to babies under
12 months.

Suitable foods for toddlers 1-3 years

Your little one is beginning to get more
active and using up a lot more of the essential
nutrients. Remember, toddlers have different
nutritional needs to adults – because they only
have little tummies, they require a little food
more often. Aim for 3 main meals and 2-3
healthy snacks in between meals each day.

Variety is the key...

Your toddler is now growing rapidly and needs
nutritious foods with a range of tastes, flavours
and textures. A varied diet should ensure that
your growing toddler gets the right balance
of nutrients. Try to ensure that you give your
toddler foods from each of the main food
groups from the food pyramid.

Group 1

Bread, Cereals and Potatoes - 4 portions every day.
Starchy foods help your toddler maintain high energy levels.

Group 2

Fruit & Vegetables - 2-4 portions every day. Fruit and vegetables provide
key nutrients like vitamins and minerals – the more colourful the better.

Group 3

Milk, Cheese & Yoghurt - 3 portions every day.
Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt provide calcium
which is vital for developing bones and teeth. Low-fat milk is not
recommended as a main milk drink under 2 years of age.

Group 4

Meat, Fish & Alternatives - 2 small portions every day. Foods like meat,
fish, pulses and eggs are a vital source of protein and iron. Protein is a key
nutrient for healthy growth and development.
Iron is especially important for normal brain development.

Group 5

Top Shelf - Sparingly
Sweets and chocolate treats should be given least often
and only in very small quantities as a real treat.

Food Pyramid

For Toddlers aged 1-3

Group 5

Very small amounts

Cakes, Biscuits, Chocolates,
Sweets & Crisps

Group 4

x 2 small portions

Meat, Fish & Alternatives

Group 3

x 3

Milk, Yoghurt & Cheese

Group 2

x 2-4

Fruit & Vegetables

Group 1

x4

Breads, Cereals
& Potatoes

REMEMBER

The more varied the diet is, the more nutrients
your baby is getting and the less likely your baby is
to become a fussy eater later on. It will also be easier to
introduce them to family meals as they get older.