Registered Nutrition Specialist
Healthy Eating Advice for Adults & Children
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Weaning your baby
Feeding your little person
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Are vegan diets safe for young children?
Top tips for parents/carers of young fussy eaters
Introducing vegetables first during weaning
What should I eat and drink during labour?
It is recommended that solid foods are introduced when your baby is around 6 months of age. Weaning too early, before 4 months, may increase the risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. However, weaning shouldn’t be delayed much beyond 6 months. Baby’s stores of essential nutrients, such as iron, are reduced by 6 months and need to be topped up by food.
It is not recommended that weaning is started at 3 months as baby’s digestive system and kidneys are not developed enough to process solid foods. Weaning too early can increase the risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.
When the baby is coping well with one meal a day and is taking on board the food offered, you can then start thinking about introducing a second meal. Some babies can be ready for a second meal quite early on in weaning whilst others may take a few weeks.
Cow’s milk should not be offered as a main drink until the baby is 12 months old. This is because cows’ milk does not contain enough iron to meet your baby’s needs. However, cow’s milk can be used in cooking. For example, to make cheese sauces or porridge.
Try to respond to your baby’s signs of hunger and fullness. Feed your baby in a way that is warm, patient and encouraging, without pressurising. This approach can encourage babies to eat appropriate amounts of food for their needs.
You can start offering small amounts of meat to your baby from 6 months. Remove any bones and make sure it is an appropriate texture and consistency for your baby.
Whole nuts should not be given to babies and young children due to the risk of choking. Milled nuts, finely chopped nuts or nut butters can be given from 6 months of age. If your baby is at higher risk of food allergy, speak to a health professional before introducing nuts into your baby’s diet.
Avoid giving your baby unpasteurised milk, unpasteurised milk products and raw shellfish due to the risk of food poisoning. Shark, marlin and swordfish should also be avoided. Honey should not be given to your baby until they are 12 months old as it can contain harmful bacteria which can cause infant botulism. Foods which are a choking risk, such as whole nuts and whole grapes, should be avoided. Watch how much salt is in your baby’s food. Babies under 12 months should have less than 1 g of salt per day as their kidneys cannot cope with very much salt.
Smooth purees are a great starting point but try to move to lumpier foods as soon as your baby is ready. Soft finger foods can be given from the start of complementary feeding. Soft lumps and finger foods can help your baby learn how to chew and get used to different textures. By 12 months of age, your baby should be eating family foods.
Exposure is key. Sometimes a baby needs to be offered food several times before they are willing to try it. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to explore new foods. Try to make mealtimes as relaxed and enjoyable as possible, without pressurising or bribing your baby to eat. Be a role model and eat with your baby. Eat the same foods as you want to encourage your baby to eat and show your enjoyment.
“Thank you so much for today, already your talk has helped us. You’re my new hero!”
MUM OF WILLIAM (12 MONTHS)
“Thank you so much for your help and advice, it has given me the confidence I need to start the weaning process!”
MUM OF SOPHIE (5 MONTHS)
“Thanks for passing on your invaluable knowledge, we now feel better prepared for whatever Luke throws at us (literally)!”
MUM TO LUKE (6 MONTHS)
“The nutrition plan is fabulous, thank you so much! The recipes are really tasty and it is great to know what portion sizes I should be having.”
“Thanks for the nutrition advice, I’ve changed my diet (as per your suggestions) and feel heaps better for it! ”
"Ros gave us a very personalised, specific action plan, packed with advice and tips, to support our son (and us) with the problem of fussy eating and the behaviours associated with this. We now feel better prepared and clear about the way forward. Would recommend Ros to anyone. She is professional, sensitive to her clients, and extremely knowledgeable. She also has her own children, so she can empathetically relate to us."
"Great workshop with lots of tips to take home and try! Fun evening with like minded struggling mums! I'm sure the recipes Ros kindly has shared with us will be a success as it sounds all absolutely yummy and easy to make!"
Contact me today! Haslemere & Surrey Nutritionist
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