Weaning

Weaning can typically be thought of in terms of 3 stages.

Stage 1

This is introducing the very first foods to your baby in the form of smooth purees and very soft finger foods. Tastes are introduced one at a time and baby is observed for possible reactions. At this stage baby cannot chew but they can move food forwards and backwards and swallow. This stage usually starts around 5-6 months and lasts for a couple of weeks. 


Stage 2

Stage 2 progresses to a wider variety of tastes, flavours and textures. Food can be a bit lumpier and can be mashed with a fork rather than using a hand blender or sieve. Flavours can be combined to make new and exciting meals and baby usually progresses to 3 meals a day. This stage is important because many of the nutrition reserves your baby was born with begin to run out. This stage usually begins around 7 months or slightly earlier if you have a keen eater. It usually lasts until baby is 9-10 months. 


Stage 3

Stage 3 is when your baby is a skilled chewer and can manage chopped family meals. This usually happens when your baby is around 10 months old. When planning your baby's meals from stage 2 onwards think in terms of 3 parts: 

  1. Providing an iron-rich protein such as meat, beans, lentils or eggs. 

  2. Adding vegetables and / or fruit which are high in vitamin C and will help with the iron absorption. 

  3. Adding in some energy providers - examples include: avocado, nut butters, yogurt, buttered toast, pasta, sweet potatoes and other grains. 

For more detailed information on weaning and nutritional needs of specific ages visit: https://www.childrensnutrition.co.uk/

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