Expert / 11 March, 2020 / Ellie Thompson
Introducing your baby to solid foods can be a confusing time for many parents. New research from Public Health England found that one in three mothers (34%) felt pressure to wean their baby before six months, with 83% feeling they have to get it right all of the time as a mum.
However, the Start4Life weaning hub is packed with NHS-endorsed advice and tips for each stage. It contains simple healthy recipes and has everything parents need to know in one place, so they can introduce solid foods safely and healthily.
What’s more, the weaning hub has received praise from a host of celebrity parents including mum of one, actress Kara Tointon who said; “I started to introduce solid foods to Frey when he was around 6 months old. It’s been quite the journey as a first-time mum, and I had so many questions at the beginning which is why it is so important to have the Start4Life weaning hub as a trusted source of advice. It has been a lot of fun working out what foods he likes and the recipes on the Start4Life hub are a great source of inspiration for meal ideas.”
To help guide you on your weaning journey, we’ve spoken to Orla Hugueniot, a senior public health nutritionist and outlined a few tips and suggested recipes to help get you started.
Being adventurous with your own food, can be a very fun experiment. The same goes for your baby’s food. Now is the time to have some fun with your baby before they start to become picky eaters so don’t be afraid to introduce bold flavours. There is a tendency to think that babies won’t be able to handle anything strong or intense, with baby food often tasting quite bland. However, the more flavours your baby is exposed to at a young age, the most likely they are to eat a wider range of foods as they grow up!
Remember, your baby doesn’t need salt or sugar added to their food or cooking water at this age. Instead, herbs and spices are a great and natural way to open your baby’s mind to all kinds of flavours from across the world. Embrace your child’s curiosity at this precious age and broaden their horizons to the huge range of delicious tastes available!
Why not try this tasty Jamaican fish curry, packed full of flavours for your baby to explore:
When you begin weaning your baby, it is important to get them used to new tastes and textures. Remember that eating is a sensory experience, no matter what your age is! Whether you follow the baby-led weaning approach or the traditional approach, texture is important.
When children eat with their hands, it is often a messy affair. However, it is good to let them explore their food this way to discover textures, but also to help develop independence and enjoy their meal!
Why not try and make this delicious beetroot dip with pitta fingers to add a new texture and interesting colour to mealtime:
Babies learn from watching you eat, so try to feed them when you and the rest of the family are eating. This can also be a great time to bond and allow all members of the family to get involved. By making mealtimes a happy and joyful experience, you are
Introducing your baby to solid foods can seem like a daunting prospect, but remember that this is an exciting time in your child’s life so try to relax and enjoy yourself! If you have any questions or need some recipe inspiration, click here.