Weaning Advice from Latch to Ladle
It's weaning week again so the perfect time to take a look at when to start and how to progress through this fun stage!
I asked the lovely Raphaella Rookes from Cheltenham based Weaning specialist at Latch to Ladle to put together the essential advice for you. Raphaella is a Specialist Paediatric Dietician and a mum to Monty who has recently had his own fun weaning.
When to start weaning?
The National advice is to start weaning at 6 months and not before 17 weeks. You may be advised by your GP or Health Visitor to start before 6 months if your little one has reflux or a higher risk of an allergic reaction. Signs to look out for that baby is ready to be weaned?
- Is your baby able to hold their neck and head up unsupported for at least ten minutes?
- Does your baby show good hand-eye-mouth coordination? Are they bringing toys up to their mouth and chewing on them?
- Has your baby lost their tongue thrust? (Not all babies have a prominent tongue thrust but if they do, we need to wait for that to stop before progressing with weaning.
- If you can answer yes to the three above points then you are good to go!
What meals to serve & when?
Check out the meal plans at latchtoladle.com where tailored meal plans are there to suit you and your little one.The general advice when progressing with weaning is as follows:
- Weeks 1 & 2: Introduce bitter vegetables once a day – combination of puree and finger foods (lunchtime tends to be best)
- Weeks 3 & 4: Progress to two meals per day (breakfast and lunch) and start to introduce combinations of flavours with 2-3 ingredients per meal e.g. tuna pasta with sweetcorn, carrot porridge, potato and swede mash
- Weeks 5 onwards: Build up to three meals per day with lots of combinations of flavours. Use herbs to flavour food and introduce allergens right from the get go! Check out latchtoladle.com for lots more advice on introducing allergens and meal ideas
Once you’ve started weaning, you’ll realise just how much fun it can be! Although equally frustrating at times! A good technique from early on is to offer meals in different environments to add to the mealtime experience for little ones. This may be picnics, eating outside and now things are opening up more may be food on the go too! So, what are good foods to take out and about?
- Bread sticks, soft fruit, puffs and dry cereal, soft vegetable sticks, cooked pasta shells, avocado slices, pinwheels (always a Mum fave!), hard boiled egg slices, cheese cubes, chickpeas, rice cakes with nut butter and lots more besides! A great way of taking these foods out and about? Use Nom nom Kids pouches – they are a firm favourite in our house!
How can you make weaning run more smoothly?
When it comes to weaning, like lots of things when babies are developing, there are good and bad days. Weaning is a learning process and some days your little one will gobble up their scrambled egg on toast and other days they’ll throw it all on the floor. Where possible, try and eat together as a family as little ones learn so much from you from how you eat, to using cutlery, to pacing at mealtimes too.
Try and avoid distractions at mealtimes like tablets and TVs and limit mealtimes where possible to 10-15 minutes maximum – they’ll soon get bored after that! The main thing is to try and be positive and praise good eating behaviours and ignore the negative ones where you can…! Take lots of photos along your weaning journey as it really does fly by!
For your one stop shop on weaning and feeding advice, visit latchtoladle.com where Raphaella, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian, can provide bespoke advice to suit you and your family’s needs.
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Check out our range of reusable food pouches and snack bags to help you with taking foods out and about with you. Perfect for weaning and well beyond, these handy bags help you save waste and feed your little ones whilst out. All products are possible to wash in the dishwasher or by hand.