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Weaning Tips

In this article weíll look at the signs that your little one is ready to try solid foods, as well as some tips for starting weaning.

Weaning tips from Cow & Gate Foods

Weaning is another exciting milestone for you and your baby. The Department of Health recommend weaning at around 6 months. Every baby is different, so you will be able to tell your baby is ready to move on to solids when you observe the following signs:

  • Your baby is able to swallow food - getting more in, than around, their mouth
  • Your baby is sitting up and holding their head steady
  • Your baby is directing objects towards their mouth and putting them in their mouth

Breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life. Please speak with a healthcare professional before introducing solid foods.

5 steps to weaning

We know that weaning can be a confusing and overwhelming time for parents. As experts in weaning, Cow & Gate Foods have created a 5 Step Weaning Plan with simple, practical advice to help you and your little one as you embark on the weaning journey. We are passionately committed to producing quality food for your baby. Thatís why our yummy baby food is full of responsible grown ingredients, tailored in texture and taste for your little one.

Our guide helps to ensure that your babyís first tastes in food are varied and delicious and to encourage positive eating habits from their first spoon onwards.

1. Start with single vegetables and add thickness & texture

To encourage your little one to become a veg lover, help shape their taste preferences by giving them veggies early on in the weaning journey. Research has shown that by offering single veg for the first two weeks of weaning, you can help increase their vegetable acceptance later on. But all babies are different, so allow them to progress at their own pace.

The introduction of texture is also an important part of weaning. While single veg purees are a great way to start the introduction of veggies tastes, baby rice can be a nice way to introduce your little one to their first thicker textures! Unlike adult rice which must be cooked, baby rice is a fine milled grain that can be prepared with your babyís usual milk for a familiar taste and exciting texture.

2. Mix it up with new fruit and vegetables flavours

Introduce a range of veg and fruit flavours now and theyíll be more likely to be adventurous eaters later on.

As well as new tastes, itís time to vary the textures. At 6 to 7 months, you can start to offer your little one thicker purees and very soft lumps. You can also try different types of soft finger food.

Remember: it can take 8 to 10 tries before your little one will accept a new food Ė keep trying!

3. Keep going with veggies and introduce meat, fish, other proteins, dairy and carbohydrates

Have fun with yummy new combinations and exciting new ingredients.

Now you can start to be adventurous, adding new food groups to make sure your little one is getting a balanced diet.

4. Introduce mealtimes, starting with brekkie

Breakfast is a great time to try new things, because your little one is raring to go in the morning.

Creamy baby porridge with small, soft lumps makes a good first breakfast. You can add different fruits or a touch of cinnamon (but avoid adding sugar and honey!) for a yummy twist.

5. Get your little one into a routine by establishing three meals a day

Youíre nearly there! Soon youíll be enjoying healthy, happy mealtimes as a family.

With your little one almost ready to join the family for three meals a day (albeit a little smaller and mushier), itís time for them to try some new textures. Between 6 and 8 months, itís important that you gradually start to progress the texture to a thicker, mashed consistency and soft lumps, so that your little one continues to develop new feeding skills. At this stage, try mashing food where possible, rather than pureeing, to get your baby used to lumpier consistencies.

By completing these steps, your little one will have the opportunity to gain familiarity with increasingly textured meals and interesting food flavours, establishing good eating habits from their first spoon.