Weaning is the beginning of an exciting adventure for your baby’s taste buds. However, sometimes it is difficult for parents to separate fact from fiction when it comes to weaning. And who can blame them with all the conflicting advice on the internet! Here are a few of the most common myths that we came across:
1. Can my baby eat eggs?
Yes! Eggs are suitable from 6 months onwards; just make sure they are well cooked. Hard boiled eggs, well-cooked scrambled eggs and omelettes are all perfect.
2. Do I need to avoid gluten in my baby’s diet?
No! Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. It should be introduced into your baby’s diet at around 6 months and not after 7 months. Research indicates introducing gluten after 7 months increases the risk of coeliac disease, type 1 diabetes and wheat allergy. Start with a small amount and increase the quantity gradually over the next 4-6 weeks.
3. I shouldn’t give my baby meat until they are a bit older, right?
False! Red meat, chicken and fish are all perfectly suitable from the beginning of weaning once they are well cooked and there are no bones. Meat can be blended or mashed so that it is the right texture for your baby no matter what stage of weaning they are at. It is best to start weaning with baby rice, pureed fruit or pureed vegetables and then after you have introduced a variety of different vegetables and fruits you can go ahead with the meat/fish.
4. My baby has a big appetite; I’m sure it’s okay to start weaning early.
False! A sudden increase in hunger does not mean your baby is ready to begin weaning. A more likely explanation for increased hunger is a growth spurt; normally this lasts a few days or up to a week. Simply increase the volume and frequency of feeds. It is recommended that weaning should begin when your baby is around 6 months old. The exact timing will vary between babies, let your baby be the guide and show you when they are ready. However, it is not recommended to begin weaning before your baby is 17 weeks.
5. If someone in my family has an allergy to a food then I shouldn’t give my baby that food
FALSE! Parents who have a history of allergy in the family can sometimes be wary of introducing certain foods to baby. However, latest research recommends not restricting your baby’s diet unless they have been diagnosed with an allergy. Introduce small amounts of the food to begin with and always speak to your doctor if you are worried.