Are you and your little one beginning your weaning adventure? Check out our guide below - full of tips, recipes and advice.
Current national guidelines from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland recommend that a baby should be weaned around 6 months and no earlier than 17weeks.
- Stage 1 First
tastes: 6 months
- Stage 1 - First 2
weeks: 6 months
- Stage 2:
- Stage 3:
- Stage 4:
12 months +
- Baby’s first tastes may be anywhere between 4-6 months depending on baby’s individual nutritional needs and when they are ready to begin weaning.
- Getting your baby used to solids will take time. Try not to rush it and be patient.
- At first try very small spoonfuls at a time. Your baby may seem to be spitting it out, working it out of their mouth with their tongue. This doesn’t mean they don’t like it, they are just just getting used to spoon feeding.
- The texture should be a smooth and runny consistency.
- The amounts of food on the chart are only a guide. Be flexible as your baby’s appetite may change each day.
- Build up the portion size gradually. When your baby is taking around 6 teaspoons you can introduce a second meal and then a third.
- New foods should be introduced slowly, 1-2 days apart, to pick up any sensitivities to new foods.
- During stage 1 the texture should progress from a smooth and runny consistency to a slightly thicker puree with no lumps.
- A variety of tastes, mashed textures and ironrich foods should be on your baby’s menu.
- Their taste buds have been tickled by simple starter tastes and now they are ready to experience a wider range of healthy new foods and exciting flavours.
- Soft finger foods can be introduced during this stage, your baby can practice using the thumb and forefinger to pick things up.
- All babies should be introduced to gluten at about 6 months of age. Introduce small amounts of gluten to start with, gradually increasing over the next 4 weeks.
- The need for iron is greater now than any other stage of life, so it’s important to include iron-rich foods in the diet.
- As your baby gets older, there are very few foods that they cannot have but try to avoid too much salt and sugar.
- Although you may be tempted to give your baby the same foods as your older children or even yourself, it is important to give your baby the right type of foods to provide the correct balance of nutrients.
- At the start of this stage move on from a mashed texture to lumpier foods by mashing less well and adding less milk so the food becomes increasingly thicker and lumpier.
- Once lumpier foods are tolerated move to chopped foods. You can introduce firmer finger foods as soon as your little one is ready.
- To get the right balance your toddler needs 3 main meals per day and 2-3 healthy snacks in between.
- Remember, as your toddler learns a lot by mimicking you, family meals are a great way to develop their social skills and appreciation for new foods.
- Including Cow and Gate growing up milk as part of your toddler’s diet makes a lot of sense at this stage.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breastfeeding is best for your baby as it is perfectly suited to nourish infants and protect them from illnesses such as ear infections, stomach upsets, diabetes, eczema and obesity. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the rst weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant milk should be considered. Improper use of an infant milk or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant milk, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Growing up milk should be used as part of a healthy balanced diet. Always consult your doctor, midwife or public health nurse for advice about feeding your baby.