At Angels, we understand that introducing solid foods to your baby is a big milestone to hit! It may be worrying and overwhelming for some, that's why we aim to work with our parents to make this transition as smooth as possible.
At around 6 months old you can start to try a small amount of solid food, once a day, at a time that suits you both. By 7-9 months, your little one will have had some good practice learning how to eat! They learn a lot from watching you, so try to eat together as much as possible. Your baby will gradually move towards eating 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Offering a wide variety of different foods is important to ensure they get enough energy and nutrients (such as iron). Babies don't need salt or sugar added to their food (or cooking water) – salty food isn't good for their kidneys and sugar can cause tooth decay.
It's important to introduce foods that can trigger allergic reactions one at a time, in very small amounts, so that you can spot any reaction. These foods can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby's diet, just like any other foods:
eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
shellfish (don't serve raw or lightly cooked)
Once introduced and if tolerated, keep offering those foods as part of your baby’s usual diet (to minimise the risk of allergy). Read more about food allergies and what signs to look out for.
There are two different ways that you may wean your baby onto food.
When spoon feeding, it's best to start off by using fruit and vegetables that have been blended up. To ensure that the food has been pureed correctly, check that there is no lumps and that it's a smooth consistency. This will minimise any chocking hazards and the get your little one used to the new texture. As your baby gets older you can slowly begin introducing more solids, until they are eating confidently and are ready to try new food.
‘Baby-led’ feeding is where you offer your baby only finger foods and letting them explore and feed themselves from the start. You can do this by cutting up vegetable into finger-size pieces so that your child can grab at them and try them on their own. You can also use mashed up foods that the baby is able to eat using their hands e.g. potatoes, bananas etc.
However, you do not need to pick one singular technique to introduce solid foods to your baby, as you can use both techniques for an even more effective and smooth progress. If you wish to receive any advice about baby weaning or just want some support, please speak to a member of staff and they'll be more than willing to help!