Making the switch to solid foods is an exciting time. At Piccolo, we know weaning can be somewhat daunting; from knowing what to feed them and when to wondering whether they’re getting the right balance of nutrients they need to grow.
As parents ourselves, we’ve pulled together our favourite tips and insights to help you along the way on your little one’s weaning adventure.
1. When do we start?
All babies are different so it’s important to trust yourself – you know what’s best for your baby. Some key signs that they’re ready include sitting upright, mastering hand-to-mouth coordination and making chewing motions. If they’re chewing their fist or simply reaching for food, it might not be time for them just yet.
2. Variety is key
It may be your little one that’s weaning, but we can all benefit from mixing it up and trying new flavours. Use the opportunity to branch out in your own diet by choosing various fruits and veg that you can experiment with at home.
Piccolo’s infant nutritionist, Alice Fotheringham, has created lots of simple and tasty recipes to help you whip up everything from first purees to finger foods and family dinners.
3. The lunchtime window
Introducing new foods lunchtime is a great approach. First thing in the morning, the only thing on baby’s mind is feeding - not the best time to give them new, unfamiliar foods. Same goes for the evenings when they’re simply after comfort and sleep.
Seize the opportunity at lunchtime when they’ll be most receptive to different flavours and textures.
4. Sometimes, sneaky is helpful
Finding banana chunks get thrown across the table no matter how many times you’ve tried? Try serving it up in a different way and see how they get on.
Banana yoghurt, mashing and freezing for easy banana ice cream, or sneaking it into something else are all great ways to ease them in until they’re ready to have it by itself.
5. Not eating?
This isn’t necessarily a worrying sign. Sometimes, there’s lots going on and food isn’t their top priority.
If they’d rather crawl around, play with their favourite toy or babble with their siblings, let them. It doesn’t usually last long so keep milk and food in sight – they soon come back round to it.
6. Keep persevering
Don’t worry if your little one doesn’t seem to like new foods straight off the bat. Did you know it can take up to 12 tries before a baby develops a taste for a new flavour?
A wrinkled nose or scrunched up face might not mean that food is forever off the cards –keep gently trying and it’ll soon be clear if it’s an absolute no-no.
7. Need a little help?
Remember, you’re not going it alone. Alice’s recipes are available online and Piccolo’s pouches can come in handy. As they grow, Piccolo’s snacks, including their new Mighty Melts and Oaty Bars, are also great convenient and healthy options.