ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Weaning your baby/child onto solid food and the equipment you need

Updated on January 17, 2011
Let them play with the food.
Let them play with the food.

Weaning your baby onto solids can be easy

Weaning is one of the most important things we do for our children in the early stages of their lives. We understand that it is important for a child to move onto solids, from a milk diet so as they maintain a healthy diet and receive all the relevant and much needed vitamins and minerals that are needed for them to be able to grow up healthy and strong.

When should you start weaning your child?

Years ago it was the done thing for parents to wean their children as young as 6 weeks. Now, it is recommended by the Department of Health that we don't introduce solids until our baby has reached 21weeks. This is mainly due to the fact that following much research it has been found that weaning too early can increase the chances of allergies and other bowel conditions developing later in life.

However, there are still many parents who choose to wean earlier at around 3-4 months. This is usually due to the child becoming hungrier and not being satisfied with milk alone. If you consider introducing solids early then you should speak to your doctor or health visitor as there are some food groups that should be avoided.

Is my baby ready to start solids?

Before you start introducing solids, your baby should be showing some of the signs below;

1. The child should be showing an interest in what you eat

2. They should be able to sit up well holding their head and maintaining a steady, upright position

3. They should be starting to make a chewing motion with their mouth, practising the movement that is needed to move food from the front to the back of the mouth

4. They may become more unsettled, waking in the night when they had been sleeping through, shorter daytime naps

5. Most babies are ready to be introduced to solids when they have doubled their birth weight, this does sometimes happen before their 6th month.

How do I introduce solids?

Once you have established that your child is ready for solids, start by making sure you have all the necessary equipment;

· Bib, at least 1 for every meal per day (it can get very messy)

· An old towel, to put over your lap

· Soft tipped spoons, there are various types of these, some which change colour when applied to heated food

· Small bowls for the food

· Relevant food. The Department of Health recommends Baby Rice that is enriched with iron, mixed with their normal milk.

There are many other things that you can buy, but at the very beginning this is really all you need.

Before you start, make up a small bowl of baby rice. Get your spoon (you may want 2 so that your child can hold one as well) and put a bib on your child and a cloth over your lap (an old tea towel is good). Now your ready to start!

There are two ways of approaching it the first time, you can either offer the child some milk as you normally would, and then before they are fully satisfied offer them some of the Baby Rice as a taster to get them used to the texture of the food. Alternatively you can offer the Baby Rice first knowing that the child is hungry and therefore more likely to accept the new food.

What foods should I use?

Once you have an established routine you can start to add other foods. Baby Rice is an excellent food that can be added to all pureed fruits to make very good desserts. Remember that all fruits are an important source of vitamins, and therefore should be offered to your child as soon as possible so that they become accustomed to the taste.

Vegetables should also be added to your child’s diet as soon as possible as again they are a good source of vitamins and minerals. These can be cooked and then mashed into a pulp so that they have no lumps, these can be added at a later date when your child is older and has more teeth. Good vegetables to try at the beginning are Sweet potato, normal potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. All of these vegetables mash into a puree very easily with little effort. If the vegetables look a bit dry you can add gravy to them. There are various different makes of baby gravy’s out there, but look out for the normal Low Salt gravy granules that you would normally buy. Remember you can always make it up a bit weaker than they suggest and it may work out cheaper.

As your child gets older, you should be careful not to fall into the trap of buying all baby foods. Some of the foods i.e. cereals aimed at babies can be high in sugar with salt contents not too dissimilar to adult cereals. Remember your child is not going to be eating baby foods forever!

How can I prepare food in advance?

It may seem like a lot of hard work when people say about preparing meals for their child for the week ahead, but in actual fact it is very easy. When you cook your meal, cook a bit extra, pop it in an ice cube tray and freeze it. At the beginning 1 cube of mixed vegetable will be sufficient as a main course. All meats and vegetables can be frozen. Unfortunately fruit cannot be frozen very easily and therefore has to be made up freshly as and when you want it.

If you don’t wish to freeze the food and want it as fresh as possible, still cook a little extra when you do your own meal, then put the surplus in a bowl, cover it and place in the fridge for the following day.

If you are breastfeeding, you may find some of the links below useful.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)