Thursday, 26 January 2012

Baby Weaning & Advice From HiPP Experts

When Ben was six months old we began weaning him on to solids and decided to follow the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) approach. BLW is very simple really, it just means that rather than giving your baby purees you let them feed themselves by giving them a selection of finger-sized foods to choose from.  In turn this means they are not only learning about new foods but also developing their hand-eye co-ordination along with the self-confidence and independence such an approach allows. I still remember how excited I was the first time Ben actually ate real food, it felt like such a huge milestone!

Ben enjoying his food just two months into weaning
Some of the first foods Ben had were baby rice crackers and snacks such as these from HiPP Organic, toast, crumpets, pasta, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, chicken, steak, mango, apple, pineapple, tomatoes - I could go on and on, he really did pretty much try everything from the start. One of the benefits to us as a family was that I started to cook a lot healthier as Ben began eating whatever we were so I always made sure it was baby friendly yet adult appealing.

Now I look back I realise that we were really lucky in how easily and well Ben took to weaning. It can be a bit of a battle with some babies which I can imagine is very stressful and extremely worrying for their parents. This is why when HiPP contacted me and asked if I would share some information and tips on weaning I was more than happy to do so. Here is what they have to say:

Problems encountered when weaning – discussed by HiPP, the weaning experts
Without a doubt, weaning is an exciting event – watching your little one begin to enjoy foods and mealtimes with the rest of the family. Although in theory this is all plain sailing, sometimes parents feel that isn’t going quite as it should.

HiPP Organic – baby food makers and weaning experts – discuss some of the common concerns and offer solutions below.

Constipation can be fairly common in infants when weaning and is usually as a result of a change in fluid intake. The amount of milk babies take on can dip as a result of eating more food – and this can cause constipation.

A good tip is make sure your little one always has access to a drink of water, milk or diluted fruit juice either after or during mealtimes to make sure they are getting enough fluid.

Try to make sure each meal contains some fruit or vegetables too, as these contain fibre and can help to prevent constipation. Wholewheat and wholegrain products also contain fibre (such as grainy bread, lentils and wholegrain cereals) which are good but can contain too much fibre for little tummies and fill them up before they can meet their energy needs.

How much fruit and veg should they be getting?
Fruit and vegetables are very important parts of our diet – both for adults and for babies. They contain fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as anti-oxidants. They also taste great!

The 5-a-day rule for adults handily also applies to infants, making it easy to remember. It’s only the portion size which changes. Helen, the HiPP nutritionist recommends the following as a rough guide:

30g = 1 portion from 6 months old
35g = 1 portion from 7 months old
40g = 1 portion from 10 months old

Juices are slightly different as it does not have any fibre and therefore has more sugar. Juice only counts as one portion of your 5-a-day – no matter how much you have!

What foods can I introduce when?
The answer depends on what age you start weaning. Before six months, if you have started weaning you should avoid gluten, a protein which is found in wheat, rye and barley (so avoid pasta and breads) as well as fish, shellfish, nuts, seeds, and ‘high-allergen’ foods such as mustard and celery.

After six months most of these can be safely introduced providing your child does not have an allergy to them.

The exceptions are whole nuts (which should not be introduced until 3 years of age due to a risk of choking); honey (which should not be given until 12 months of age) and cows’ milk as a main drink until 12 months of age. 

How much food is enough?
This is a pretty common concern during weaning and there isn’t one straightforward answer. It depends on lots of different factors such as what age they are, when you started weaning, how much milk they are having etc etc.

The important thing as a parent is just to relax and trust your instincts. Babies are born with the ability to regulate their own appetite so providing you are offering a variety of foods, three times a day in addition to their usual milk they will let you know when they are full.

Other good indicators are that they appear well, are gaining weight at a steady pace and are regularly filling nappies.

If you are concerned that they are not getting enough either speak to your health visitor or ask one of the HiPP experts here.

Do I change milks now weaning has started?
There is no reason why you need to change milks now that weaning has started. Babies can continue with breastmilk or formula milk until they are 12 months old as their man source of milk. At 12 months you can switch to cows’ milk but it needs to be full-fat (and preferably organic).

Semi-skimmed milk can be used from 2 years of age if your child has a good diet.

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received a bundle of HiPP products but this has in no way biased my opinion - I believe the HiPP experts have shared some great tips and advice which I am happy to publish on my blog.


Jennypaulin said...

we like HiPP finger food and snack products too - just a brand I trust to give to my children . great photo of Ben at the start of this post x

Alice Smith said...

Constipation is a big problem in kids! My kid has been facing it too! Thanks for the helpful infor

Post a Comment