As a qualified teacher, mum, parenting coach and all-round Early Years expert, Sophie has a wealth of practical, real life experience to share with parents.
As a mum of two and a registered GP, Stephanie has seen more than her fair share of little ones! She has lots of practical tips and professional know-how on hand to help parents.
Laura is our nutrition whizz – bringing her expert advice and experience from working with chefs, schools and nurseries to the Kiddylicious expert panel.
Think about lovely cooling fruit and veg – watermelon is a lovely option here. And cucumbers are great, but they’re not as soft, so I wouldn’t offer them at the beginning. They are good to chew on, especially if your baby is teething at the same time. They are also great for practicing that pincer grip from around nine months or so. Grated cucumber is a good and hydrating food.
In the summer months when we get hot, we might notice that our appetite changes, usually meaning that we don’t want to eat as much. You might notice that in babies too. A baby’s appetite will vary on a day-to-day basis. If your baby’s not feeling well, or if you think they are teething, then that’s going to change their appetite. There is a lot of focus on volume – how much food should you be giving your baby? You need to remember that initially, it’s just all about those first tastes. It’s such a frequently asked question, how much should my baby have to eat at the beginning? As long as they are having their usual milk feeds, they will be fine with just small amounts of food at first.
In spring and summer, I think you quite naturally offer more ‘picky’ food, whether it’s a picnic, or foods that are handheld and that you can share. This creates more interaction between parents and babies and children, which is great.
Parents probably feel more confident giving finger foods in the spring and summer because they can offer things that feel familiar and that can be served cold. If you’re weaning in the winter and you make stew with dumplings or something like that, you might feel that you can’t really give it to your baby to get their hands into! So, in that sense, spring and summer is a great time to make a start with easy finger foods and baby-led weaning.
You can also offer smoothies and frozen yoghurt – things that are still nutritious but they are cooler. These are not just good in hot weather but also when they’re teething, they might find that soothing.
I’m a big fan of freezing yoghurt spread out on a baking sheet, because you can put swirls of nut butter in and it’s a good way to get protein. You can freeze fruits and vegetables on the top as well.