Sophie Pickles

Early Years Child Development Specialist

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.

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Dr. Stephanie Ooi

General Practitioner

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.

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Laura Matthews

Nutritionist

Laura is our nutrition whizz – bringing her expert advice and experience from working with chefs, schools and nurseries to the Kiddylicious expert panel.

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Weaning in warmer weather

Sophie:

Weaning in warmer weather is great, because you can feed them outside. Weaning outside is a million times easier!

Laura:

In terms of the clear up!

Stephanie:

Yes, and because if it’s hot, you can just put them outside with just a nappy on. They can get messy and then just go straight into the bath. In the winter, I wouldn’t do that, I think you’d use long-sleeved bibs. Temperature-wise, I think it’s a huge advantage to be weaning in the warmer months.

Sophie:

Even if you’re inside, knowing that you can dress them in fewer clothes is more advantageous. In the winter, you don’t want to take their jumper off because they’ll be too cold – but you also don’t want spaghetti sauce all over it!

Stephanie:

Thinking about spring and summer, I guess the weaning journey can be so different for everyone. People will approach it in different ways and people have lots of different experiences.

On any given day, how your baby is feeling can change their appetite and that’s totally normal. This varies in every baby but certainly milk requirements might go up a little during the warmer months and they might be less interested in food when it’s really hot. Some might go from eating a full portion to half a portion. Sometimes they will miss whole meals and ask for a drink instead or a bit of fruit. You have to bear in mind that it could be that they’re not feeling well, or they’re teething, so other factors that could be at play.

Great spring and summer weaning foods

Laura:

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.

Stephanie:

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.

Laura:

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.

Sophie:

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.

Stephanie:

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.

Laura:

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.

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