Your Weaning Questions Answered
20th February 2020
- 7 months old and baby led weaning, should he still be having 5 7oz bottles a day?
Between 7 and 9 months the suggested intake for infant formula milk is around 600ml per day split between a number of bottles each day; perhaps at breakfast (150ml), lunch (150ml), tea (150ml) and before bed (150ml). At 10-12 months the suggested intake of infant formula reduces to around 400ml per day, as their food intake is simultaneously increased.
All babies are different, so be guided by your baby and their response to feeding. Some days they may drink less than others, depending if they are teething or poorly.
- How do I get my little one to eat fresh fruit? Doesn’t like the feel of them or blended, just pouches.
When you can try and eat with her, along with the rest of the family to be her role model, they are on a huge learning curve at this age! You could try adding fruit in meals too, e.g. diced mango, or pineapple in curries/stews, as well as offering as a finger food.
Continue to offer fruit regularly at mealtimes to allow for repeated exposure to these foods, and introduce different fruits to see if there are others she shows an interest in.
Consistency and perseverance are so important, keep offering fruit on a regular basis to increase her familiarity.
- Is there an amount of calories a 10 month should have? Or is it just a variety of fats/carb/veg etc.
The first year of life (so up to 12 months) is all about exposing them to a wide variety of foods and increasing their familiarity to them. It’s also important to introduce protein based foods at 6 months as their iron stores are depleted at this point.
Don’t be driven by calories, rather offer a variety of foods including starchy carbs (e.g. rice, pasta and bread), protein rich foods (e.g. eggs, beans, lentils, fish and poultry) and a range of fruit and vegetables for a balanced meal. Children are good at self regulating and they will eat to their appetite.
Take a look at the link below for more info on portion control and ideas around portion size: https://kiddylicious.com/portion-control/
- My 15m son isn’t eating anything but snacks like puffs, French fries etc. He’s stopped eating egg, chicken etc.
Around 12 months your little ones should be ready to transition to eating the same meals as the rest of the family, so where you can, sit and eat the same meal with your son and the rest of the family so he can mimic your eating behaviour, you’re his best role model!
Keep up a regular routine of set meal times each day and try to stay calm and relaxed if he shows resistance, so as not to make mealtimes more stressful, easier said than done I appreciate! Try and make sure there’s a big enough gap in between meals so that he is feeling hungry enough. Avoid pressuring him to eat, as this may make the situation worse.
Keep offering a variety of foods as they are more likely to accept and try them as they become more familiar. Repeated exposure is key. Typical meals should be based around starchy carbs (e.g. rice and pasta), protein rich foods (e.g. eggs, beans, lentils, fish and poultry), a range of fruit and vegetables and dairy foods (e.g. cheese and yoghurt).
- How do I get my child to like veg?
Where you can try and sit as a whole family and eat and enjoy your meal (and vegetables!) all together, so your child can see you enjoy all the foods on your plate.
Children need to try foods such as vegetables many times until they are familiar and accept them. This is tough to witness as a parent, but don’t give up and try offering it again!
In the meantime make sure to include some vegetables within meals (e.g. grated courgette or carrot in a pasta sauce) so you know they are getting some vegetables into their diet.
- How do I make my toddler eat healthy food? She literally won’t try anything, it’s a struggle.
It can take many times in offering a food for a child to accept it and become familiar with it (around 15-20 times!). The whole eating experience is new to them and they can be quite mistrustful of food as they are on a huge learning curve. S o perseverance is key and continue to offer finger foods until they become familiar with them. Being a good role model is important in helping shape their eating habits; you could try eating some finger foods with her as little ones pick up habits and behaviours from those they see around them.
Keep up a regular routine of set meal times each day and offering familiar foods and try to stay calm and relaxed so as not to make mealtimes stressful, easier said than done I appreciate! Make sure there’s a big enough gap before each meal time so they are hungry and ready to eat.
- I find I am becoming repetitive with snacks, any new ideas please!?
Snacks are a great way of getting extra nutrients into their diet. Little ones have small tummies so need to eat regularly too, and a snack can be a way to bridge the gap. Try any of these options: bagels, oatcakes, crumpets, pitta bread, tortilla wrap, breadsticks, plain pancake, served alongside some chopped fruit or vegetables.
Dips can be a good way of encouraging children to try different foods, especially vegetables or salad. Dip ideas include; guacamole (mashed avocado & lime), mild tomato salsa or houmous (made from chickpeas or beans) or as simple as soft cream cheese or cottage cheese. You can check out Kiddylicious’ dip ideas here: https://kiddylicious.com/blog/deliciously-dippy-recipes/
Kiddylicious also have their own houmous snack in 2 variants: plain or roasted redpepper houmous with dipper breadsticks on the side, both are a source of protein too: https://kiddylicious.com/product/houmous-dip-dip/
- How can I help my 1 year old want to eat?
Where you can try and have the whole family seat together and eat the same meal at mealtimes and offer your little one the chance to mimic your eating behaviour. Eating together gives you a chance to be a good role model to them in eating a balanced, healthy diet. Try inviting a friend or family member round with a little one of a similar age to embrace the social occasion!
Timing is also important, offer food when they aren’t too tired, so as to catch their interest at the right time.
Little ones can pull funny faces (i.e. looks of disgust!) when trying new foods, don’t think that they don’t like it, it’s just the whole eating experience is still new to them, so continue to persevere with a range of foods.
- How do I get my 9 month old to eat more volume of foods and things like toast rather than purée?
Portion size and how much your little one eats can vary so much at this young age, depending on how they feel each day (are they teething, unwell?). Try and stay calm even if they don’t eat everything you offer them, just ensure to offer a wide variety of foods. It’s important for your child to regulate their own appetite, so do allow them some control. At each meal offer an element of carbohydrate (e.g. pasta, rice), protein (e.g. beans, lentils, fish), fruit and veg for a balanced meal.
On portion size, it’s useful to note that all babies are different and they can differ in the amount they eat. For useful info on portion size, check out this link on the Kiddylicious website: https://kiddylicious.com/portion-control/
- What’s the right age to start weaning my baby?
Babies are likely to show signs of readiness at around 6 months of age for the introduction of first foods. This may be through sitting upright and holding their head steady, showing interest in your food and starting to pick up and move food to their mouth.
Around 6 months of age milk is still important in the diet, but it no longer provides all the iron and zinc your baby needs and this is where protein foods such as lentils, beans, eggs and fish are especially important.
- What foods do I start with?
Soft veggies (e.g. carrot and sweet potato batons and well cooked broccoli), wedges of hard boiled egg, bread fingers, flaked fish, well cooked pasta and slices or cubes of avocado (though this can be quite slippery!) are all good finger foods to try out initially. Also banana batons or slices are good for little ones to practice self feeding with!
You could also try grated foods such as carrot and cheese which are good to develop the pincer grip around 9 months old. The Kiddylicious wafers are also a great food to let your little one try feeding themselves.
Good first vegetables to introduce early on include spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and kale due to the bitter notes they contain.
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