Your Weaning Questions Answered

1. What should I feed my 13 month old to help him gain weight?

Hi there, I don’t know your exact concerns from your question, but it’s important to offer and expose them to all the food groups at this stage, so as to encourage a balanced diet from an early age and to help them grow and gain weight. So include fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates (rice, couscous, pasta, etc) and protein (e.g. eggs, beans, lentils, fish) foods. Dairy foods such as whole milk, yoghurt and cheese are also great energy dense foods.

Avoid force feeding or pressuring them to eat as this could make meal times even more stressful, rather persevere and continue to offer a variety of foods, not necessarily in one day, rather over a period of time and be a good role model to your little one by eating with them and enjoying a healthy diet.

You say you want your little one to gain weight, just make sure there’s not an over reliance on filling up on milk, as it doesn’t provide all the nutrients they need at this age, rather they need to get this from meals and solid foods.

 

2. My 11 month old has become super fussy at tea and will only have milk?

Hi there, how is their eating at other meal times? If it’s just tea time they’re not interested in try bringing them to the table at dinner time when you eat so they get a good idea of the routine at this time of day. Do keep offering food at this time, just a light meal perhaps so they aren’t overwhelmed and so they have the chance to get into this pattern. Eating together also gives you a chance to be a good role model to them in eating a balanced, healthy diet. Try and make sure there’s a big enough gap before tea time so that they are feeling hungry enough too. Also avoid pressuring them to eat, as this could make the situation more stressful. Good luck!

 

3. How much should a 9 month old be eating?

By the time your little one is 9 months old they should be having 3 meals a day.

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?) and how much they’ve moved around; there are so many reasons why babies may refuse or eat more food than normal. 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.

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:

Portion Control

 

4. My child constantly gags on food with textures, how do we overcome this?

Hi there, you didn’t mention how old your child is? The first year is vital to exposing little ones to new foods, flavours and textures. These early days are also about trying new textures whether that be from whole cooked or soft raw foods (if following the baby led weaning approach). Or if offering purees first, then your little one will progress from eating runny, thin and thicker purees through to mashed, lumpy, minced and chopped food.

These early days of offering first foods can be really apprehensive and scary for us as parents. However it’s good to remember that gagging is a natural reflex that happens when there’s a risk of choking. They are learning lots of new skills, particularly how to chew, swallow, and how much food to take into their mouth in one go. To minimise risk of choking, ensure to cook food well so it’s a soft texture and cut into suitable sized pieces (e.g. halve grapes and cherry tomatoes) and always stay with your baby at meal times whilst they’re eating.

Also I’d recommend doing a first aid course for babies and children to further put your mind at rest at this time.

 

5. My 9 month old girl eats anything blended up but when it’s cut up she won’t eat it (aka banana)

Little ones can vary in their preference to how they eat food, some may prefer purees and being spoon fed and some may prefer more finger foods.

Young ones can be quite mistrustful of food, as the whole eating experience is a new learning curve for them, so perseverance is key and continue to offer finger foods so she becomes familiar with them. As ever 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.

 

6. How much should an 8 month old baby be eating?

By the time your little one is 8 months old they should be having 3 meals a day.

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?) and how much they’ve moved around; there are so many reasons why babies may refuse or eat more food than normal. 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.

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:

Portion Control

 

7. What do you do if baby won’t open their mouth for spoon feeding?

Hi there, how old is your little one? Try offering finger foods to see if they are keen to feed themselves more independently. You could also try continuing to offer food using your own spoon and let them have a spoon too to let them assert some control and independence.

At what stage in the meal time are they keeping their mouth shut? Is it the case they’ve had enough food? By clamping their mouth shut, turning their head away, spitting food out (though note they tend to spit food out often in the early days) or raising their hand to refuse further food; these are all signs they’ve likely had enough.

8. My 1 year old used to eat well and now refuses everything, please help

Hi there, how long have they been off food? Could it be they are unwell or
teething? How much your little one eats can vary so much at this age, depending
on how they feel each day. 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 meal times stressful, easier said than done I appreciate! It can be difficult with our busy lives, but where you can eat together as a family, it’s a good social
event and a good opportunity for your little one to mimic your own good eating behaviour! Also be mindful of how much milk they are having at this age, so
as not to fill up on it, and make sure there’s a big enough gap before each meal time so they are hungry.

 

9. Started weaning with purees about 6 weeks ago when baby was 6 months. Struggling to get her to 3 meals

It’s a new phase that both baby and parent need to adjust to. In the early stages of feeding your baby it can feel like you’re constantly preparing food and getting ready for the next mealtime!

Between 6 to 8 months your little one should be eating 2 to 3 meals a day. By age 8 to 9 months they’ll be eating 3 meals a day. Keep offering food at set meal times during the day and make sure to leave enough of a gap before that mealtime so they are hungry enough. Consider your little ones schedule and avoid offering them food when they may be too tired to eat.

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.

 

10. My 21 months boy is still not chewing properly. I still have to mash his food, what can I do?

Does he have the chance to feed himself with finger foods or make any attempt to try them? Let him have a go at feeding himself with a spoon or with finger foods, so he’s in control of the situation and at his pace. Do continue to give him

lumpier textures and finger foods that encourage him to chew, under close supervision of course and hopefully the more practice he gets, the better control he’ll develop over his gag reflex and chewing. I don’t know the exact details of your situation, so I’d suggest if you’re still concerned then speak to your health visitor.

 

11. Best things to start with BLW

Soft veggies (e.g. carrot and sweet potato batons and well cooked broccoli), wedges of hard boiled egg, bread, flaked fish, well cooked pasta and slices of avocado (though this can be quite slippery!) are all good finger foods to try out initially. 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.

 

12. I’m so scared to give finger foods to my 7 month old in case she chokes but I know I need to…any tips?

If weaning with purees, then the texture of food you’re offering to your little one should progress through the stages from thin puree to thick puree and mashed food and soft lumps quite quickly. Over time your little one will progress from accepting purees and perhaps trying some first finger foods, to moving food and soft lumps around their mouth; using their lips to get food off a spoon and accepting a wider range of foods as eaten by the whole family.

Chewing improves the strength and coordination of the jaw area which is required for speech development. The more variety of texture and shape that are given in food at a younger age, the more receptive they will be to a wide range of foods later in life. If you keep your baby on the puree stage for too long, it may be more difficult for them to accept lumps.

Great first finger foods include soft veggies (e.g. carrot and sweet potato batons and well cooked broccoli), wedges of hard boiled egg, bread, flaked fish, well cooked pasta and slices of avocado (though this can be quite slippery!) are all good finger foods to try out initially. 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.

Also I’d recommend doing a first aid course specifically for babies and children to further put your mind at rest at this time.

 

13. Lunch recommendations? Need inspo!

Meal time is always a good opportunity to get some extra veggies in whether it be spinach in a pasta sauce or peas into a frittata or savoury muffin. Whatever your trick or hack ideally by the time your little one is 1 years old they’ll be eating the same as the rest of the family. At this young age it’s important to keep offering a variety of foods as they are more likely to accept and try them if they are familiar. Also don’t be afraid of using herbs and spices in food, just be mindful of quantity used and the heat level, keep it mild at this stage! Kiddylicious have some great options in the Little Bistro range to excite their taste buds! Try out the chicken bites in a tikka masala sauce with brown rice or mild beef chilli!

 

14. How long should I give first tastes before I can mix flavours and make recipes?
If you’re going down the puree route then offer simple, single flavours first, based on a range of vegetables, cereals (e.g. baby rice) and fruit. Try and focus more on vegetables over fruit to begin with so that your little one becomes accustomed to savoury flavours early on. Good first vegetables to introduce early on include spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and kale due to the bitter notes they contain. Once you’ve offered single flavours you
can move onto blends perhaps combining a protein with vegetables, e.g. salmon and sweet potato or chicken and broccoli. Protein foods (e.g. fish, eggs, lentils and beans) are important as by 6 months milk won’t be serving all their nutritional needs. You can start to introduce herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cumin and coriander from an early stage (around 7 months), just keep it mild to begin with whilst they familiarise themselves with new tastes and flavours.


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