Creating Future Foodies
We've invited weaning experts from Babease to share their top tips for vegetable lead weaning with all you lovely BabyLoved followers! Thanks Babease crew, over to you...
Introducing solid foods is known as complementary feeding or weaning and is intended to compliment your babies usual milk from around 6 months of age -when your baby is ready to begin the transition from milk feeds to solids.
Whilst your little ones palate is a blank canvas; easily shaped by new taste experiences and receptive to all five basic tastes (though naturally preferring those that are sweet or salty) we at Babease believe that when you start to introduce solid foods it’s really important to start with vegetables in as much variety as you can manage.
The more bitter tasting vegetables such as broccoli and kale will likely require more perseverance than naturally sweet tasting vegetables like carrot or sweet potato but it’s definitely worth the extra effort. Studies have shown that babies who eat a wide variety of vegetables during complimentary feeding go on to eat more vegetables in later childhood (up to 7 years old) than those that don’t.
Our veg forward recipes start with our wonderfully smooth stage 1, all designed to be gentle on your baby’s taste buds and tums. With our stage 2 recipes we introduce textures and exciting new ingredients, including herbs and spices to help develop your babies’ taste for healthy foods and a more savoury palate. Introducing your little ones to a wide range of tastes and textures at an early age is the best way to raise healthy and adventurous eaters.
How to know when your baby is ready?
Most babies are ready for their first tastes of food at around 6 months of age. Try to look out for signs they are ready, such as holding their head steady and sitting up unaided, being able to pick up food and place it in their mouths as well as being able to swallow food.
10 top tips to ease into Vegetable Led Weaning
1. Developing a mealtime routine: Ensuring baby is well supported in a comfortable highchair – not able to topple over or wobble around.
2. Encourage your little one to lick away any food from around the mouth: a great way to get their tongue and mouth working towards swallowing effectively and developing tongue and mouth muscles for talking.
3. Have fun: Encourage your baby to have fun and play with food, experiment with mashing, squashing, licking and squeezing. These activities will encourage your baby to taste and enjoy their food and learn new flavours
4. Eat Together: Sit with your baby and eat together when possible. Letting them share your plate and taste your food helps make mealtimes sociable plus they will learn from the rest of the family
5. Offer both a sweet and savory course: this enables your baby to discover a wide range of tastes and textures and keeps things interesting.
6. Trust Mother Nature: a babies gag reflex is much further forward, if food slips to the back of their mouths they will cough it up. They will do this frequently while learning to eat solid foods so take it slow and try to relax.
7. Let your baby enjoy the real taste of vegetables: by masking the taste of more bitter vegetables your baby may find them more difficult to accept later on. The Babease range is vegetable led, including premium organic ingredients.
8. Continue babies usual milk alongside weaning: breastmilk or formula milk provide most of the nutrients your baby needs, and naturally as they eat more food the amount of milk they take will decrease
9. Let your baby decide when they’ve had enough: let them set the pace and take their time at mealtimes and rather than encouraging them to clear their plate, let them take as much as they need.
10. Don’t give up and Enjoy! It can take up to 14 experiences of a food before a baby gets used to and enjoys the taste. Lastly don’t forget to enjoy this exciting new step and capture those food covered faces.
You can enjoy a free sample from the wonderfully diverse Babease range in your BabyLoved Goody Bag, available at our next event. If you've not got your ticket yet, we have a few specially discounted Babease tickets up for grabs. Click the skiddle ticketing link to go straight to the site and select the 'BABEASE TICKET' for a super dooper discount! You're welcome.