Advice on choosing solid weaning foods to feed your baby, plus the opportunity to purchase a range of baby weaning foods and products.
When your baby is ready for weaning you will need to decide what type of food you wish to give your baby. Many babies in the UK start off with bought baby rice, which is ground rice with some added vitamins and minerals. It has a bland taste which most babies seem to like and can be mixed with boiled, cooled water, formula milk or breast milk. Babies should not be given cow's milk at this stage.
You could also start by pureeing some of the foods below with some baby rice, or try them by themselves. Steam or lightly boil the vegetables. Babies only need very small amounts to begin with, but you can freeze teaspoons of puree in ice cube trays and just defrost enough for one meal at a time first:
- soft pear
- eating apple
- potato or parsnip
- sweet potato
- green peas
- mashed ripe banana
- mashed ripe avocado
It is usually best to offer one taste at a time. It will help you to identify any reaction to a new food, such as a rash or a tummy ache. Stick to fruits, vegetables and baby rice when you first begin to introduce solid foods.
Bought baby foods are easy to prepare and use, are generally nutritious. There are three stages of weaning. Stage one baby foods are suitable from six months and available in sweet or savoury varieties, usually in a 100g jars. Also available are boxes of baby rice and baby cereals. Jars of baby foods are particularly handy when you are visiting or travelling. You can also buy organic baby foods or vegetarian foods, which are now widely available.
Second stage baby foods are lumpier and are suitable for babies from seven months and available in sweet and savoury varieties, usually in 190g jars. There are several snacks available to purchase, including breadsticks, rice cakes, cereal bars, raisins and baby biscuits. These are suitable for babies and contain no salt.
Third stage or toddler meals are also available in jars and are suitable from babies from one year, usually available in 250g jars.
Clear labelling and ingredients are important, ensure all the ingredients listed on jars, fruit pots and packets add up to 100%, which clearly shows you that no other ingredient is used.