Lean, mean, weaning machines
The transition from liquids to solids can be a tricky phase for both you and your baby, but there are plenty of products on the market to help make the process easier. Bernice Mulligan takes a look
WEANING is the process whereby your baby's regular milk is gradually replaced with food. It is generally agreed upon by health professionals that six months is the optimum time for weaning. By six months, your baby's regular milk is no longer providing her with all the nutrients she needs, in particular vitamin D and iron, and her stores of these are starting to become depleted. The missing nutrients now need to be provided by food. However, milk will still form a very large part of your baby's nutritional intake for many months to come. In fact, your baby will need breast milk or formula until she is at least 12 months old, when her diet is varied enough to offer the correct balance of nutrients.
According to leading children's food writer Annabel Karmel in her new book, Weaning, ( out 1 July) a child will begin the weaning process by eating liquid purées ( similar in consistency to yoghurt). She will then progress to lumpier, thicker purees, then lumps.
Says Karmel: " Variety is the order of the day. The greater the variety, the easier it will be to progress to a healthy, nutritious diet. One or more spoonfuls swallowed represents success in the early days, so don't panic if she doesn't manage a whole bowl."
Mother & Babies