For the first year of your baby’s life, breast milk and formula will be the main source of your baby’s nutrition. When you start to wean you will be serving more nutrients and vitamins in the form of solid food.What are the most important nutrients your baby needs?
Vitamin D - According to HSE guidelines, your baby needs 5 micrograms of vitamin D as a supplement every day from birth to 12 months if they are breastfed or taking less than 300mls (10oz) of infant formula a day.
Iron - Iron is so important in aiding your baby’s growth and development and helps to prevent iron deficiency anaemia. From 6 months of age your baby’s iron stores are depleted so boost them back up with plenty of iron rich foods such as beef, pork, chicken, lamb and turkey. Some iron rich recipes that can be adapted to suit for a 6 month old plus include:
Chicken, Green Beans & Avocado Puree - A great recipe to introduce chicken to your weaning baby. Start with 1 part chicken to 3 parts vegetable when you begin to introduce this meal.
Beef Tagine - Packed full of flavour, and goodness it’s perfect for the slow cooker as well as the oven and easily adapted to suit your weaning baby. For your 6 month old, blend into a smooth & slightly thicker purée by blending 1 part meat to 3 part vegetables adding more liquid to get the right consistency. To increase texture from 6+ months simply blend the meat and vegetables as it is to make a thicker purée with more texture. For your 8+ month old, simply mash the vegetables and shred the meat.
Non meat sources of iron such as eggs, beans, lentils, dark leafy vegetables, dried fruits and cereals aren’t as easily absorbed (see Vitamin C below), but the following non-meat recipes can be good iron sources when you make sure that your baby is also eating vitamin C rich foods.
Sweet Potato Tots - Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals including iron and vitamin C. Healthy and delicious, sweet potato tots are a perfect finger food for your weaning baby and are a great snack for the whole family.
Vegetable Egg Muffins - Snacks like these vegetable egg muffins are great for getting a portion of your child’s 5 a day in. My recipe includes carrots, sweetcorn, peppers and peas but you can mix the veg up each time to add variety!
Vitamin C - Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron in the body when eaten at the same time as non-meat sources. Some good sources of vitamin C are oranges, plums, berries, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower.
Broccoli Tots - Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C and iron. These healthy broccoli tots are a great way to get your children to eat more green vegetables and as they are made with cheese, even the fussiest of eaters will love them! Serve as finger food to your weaning baby or toddler - your older children will like them too!
Omega 3 - Omega 3 is needed for healthy brain and eye development. Oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel or sardines are good sources of omega 3. These can be tinned, fresh or frozen. Include two 1oz portions of oily fish a week from 7 months of age.
Salmon Fish Cakes - Salmon is the main dietary source for Omega-3 fatty acid and so one of the best sources of Omega-3! My salmon fish cakes are so easy to make and are great when paired with some tasty roast vegetables. They are perfect as a baby led weaning meal for baby to pick up and self feed.
One Pot Fish Curry - This is one of my most popular family recipes! Containing a mix of cod, salmon and haddock it is a great source of Omega-3. On the table in just 20 minutes, it's a meal your whole family will enjoy! To adapt for baby, remove baby’s portion and blend to the desired consistency remembering to always check for bones before adding to your blender.
Our award winning Starter Weaning Set has all the pots you need to batch cook, portion and safely store food for your weaning baby.