Weaning your baby onto solid foods is an exciting time for both you and your little one. However, that excitement can turn into anxiety and it’s no wonder why – as a parent you can be constantly bombarded with so much information that it’s hard to keep up with what is true or false. With such a vast amount of conflicting tips and advice out there, it can be easy to fall into a trap and believe common myths associated with weaning.
Below we look at the truth behind common weaning myths, as well as tasty recipe ideas to ensure you have a successful and enjoyable weaning journey with your baby.
Babies Can't Have Nuts
Although whole nuts are a choking hazard and should be avoided until 5 years of age, nut butters are a great way to introduce textures and nut flavours to your weaning baby. Smooth nut butters are great as a healthy snack for your little one, like our Peanut Butter Courgette Cupcakes. You can also try spreading nut butter on Homemade Oatcakes or apple slices for a tasty treat your baby can enjoy.
You Should Avoid Gluten until 7 Months
False; gluten can be introduced to your weaning baby from 6 months as delaying beyond 7 months can increase your baby’s risk of coeliac disease and even type 1 diabetes later on. Try some Cinnamon French Toast or Biscotti for a fun and tasty way to introduce gluten to your little one. Check out Introducing Gluten to your Weaning Baby for more information.
Don’t Offer Foods a Parent is Intolerant to
It is advised to avoid offering foods to your baby if a family member has a severe allergic reaction to and this is true. However, this is not the case with foods that a family member is intolerant to and avoiding a food or food group can make your baby more likely to develop an allergy or intolerance. When you offer the food to your weaning baby, simply be more vigilant and keep a close eye for any possible reactions. If you are concerned about introducing a certain food, consult your baby’s doctor for advice.
Tap Water Isn’t Suitable for Baby
Contrary to popular belief, tap water is perfectly fine for your baby from 6 months (so long as the supply is safe). It is only necessary to boil tap water if using with formula to kill any bacteria present. Remember when we boil water it increases the sodium levels in the water. So if your tap water is suitable to drink, then it is fine for your weaning baby too.
You Shouldn’t Offer Cows Milk Before 12 Months
Although cow’s milk is not recommended as a drink until 12 months, you can use it in recipes. So long as your baby is getting their recommended daily intake of breast milk or formula, then you can include cow's milk in your baby's cereal and recipes such as our baked Moussaka.
Dairy such as plain natural yogurt and full fat mild cheeses are also great for your weaning baby. Introducing these from 6 months of age means that by 12 months your baby will be more than ready to accept whole cow's milk. To learn more, read Introducing Dairy to your Weaning Baby.
Hold Off on Meat
Though you may think it is better to introduce meat at a later stage, red meat, chicken and fish are perfect for your baby from 6 months. Simply ensure they are cooked through and check well for bones before offering to your tot. Try our Chicken Casserole or Hidden Veggie Burgers which are great to batch cook and freeze in your Portion Pots for up to 3 months.
Babies Can’t Have Eggs
For years it has been recommended to avoid eggs, particularly the yolk, before 12 months. However, eggs are perfectly fine for your baby from 6 months on once they are fully cooked. Try our Vegetable Omelette or Boiled Egg and Avocado Toast for a tasty meal your little one will love.
Babies Can’t Manage Spicy Foods
Don’t be afraid to add flavour and spices to your family meals, your baby will love it! Feeding bland foods or dishes without much flavour can lead to a fussy eater later on. Our Coconut Chicken Curry is a great way to introduce herbs and spices to your baby’s diet. Batch cook and store in the Family Portion Set for a flavour filled family meal any day of the week.
My Baby Can’t Manage Lumps Without Teeth
Your baby may not have teeth, but from 6 months they will be well able to manage soft lumps and minced or mashed meals, so don’t be shy when it comes to increasing textures! Check out our Portion Guide for advice on portions and texture for your baby’s first year. The Starter Weaning Set is perfect to batch cook and store your baby’s meals in handy portions depending on their weaning stage.
Babies Shouldn’t Play with their Food
Not true! Embrace your baby’s weaning journey and encourage playing and exploring with food’s flavours and textures as much as possible! Don’t be afraid to let your baby get messy; it is all part of an enjoyable feeding experience. Get the most out of each meal time by offering a finger food along with a dip or puree for a hands-on weaning experience. The Baby Led Weaning Set is perfect to store finger foods and dips at home or on the go.
Start Weaning at 6 Months
Every child is different, and although the recommended time to start weaning is 6 months, you can start a week or two before this if your baby seems ready. Our First Food recipes are perfect from 5 ½ months; why not batch cook some tasty purees and store in the Starter Weaning Set to take the stress out of weaning meal times.
The 3 Day Rule
This is probably the most common weaning myth; waiting 3 days at a time before introducing a new food to your baby. This can really delay the weaning process, the rule is that you can introduce lots of new tastes to your baby just bearing in mind the texture and your baby's weaning stage. Our Weaning Pots are great to store foods before blending them so that you can adapt them to your baby’s stage when you defrost them. Try mixing or changing up flavours your baby has already tried to increase variety.