Introducing dairy can be a scary transition on your baby’s weaning journey and is often avoided before their first birthday. However, dairy is essential for your little one and the thought of introducing it shouldn’t scare you. With the help of our Starter Weaning Set for portioning, our handy tips and recipes; introducing dairy to your weaning baby could not be easier!
Giving Cow's Milk to Babies
Offering cow's milk as your baby's main drink before 12 months is not recommended; your baby should drink breast milk or formula until one years of age. However, if a recipe calls for milk you should include it. So long as your baby is getting their recommended daily intake of breast milk or formula then include cow's milk in your baby's cereal and recipes such as our baked Moussaka.
What about other Dairy?
Dairy such as plain natural yogurt and full fat mild cheeses are 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. These Cheesy Cauliflower Bites are a great finger food to introduce dairy; offer some Homemade BBQ sauce for dipping as a tasty baby led weaning snack.
Yogurt is great for your little one and is ideal for breakfast or as a snack. Opt for plain natural yogurt; flavoured, low fat and branded kinds are usually loaded with sugar. To sweeten, offer fruit purees such Baked Apple and Apricot for a baby led weaning treat your whole family can enjoy.
Cheese* is another great finger food for your baby, served cut into strips or cubes. Start with milder cheeses; Cheddar and Cottage cheeses are good first options. If your baby struggles to grasp the cubes or slices, try melting it over steamed veg or in this tasty Broccoli Tots recipe.
*Avoid softer cheeses such as Brie, Feta and Roquefort as these are often made from unpasteurised , raw milk.
Dairy as a Healthy Snack?
While it is best to introduce dairy early on, it should not be your go to snack. Dairy products should be offered like everything else; in moderation*. I try to avoid more than 2-3 servings a day. Our Starter Weaning Set is perfect to portion dairy servings for your baby and the rest of the family! Try some Frozen Yogurt Blueberries for a tasty alternative dairy snack.
*This is especially true for yogurt and flavoured dairy products. Opt. for plain, full fat natural yogurt for a low sugar option.
Is Low Fat Better?
Although high in fat, do not opt for low fat dairy products. Full fat is best; it is less processed and low fat products are generally pumped with salt or sugar to make up for the flavour lost by removing the fat. Did you know that fat is essential for healthy brain development of your baby? It is not advised to introduce low or reduced fat dairy products to your child until the age of 3, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
It is vital to introduce as wide a variety of food as possible when weaning, so dairy is no exception. Just don't overdo it; offer in moderation like every other food group! If you are concerned about feeding dairy to your baby consult your family doctor.