Weaning foods to include every day
Your baby may be small but all that growing, learning and fascinating developing takes a huge amount of energy and nutrients. Here are the foods you should try to include to make sure they get a healthy variety of vitamins and goodness every day. So once you’ve established first weaning, use these guidelines to help them get a balanced diet.
Starchy foodsFoods like bread, cereal, pasta, rice and potatoes provide plenty of energy for your baby’s daily activities. They’re a great basis for every meal and a good choice for snacks, too. It’s important to wait until your baby is 6 months old before introducing foods that contain gluten – mostly breads and some cereals, although other starchy foods like corn, rice and potatoes are fine.
Milk, cheese and yogurt
At this stage, milk should still be a big part of your baby’s diet, whether it’s breastmilk or a formula. This is your baby’s main source of a wide range of nutrients for their first year of life. Dairy foods are an important part of your baby’s weaning diet too. Rich in calcium, they are essential for the health of your baby’s teeth and bones, which are growing at an incredible rate. They’re also good sources of protein, energy and some vitamins and minerals. It’s best to choose full-fat varieties because they provide essential calories for all that growing and developing. Once your baby is a year old, it’s recommended that they have 3 portions of dairy foods every day.
Fruit and vegetables
Colourful, versatile and tasty, both fruit and veg contain all kinds of important vitamins and minerals for your baby’s daily development. Fresh, frozen, tinned (rinse any tinned veg in brine to remove added salt) varieties are all great options, making it easy to include them in every meal and snack. The more colours on their plate, the wider the variety of nutrients your baby will be getting.
Recently, research has shown that giving your baby more savoury flavours rather than sweet tastes can really help to shape their preferences, and teach them to love veggies for life. Although babies are naturally designed to love sweet tastes, getting them used to simple, single vegetable flavours now can train their taste buds to enjoy these foods later. Of course, fruit shouldn’t be left out completely, but we’d recommend starting with veg and giving fruit as a dessert or a snack.
For more information on fruit and vegetables, our 5 step weaning plan is a good place to start.
Meat, fish and vegetarian alternatives
This group includes meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses, which provide protein, iron and B vitamins. Once you’ve started to introduce them to your baby, you can offer them once a day and this can increase to 2 portions as they approach their first birthday. If you choose to limit, or not give your baby any meat at all, it’s important to make sure they’re getting good amounts of these nutrients from other sources. Our recipe section includes plenty of meaty, fishy and vegetarian dishes, all created to give your baby a well-balanced serving of healthiness!Vitamin D: This key vitamin is hard to get from the diet, especially when they are little. The Department of Health recommends babies and toddlers are given a vitamin D supplement up to the age of 5. Read our vitamin D article to find out more.
Making weaning easyAs feeding experts and mums, we’ve got years of experience of weaning between us and are here to help! To get you started, our 5 step weaning plan can guide you through the early weeks of introducing new foods to your baby.
And don’t forget to check out our other helpful weaning articles, covering everything from which foods to avoid during weaning, to what weaning equipment you’ll need, to preparing your own baby food, and lots more.