Weaning support during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
At this most unusual time, you can still start weaning your little one if they are showing signs they are ready*, or continue with your weaning journey whatever stage you are at. There may be some things for you to consider in light of the coronavirus.
If access to fresh food is difficult?
Be reassured that if access to fresh vegetables and fruit is limited for you at the moment, using frozen, jarred or tinned are great options (rinse any tinned veg in brine to remove added salt). It’s good to start with single veggies if you can so your baby gets used to their taste. If it’s tinned fruit, use the varieties that are in juice and not syrup. If you are just starting out weaning, your little one only needs a small amount of cooked food once or twice a day to begin with.
Are shop-bought foods healthy for my baby?
When it may not be possible to make homemade food for your child, shop-bought baby foods can make excellent nutritious alternatives, not to mention being extra convenient! As you progress through the weaning journey, shop-bought baby food can also provide exiting new flavours and combinations, helping your little one discover new tastes and textures, as well as getting the right balance of nutrients.
What about progressing through weaning?
If you are further on with your weaning journey, exploring new tastes and thicker textures, you’ll need to offer your little one as wide a variety of foods as possible. This will help to ensure that they get the right balance of vitamins and minerals, as well as the energy they need to grow, learn and explore the world around them. Offering a wide variety of different foods is important to ensure they get enough energy and nutrients (such as iron).
Make sure to include lots of different veggies & some fruit as well as continued breastfeeding or formula feeding (this includes any milk you use to make their food). Read more about weaning foods to include and avoid.
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have any questions at this time, just get in touch.
What about hygiene?
Remember to follow good hygiene practices and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing food, and before eating, and do the same with your little ones. Use different chopping boards for uncooked fish and meat preparation, and do make sure to only use utensils, plates and bowls that are clean and washed. Also, it is recommended that you wash thoroughly with running water any fruit and vegetables that come without packaging. Read more about how to prepare, store and reheat baby food.
Do I have the right equipment at home?
Don’t worry you probably have all that you need already! If you don’t have a blender, you can microwave, boil or steam-cook single veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower until very soft, then mash with a fork or potato masher. Some well-cooked veggies may also be put through a sieve but this may be hard work! If you don’t have a steamer, simply use a metal colander in a covered saucepan of boiling water. Once mashed, you can always add a little water, breastmilk or formula milk to help smooth the mixture. Apples, pears, carrots, and sweet potatoes are also all easy to cook and mash to a smooth consistency. It’s time to get creative! Read more about how to start weaning.
*The Department of Health recommend weaning at around 6 months. Please speak with a healthcare professional before introducing solid foods.