Weaning is a way of moving your little baby from just milk to solid food diet too. The first stage of weaning helps to lay grounds for healthy eating habits in your baby. It also teaches your baby how to eat using a spoon, how to swallow and ultimately chew. Food will provide all the nutrients to your little one once he grows up, but when you wean your baby, you are getting him used to new tastes and textures other than just the breast or formula milk. Often mothers are keen and excited to start giving their babies food other than breast milk. But when is the right time? This is the big question that comes to their mind? Also there are curious to know what food should they start with? So to helps all those mothers, here is a list of 10 foods that are easy on your baby’s little tummy and are great weaning foods
What Is The Best Age To Begin Weaning?
Once your little one reaches six months of age, it is time to slowly begin weaning them off breast or formula milk. The best signs that tell you your baby is ready to start the weaning process are when he:
- Has begun sitting up straight and also hold his head straight up
- Has slowly started developing eye and hand coordination
- Started looking excitedly at your food and tries to grab it from your plate
- Picks things up to put in his mouth
- Swallows food when you offer him
How Long Does Weaning Take?
On an average it takes around a month to wean your baby but then every baby is different. Some get the hang of eating foods quickly while others take a little more time to get used to new tastes and textures. But remember they all get there in the end so just work with your baby’s pace and don’t rush him.
10 Best Weaning Foods For Your Baby
- Juices: One of the best weaning foods that you can start with for your baby is fresh fruit juice. But make sure you never feed your little one with packaged juices available in the market as they contain all kinds of preservatives and chemicals and are loaded with sugar that can be harmful your baby
- Fruits: Once your baby is used to fruit juices, fruits can be the next weaning option. Loaded with all the vital minerals and nutrients, they are just perfect to introduce to your little munchkin. Also loaded with natural sugars, babies relish the taste of most fruits and love having them. Apples are great to start with if you have not fed your little one with any kind of fruit till date. Just peel an apple, boil and make a puree and feed it to your baby. Bananas are another fruit that your baby might relish. Just Mash up an overripe banana with a spoon or fork and offer it to your baby and see this turn into his favorite food. One by one, you can begin introducing all the seasonal fruits to your darling baby. You can offer him papaya, pear, chickoo and mango. But remember to introduce one fruit at a time only
- Vegetables: You can start introducing fresh veggies by offering him mashed potatoes. Once your baby is seven months old you can introduce him vegetables like carrots, beans, bottle gourd and pumpkin. But make sure all these vegetables are properly boiled and mashed. All veggies are a wonderful pick to wean your baby off breast milk. Just make sure you clean and wash the veggies thoroughly and go for organic veggies as they are completely free of pesticides and chemicals
- Legumes: Loaded with proteins, legumes are a wonderful energy filled weaning alternative for your baby. Any boiled legume along with a tiny helping of mashed and lightly seasoned potatoes is a great weaning food for your little darling. Alternatively you can also offer dal water to your baby as his first weaning food
- Soups: Clear soups prepared from fresh veggies are another good option of weaning your baby when he is around 8 months old. Since they have ample water content in them, they help to ensure your little one remains hydrated apart from being nourished with the nutrient content in the solid portion of the veggies. You can make a good veg soup with a mix of carrots, beetroots, bottle gourd and tomatoes
- Greens: Leafy greens are also loaded with iron and other important minerals which are all necessary to ensure healthy body functioning of your baby. Just blanch spinach leaves, puree them and add light seasoning before feeding your little baby with this paste. You can introduce spinach puree once your baby is eight or nine months old
- Cooked Foods: Cooked foods like rice and dal, khichdi with veggies in it can all be introduced gradually as weaning foods to your little one
- Water: Now that you are planning to slowly wean your baby off breast milk, it is absolutely imperative that your baby remains adequately hydrated right through the day. Water also has excellent cleansing properties and aids digestion in your little one
- Eggs: Eggs are best introduced once your little one is at least eight months. Offer your baby only egg yolk in the beginning and ensure that he does not have egg allergy. Loaded with vital proteins and vitamins, eggs are perfect for proper bone development of your baby
- Animal Proteins: This should be the last option after starting your baby on all the above mentioned foods. Before introducing any kind of meat check with your doctor. Also make sure that you go for fresh cuts and give processed meats to your baby
Some Do’s And Don’ts About Weaning Your Baby
- Give your baby lots of smiles and cuddles because if you are happy, you baby will be happy
- Start the weaning process at home or some place that is familiar with your baby
- Make sure that when you start weaning your baby there are not many distractions
- Let your baby play with his food and the spoon
- Perseverance is the key in the whole weaning process so keep trying. It may take good 8 to 10 tries before your baby likes a new food
- Never attempt weaning your baby before six months
- Never leave your baby alone when feeding him
- Always choose a time when your baby is not too tired or too full or too hungry
- Don’t add sugar or salt to any of the weaning foods
Just keep in mind that whatever food that you choose in order to wean your baby, first check it with your doctor. He is the best person to suggest what is absolutely safe and right for your little darling. So make sure you take his advice before beginning to wean your baby.
Enjoy the weaning process with your baby and be prepared for lots of mess and giggles!