Feeding your baby: what to feed them and when to start

When it comes to feeding your baby, it can be hard to know where to start. You want to make sure they’re eating the right thing for their age but figuring that out isn’t easy, especially if you’re a first time parent. Many parents are often left wondering what they should feed their little one during the crucial growth phase of birth to 12 months. 

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland recommends you start weaning your baby onto solid food at around 6 months but not before 17 weeks and not after 26 weeks. When your little one is around six months, they may be showing signs of being ready to try solid foods. 

These signs include:

  • Being able to hold their head up
  • The ability to sit up in a high chair
  • Making chewing motions

A popular choice of food to introduce into your baby’s diet at this age is specially formulated baby’s rice. Their regular milk feeds will still supply the majority of your little one’s daily nutrients. A perfect example of baby's rice is Milupa's Pure Baby Rice. It is perfect for weaning as it has been created with little tummies in mind. This rice is simple to make as you just add milk, so won't needs lots of time to prepare it. 

You can also try puréed vegetables and fruits as a great first food. Do this, slowly, introducing foods one at a time, with each new food spaced 1-2 days apart. Some foods you can try to introduce include mashed avocado, mashed banana, puréed sweet potatoes or puréed pear and apple. Your baby will love trying new food textures and tastes but make sure you space out when you let your tot try them so they don't get overwhelmed by all the new foods at once.

As your little one gets older and more comfortable with weaning, baby porridge is a great way to start their day and makes a nice change to baby rice. This Milupa Baby's First Creamy Porridge is suited to babies that are 4-6 months or older and is a nice blend of baby rice that incorporates corn too. It is packed with your vitamins and minerals your baby will need as they lessen the amount of milk they have.

Your little one should learn how to chew, be able to transfer an object from one hand to the other and master the pincer grasp of the thumb and forefinger as they move through the stages of weaning.

Finger foods like cooked pasta, chopped bananas or softly cooked carrot batons can also be added to help with weaning.

It is very important to include protein in your baby’s diet. This can be in the form of cooked mashed or puréed beans, peas or lentils, or cooked and finely chopped mashed or puréed meat, poultry or fish. Tofu is also a great option for children of this age as it can be mashed easily for them to enjoy.

By the time your baby is nine to twelve months, they will be ready to try harder finger foods like crackers and rice cakes, for example. The Milupa Multigrain Banana Porridge is a great choice for babies 10 months+ as it in not only made of cereals, but has cornflakes and banana incorporated into it too. The cornflakes are perfect to introduce more texture into your baby's foods as they get more used to weaning. You can visit www.milupa.ie to see their full range of cereals that are perfect for weaning.

At twelve months, most children will be eating a wide variety of foods. You should still err on the side of caution at this age and shouldn’t add sugar or salt to your little one’s food.

 

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