Is it teething time for your little one?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eating should be a pleasurable experience for everyone involved. Playing an active part in mealtimes and being in control of what to eat, how much to eat and how fast to eat it makes eating more enjoyable. When you think of baby-led weaning that places a huge emphasis on giving the baby control over what and how much they eat and this is what I really value about baby-led weaning. It is something that can be applied no matter what you choose to feed them.
 
Here are some tips on how to give baby more control:
  1. Try to let babies feed themselves – some babies really don’t like being spoon-fed. In certain cases, letting them feed themselves is the only way forward.
  2. From six months include finger food as part of a meal. If you offer a baby finger food after they have eaten some purée they may not be hungry for it.
  3. Include dips with your finger food – baby’s love dipping their bread sticks into dips. Make up some hummus and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  4. Place a bowl with some of the foods in front of baby so they can try and feed themselves. There are some really good bowls that suction to the high chair. If this fails place it on the high chair table. Manners will come later!
  5. Give baby a spoon to try to feed themselves. Making sure it is a 6 month + spoon that is not too long and will cause the baby to gag.
  6. Beaker of water – it is a good idea from six months to include a beaker of water during feeding time. This will get baby used to a beaker and will easily transition from breast or bottle at one year.
  7. Avoid cleaning your baby as they are eating. This can be an uncomfortable experience for a baby and they may relate it to feeding. When I see a baby with food on their hair, eyelashes etc I know that baby has had full control and has enjoyed the experience. Set your bath time for after meals!
  8. Where possible, give your child the same food you are eating (puréed or not), and share the meal with them. Allowing baby to pick off your plate and visa versa…it can be a really fun game to play.
  9. For older babies, dress up their plate with mash potato for a face, peas for eyes, a carrot for a nose and pepper for a mouth. They will have much more fun with the meal and may eat vegetables that they normally reject.
  10. Remember it’s all about the milk in the first year so sit back and relax and let baby enjoy their food. Don’t worry if no food has gone in, as long as they have interacted with the food it is a step in the right direction.
For more weaning or feeding tips, recipes and advice visit our website Mummycooks.ie  
Expert in Baby & Toddler Nutrition

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