NutriBaby sets out to cut through the confusing and contradictory advice about weaning! It should be a relaxed, enjoyable experience, not an anxious time.
What is weaning, actually? It’s just the process of introducing your baby to other kinds of food, things to taste and touch, which are not milk; foods to nourish your child into a healthy life. “Food before one is just for fun” isn’t true either. Yes, of course babies have fun and learn from messing around with textures with their hands and mouths, that’s an important part of weaning and learning.
The serious part is that from around 6 months old, babies’ own stores of iron are getting low and mum can’t provide enough in her milk. This is why the choice of very first foods is so important – not only must they provide nutrients that your baby needs, they also need to be digestible.
Before 6 months, a baby’s digestive system is very immature. Babies have a only tiny amount of carbohydrate-digesting enzyme (amylase), so aren’t able to break down rice and puréed vegetables for example. In fact, the misguided practice of offering grains, rice and other starchy foods as first weaning foods is a pretty sure way to cause digestive and other health problems. It’s not until all their molars are through, that babies produce sufficient enzymes to digest these foods.
When to start weaning? 6 months is a general guide – and not before unless in some special circumstances. When is as important as which foods to start with! Just as it’s not about whether you start with purées or do “baby-led” – it’s to do with understanding that the immature digestive system can easily cope with some foods and just cannot manage others.
Baby is what baby eats so by giving your baby the most nourishing and easily digestible foods at the appropriate time, you really will be giving your baby the best start in life. Find out how by booking onto one of our Weaning Workshops and joining the Real Baby Food Revolution.