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Aldi Mamia Weaning Q&A with Former Health Visitor and Author, Sarah Beeson MBE

1. My little girl is 4 month’s old but really interested in what im eating. Is she ready to start eating food now or is 4 month’s too young? Gemma.

2. Hi Sarah, how will I know when my daughter is ready to start being weaned? Gemma M.

Most babies have an inner clock that regulates their need so follow what your baby is telling you.

Four months is the earliest your little one can start and many babies do watch their parents eating and on its own it isn’t a sign that your baby is ready to start weaning. Weaning is very much dependent on your baby. The latest thinking is that most babies are ready to wean between 4 to 6 months. You do need to consider factors like prematurity – you are the best judge of when your baby is ready.

Five Signs Your Baby is Ready to Wean

  1. Your little one is less content lately and wanting their feed earlier and earlier
  2. Not gaining weight recently or even had a slight fall in weight
  3. Intently watching you eat and getting excited at mealtimes
  4. You gave them a 1-2 tsps of first stage weaning food and they yummed it up. If they weren’t interested leave it week or two before you try again

Can sit upright in high chair or baby seat and can swallow safely

3. What type of food is good to start weaning with? Tony M.

Many parents start with milder yellow and orange vegetables like carrots or butternut squash. Wean with whatever you feel happy with and it may be that using some purée veg and fruit suits your baby or you want to test weaning readiness with a couple of tsps of plain baby cereal or Aldi Mamia Organic Creamy Porridge with a little purée mixed in to avoid a grumbly tummy.

If you prefer to make purée from scratch, chop up fruit or veg into small pieces. Gently stew in a saucepan using a little cooled boiled water. Mash with a fork or push the cooked fruit through a plastic sterilised sieve into a sterilised bowl (do not add anything to it like sugar, salt or honey).

4.How much should my little boy be having in a day? He’s nearly seven months. Julie H.

5. How many spoons worth of food per meal is a baby meant to get as they get older. I’m worried about my baby getting too much or not enough. He’s 7.5 months. Emma M.

Your baby may start at the very beginning with 1-2 tsps and quickly progress to 4-6 and then 6-8 tsps. At 7 months your baby needs three meals a day (roughly 3 tbsps) from all four food groups; that’s protein, fats, carbohydrate and fruit and vegetables. They’ll also need a small main meal followed by a little yogurt or milk pudding. By 9 months you’ll be adding one to two snacks and possibly a milky supper before bed. E.g. Aldi Mamia’s Organic Creamy Porridge with milk.

Be guided by your baby’s appetite on whether they want more or have had enough. Some days they’ll be up for new tastes and some days they’ll throw it on the floor! 

6. Hi Sarah my daughter is 7 months and throws most of the purée we give her. Shall we try finger food? Claire F.

7. Hi Sarah, I’ve heard of baby-led weaning but I feel scared to let my little one munch away at hard food like carrots. What foods do you think it’s safe to start with and at what age? (I’m still breastfeeding and my 2nd is just over 6 months) Anthea A.

8. My son is nearly 6 months old and we have slowly started weaning but I’m really worried about choking, what foods should be avoided? And should I be so worried? Rachel S.

When your little one can do the pincer grip and hold objects between their thumb and finger (usually around 7-8 months old), you can start to serve foods they can safely hand-feed as an accompaniment to their spoon-fed meals. This is a real high point in your weaning journey, but be careful of foods that could get stuck in the windpipe and cause choking.

Start with soft hand-held foods and cut up broccoli florets, halved cherry tomatoes, and lengthwise cut grapes and large blueberries. Slice up a banana and break each wheel into three; peel an apple, take out the core, quarter and cut into half crescents. Cutting a piece of toast into four triangles prevents your baby from gagging on too big a piece or choking on a small piece.

Always supervise meals and be familiar with what to do if a baby or child chokes. The Red Cross do excellent local training for parents and have good videos online. Prevention is best, don’t worry too much, babies are quite good at chucking up anything they don’t want to swallow.  Do what works for your family. Baby lead weaning isn’t it better than purees or blended family meals, it’s a question of doing what works best for you and your baby.

9. Hi. Are you able to recommend any good recipes which are suitable for freezing and how should you freeze and reheat so that it is safe for baby? Thank you. Katherine R.

10. What would you recommend as a great first weaning recipe? Anastasia C.

Lentils with Butternut Squash

Ingredients

Spilt little orange lentils 60g/2oz

Cubed butternut squash 90g/3oz

Cinnamon ½ tsp (optional)

Butter 30g/1oz

Method

Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add well rinsed and drained lentils to the pan and coat in butter for a couple of minutes until they look shiny. Add cinnamon allowing it to coat the lentils for a few minutes. Incorporate butternut squash cubes and mix well. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the butternut squash is tender and lentils well cooked. Drain any excess water and mash up with a fork.

Once cooled this dish can be frozen in sterilised plastic pots. Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat in small saucepan. Leave to stand in a bowl to cool before serving.

Pasta with peas and cheese

Ingredients

Pasta 90g/3oz

Peas 60g/20z

Grated cheddar or cream cheese 60g/2oz

Butter 30g/1oz (optional)

Cook pasta according to timings on the packet. Cook the peas for 3-4 minutes and mash with a fork for young babies but leave whole for older babies. Mix peas and pasta together with butter. Stir in the cheese and serve.

To store leftovers, leave out adding the cheese, but once cooled keep covered in the fridge for a couple of days. No need to reheat. Stir in the cheese to serve.

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