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Baby-led weaning

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Guidelines for weaning your baby using the baby-led weaning method

Firstly, don’t let that technical sounding term fool you, all baby-led weaning means is instead of you feeding different types of food to your baby, you let them pick up and eat the food themself.

How to begin

Once your baby is at least six months old you can start baby-led weaning by offering soft, simple foods that are easy for her to pick up. One of the best ways to do this is to put a few different types of food on your little one’s highchair tray and then she can help herself – a handy wipe-clean, plastic mat under the high chair is a great idea, too.

Good first choices of foods are:

  • Grated or cubes of cheese
  • Grated carrot – or cooked carrot so it’s squish-able
  • Small pieces of cooked meat
  • Chunks of banana
  • Mini rice cakes

You can also offer the foods you are eating so your baby can fit in with your normal family mealtimes (i.e. she can have a bit of khichdi, potatoes etc) but make sure you don’t give her raw eggs, raw fish, nuts or anything high in sugar or salt. Remember too that you should continue giving milk feeds until your baby is at least one-year-old.

The good news

This way your baby will be exposed to a range of different food tastes and textures and can chose what she eats, which can be a lot less stressful for both of you, as long as you are prepared for meal times to be a bit messier and longer!

Your baby will also feel more in charge, which will cut down on the mouth clamping shut and head turning away from the spoon bit. The more independent a child feels, the more fun they will have exploring food which should lead to them being a more adventurous and less picky eater when they’re older.

Staying safe

Even though she is feeding herself, you should never leave your child alone while she is eating, especially when she moves on to harder foods, to avoid any risk of choking.

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