We answer your weaning questions!

Sugar and salt for your baby? No, never!!

Although it might seem more natural to introduce sweet purées first, ensure you don’t offer your baby too much fruit as it is important that they get used to vegetable flavours from an early age [1]. Some children find certain vegetables, e.g. cruciferous like broccoli, too bitter. If your baby rejects them, give them a break and try again in a few days. If baby still rejects them, try adding another vegetable to that meal once you’ve moved on from the single flavour purées.

And, of course, do not add any sugar or salt to your baby’s purées. Sugar does not contain any nutrients and during weaning every mouthful counts, so make it as nutritious as you can. Early sugar introduction can encourage a sweet tooth going forward and have a negative impact on dental health. Honey is another food that should be avoided until at least 12 month of age as it may contain bacteria that can cause botulism.

Babies’ kidneys are only ready to process minute amounts of salt so it is best to avoid it completely.


Cuál es la manera más sana de cocinar para su bebé?

Cooking methods are important when feeding young babies – gently steaming or baking instead of boiling preserves water soluble nutrients such as vitamin C needed to support their developing immune system.

Note on steaming food: There is no need to buy a steamer. The easiest method is to use a pan with about 5cm of water, put a metal strainer with food and a metal lid on top. Once the water boils the vegetables are cooked in 3-5minutes, fish in 5-7 minutes and chicken in 9-15minutes. Make sure that the vegetables are soft enough for your baby, and that the fish, meat and chicken are well cooked.


What foods we should avoid giving to babies?

  • Gluten cereals including wheat to ensure the gut is healed and can handle them
  • Dairy
  • Sugar and honey
  • Salt
  • Adult foods as they may contain too much salt, sugar and potentially additives and preservatives.
  • Eggs, fish and seafood
  • Undercooked meat
  • Whole nuts because they are a choking hazard – and nuts before 6 months.


Dairy products, yes or no?

At this stage your baby will only swallow tiny amounts of solids and their main source of nutrients will still be breast or formula milk (remember that cow’s milk should not be baby’s main drink until after 12 months of age). Early weaning is more of a taste and texture introduction for baby!

It might be difficult to get baby interested in solids if he or she is too hungry so it is advisable to offer half a milk feed and then a taste of solids. A full milk feed might make them too full to want to try some veggie purée, so save some milk for later just in case baby is still hungry after his or her solid lunch!

[1] Ross ES (2017) Flavor and Taste Development in the First Years of Life Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series 87 49-58

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