As a professional nutritionist/midwife, I often come across myths about weaning that parents ask me about – but are they true or are they false? Hopefully I can put the record straight on some of the most common myths out there….
Weaning is easy!
Not necessarily – it may be a brand-new experience for you, and it is definitely a new one for your baby, so it might feel a bit overwhelming to start with, but it shouldn’t take too long before you both get the hang of it. There is lots of advice available to help get you started and to guide you through the different stages of weaning. Whether you prepare all your own foods or buy commercial baby foods, or combine the two, there are plenty of choices to introduce lots of different tastes into your baby’s diet. The key to successful weaning is to relax, go at your baby’s pace and to have fun. If they don’t take to a new food straightaway, don’t worry, simply try it again another day.
Food before one is just for fun
Although introducing foods is something to enjoy, it is important to remember that there are nutritional and developmental reasons for weaning. From around 6 months, babies will start to need iron from a mixed diet to replenish their iron stores, which are usually depleted at this stage, and they need to start eating more energy-dense foods. Learning to enjoy lots of new tastes and different textures is also vital in their progress towards family-type meals, which they should be able to manage by the age of 1.