Weaning is a major milestone in your child's growth and development journey. Weaning involves introducing other foods to your child's diet apart from breast milk.
Most parents wean their children from six months, while others do it earlier or later. When you decide to wean your baby, it is important to consider certain factors as follows:
Start by introducing small portions of one item at a time to spot any allergic reaction, and gradually increase the options.
Turn the foods into smooth consistencies. This makes it easy for your baby to ingest the food without choking on lumps.
Use fresh ingredients and avoid overcooking for your baby to get full nutritional benefits.
Types of weaning
This is when a baby stops breastfeeding on their own. You can offer them finger foods and let them feed themselves once in a while.
This applies to giving solid foods and breast milk at the same time as opposed to exclusive breastfeeding.
This is a slow weaning process that involves introducing your baby to one food at a time and gradually increasing portions and options.
Temporary weaning involves weaning for some time before getting back to breastfeeding. This could be because of a health issue or other reasons.
This involves suddenly stopping breastfeeding and orienting your baby into solid foods.
Here are some foods you can feed to your baby when weaning;
Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A which helps strengthen the baby's immune system, promote growth, and promote good eyesight. Steam the pumpkin then blend it to a smooth consistency.
Potatoes have essential nutrients like iron, folate, Vitamin B6 and Zinc. They also contain choline, an important nutrient for brain development. They are a go-to weaning food due to their easy availability and quick preparation.
Pawpaws are rich in vitamin A and C, which come in handy to support your baby's immune system, eyesight and skin. You can easily mash ripe potatoes to create a puree for your baby.
Bananas are packed with carbohydrates and nutrients like potassium, folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. All necessary for healthy development in babies. Nutrients in bananas vary depending on ripeness. Ripe bananas contain more soluble fibres which are ideal for babies.
Avocado has healthy fats and soluble fibres which aid babies brain development. It is rich in vitamins that support growth such as B6 and folate, and those that support immune health such as zinc and Vitamin E. They also support easy digestion that is necessary since your baby's digestive system will try to adjust to these new foods.
Be patient with weaning your baby and give them time to take in the new flavours and nutrients. All children are unique, and what works for another child might not work for yours. Find a suitable weaning method for your baby and work from there to ensure they benefit wholly from the process.