Hanna’s best baby weaning tips
- Think as little as possible about how much your children eat
I focus as little as I can on how much my kids eat. I serve them a variety of healthy food and then trust them to eat what they want and as much or as little as they want. Sometimes they eat nothing, but I don’t mind, I know that they will eat when they are really hungry and sometimes eating is not a priority. I will offer them food later again and sooner or later they will eat. Avoid making eating an achievement by praising your kids for eating a lot or complaining about eating too little. Eating should be an uncomplicated pleasure!
- Mix baby led weaning with spoon-feeding if you feel uncomfortable going 100% in
No need to be black and white, you can feed puree and give pieces that the baby could eat herself also.
If you feed your baby with purées it is extra important to follow the baby and to pay attention to when the baby is full. Try to lay aside your expectations on what and when your baby should eat. Don’t try to feed your baby if it shows that it’s not interested. Another thing I see a lot that I wouldn’t recommend is that parents try to encourage their baby to eat by for example pretending that the spoon is a plane. Food shouldn’t be manipulated into our children, let them get to know their feelings of hunger and satiety.
- Make meals a nice moment you share together
Sit down and eat with your children. Make it a relaxed moment where you can enjoy each other’s company. Personally, I am not so fond of too many rules at the table, keep them as few as possible. We have a non-screaming policy that we mostly stick to, but that’s it. Light a candle, put some music on, or whatever makes your shared meal nicer.
- Let your baby taste a great variety of food.
Don’t just give babies potatoes and broccoli, let them taste everything you are eating. If possible, make an unsalted version of your food to the baby and serve it as finger food. If it is not possible, let them taste tiny bits of salted food as well, just not let them eat a lot. Between the time babies sit up and the time they walk there is a window when, if they get something on average 6-10 times, up to 15 times, they’re likely to form a lasting preference. So if you want a kid that eat a variety of food, this early period in its life is essential.
- Don’t fear the mess
Baby weaning could be incredibly messy. Accept it. One day it will pass. My first born who was messy-messy ate with an oilcloth underneath her high chair which made cleaning easier. I even brought the oilcloth along when we were eating out. I also used a bib with long sleeves as often as she accepted it. Most of the time though, I let her eat without clothes and then after meals she had a bath in the basin sink which she loved. During her bath I got some time to clean the kitchen so it was a win-win.
And above all, the huge advantage I get is kids who love all sort of food and doesn’t have to deal with food-related issues in the future!