Annabel Karmel on Weaning and Nutrition

Weaning: Where to Start?The UK Department of Health states that babies should start weaning from 6 months, although they advise that if your baby is showing signs of being ready to move on from just breastfeeding or formula then you could try giving some simple solids. If you feel your baby is ready before then have a chat with your Midwife or healthcare professional, although do not start weaning before 17 weeks as your baby’s digestive system will not be fully mature for the first few months.Transitions to solids are more about introducing food than giving a full meal. Up until now your baby has been comfortable with milk but if you spot signs of them being hungrier than usual even after their milk feed or waking in the night, it may be an indicator that they're ready to move on to solids.But where to start I hear you cry?It’s best to start with root vegetables that can be pureed to a smooth texture, so give butternut squash, carrot and parsnip a go.When introducing fruit, make sure the fruit is sweet and not too sharp for little ones. Start them off with pureed apples, bananas and mangoes.Starting your weaning adventure is a huge milestone for both you and your baby. They’re about to learn a whole new set of skills and experience taste for the first time, so don’t rush it and take it at their pace.No one is ever going to be a seasoned pro at weaning the first time around so the important thing is to not give up. It can take many attempts before your little one comes around to the flavour of banana or avocado and this is understandable – after all, all they’ve ever known is milk at this stage.The key is to enjoy your experience. Experiment with different first foods and introduce your baby to the world of flavour one step at a time.Good luck!Annabel