Breast milk offers your baby so much more than just comfort and a full tummy. As breast milk flows from you to your baby, It releases nutrients in order of importance to keep your baby’s blood sugar balanced.
The first to flow from breast milk is predigested protein in the form of amino acids. Then fats are released to support brain and nerve development and lastly, sugars help energy for the rapid growth your baby is experiencing.
WHEN TO START WEANING YOUR BABY
Start weaning your baby around 4-6months. A good indication of when a baby is ready for first food is when He/She is able to sit up on their own.
Start off with avocado. Avocado is a great nutrient-dense food that is a full meal on its own. Avocado has the closest composition to breast milk. It is full of healthy fats and has 20 different vitamins and minerals that your baby needs to grow and be healthy.
Veggies are more nutrient dense than fruits so try to get them in before introducing cereals or grains. Start with single veggie purees like butternut, sweet potato, baby marrows, and carrots, then move on to combined vegetable purees
Introduce finger-size amounts of protein e.g. white fish pureed with veggie after the first month. Then chicken, and then lastly red meat.
In the first year of a baby’s life, their intestines are porous, so we want to limit typical food allergens like gluten and wheat because they can an immune reaction which may lead to allergies and eczema later on. Gluten-free grains include; millet, sorghum, chia, rice and corn.
For the first year, a baby’s digestive system is still trying to develop so they may struggle to digest citrus fruits, and nightshade foods like tomatoes, eggplants, mushrooms and peppers.
Pulsers, dairy, and eggs can be introduced towards the end of the first year.
This is an exciting time for you and your baby, so don’t let this become stressful. Don’t be too rigid about following these suggestions. Use them as a general guideline and adjust them according to how your baby is responding.
Let your baby get used to one flavour at a time. Let him/her discover each food’s texture and smell, and let them be messy.
Investigate for yourself what ‘baby-led weaning’ is all about and if you would like to give it a try. Teach your baby how to eat and enjoy food by eating with them. Meals are more enjoyable when we eat together.