Myth: Start with bland food
Truth:Weaning offers a precious window of opportunity to develop your baby’s tastebuds. Between 5 months and 1 year, babies are at their most receptive to new tastes and flavours. If they don’t get to try new flavours at this age, it could create barriers to new flavours in later months.
Myth: Only feed your baby fruit and veg from 6 months
Truth:Holding off introducing protein like meat and oily fish means your baby could be missing out on essential nutrients such as the iron and essential fatty acids that come from these food groups which help growth and brain developments.
Myth: Jar foods are more reliable
Truth: Processed or jar food is sterilised which removes a lot of the nutrients and taste.
Myth:Avoid foods like fish or eggs because of the risk of allergy
Truth:New advice is not to withhold foods like eggs and fish from 6 months. Giving these foods helps to desensitise babies. An example of this is in Israel where young children regularly eat Bamba – a snack which contains peanuts – and, over there, they have a very low case of peanut allergies. The best thing you can do is to introduce new foods one by one, leaving a day or two between each one, to see if there’s a reaction. If you have a family history of allergies, seek medical advice before introducing any possible allergen foods.
Myth: Teething means they are ready for solids
Truth:The development of teeth doesn’t mean your baby is ready for solids. Some babies cut their milk teeth around four months. Weaning before 17 weeks is not advisable as your baby’s digestive system is not fully developed.
Myth: There’s something wrong if my baby’s eating slows down
Truth: Babies grow more rapidly in their first year than at any other time in their life. Rate of growth slows down towards the end of the first year and so does their appetite. Also they become more mobile and independent and less likely to stay strapped into a high chair.
Myth: A low-fat, high-fibre diet is good for babies
Truth: No, babies need proportionately more fat in their diet than adults so don’t give low fat milk or yogurt as they need nutrient dense foods to fuel their rapid growth. Too much fibre can deplete the body of vital minerals and fill up your baby’s small tummy before he gets the nutrients he needs.
Annabel Karmel’s purees
Annabel’s new baby food range is out now (Sainsbury’s from 99p).
Visit www.annabelkarmel.com for more information.