|Weaning is the
process for a baby when they change from milk to solid food.
It is an ideal opportunity to promote family meals, regular
meal routines and home cooking.
The Food Health Team in Wolverhampton run weaning parties at the
Children’s Centres in the city. A meal is cooked and together the
family can taste the food. For further information contact the Food
Health Team 01902 445496 or your Children’s Centre.
Stages of Weaning
Breast milk or formula is all a baby needs for the first 6 months
(26 weeks) of life.
Signs of when to start weaning – look for when your
- Can sit up
- Can pick up food and put in his / her mouth.
- Wants to chew and may have teeth.
- Loses tongue thrusting reflex
At around 6 months:
- Start with small amount of mashed vegetable, fruit or cereal
with breast milk or formula milk
- Continue to give breast milk on demand or give the usual amount
of infant formula milk.
After a couple of weeks of starting to
- Begin to add different foods and tastes.
- The food doesn’t need to be quite so runny - you can start to
leave a few soft lumps.
- Increase the number of spoon feeds to 2 or 3 times per
- Introduce a cup for drinks.
At around 7 months:
- Just use a fork to mash food.
- Encourage finger foods eg toast, pitta bread, chapatti, banana
slices, cooked carrots
- By this stage you should be giving 3 meals a day.
- Remember to allow plenty of time for feeding, particularly at
- Don’t rush or force feed your baby, go at your babys pace
- Give your baby plenty of different tastes, the more flavours a
baby experiences the less fussy he or she is likely to be later
- Once your baby is on 3 meals a day, you can begin to reduce the
amount of milk you give - continue to breast feed on demand or give
at least 500 to 600ml (16 to 20fl oz) of formula
From 9 months:
- Continue to give 3 meals a day plus snacks.
- Move on from mashed to chopped foods.
- Offer your baby a wide variety of family foods. Give your baby
plenty of different foods so that he or she experiences plenty of
- Continue to breast feed on demand or give at least 500 - 600ml
(16 - 20fl oz) of formula milk.
After One Year
- Most one year olds are eating family meals with a couple of
snacks between meals.
- Give less than 1 pint or 500mls milk per day.
Always stay with the baby when giving food
Do not add salt or sugar to the baby’s food
- Baby seems hungrier - before 26 weeks this is not a helpful
sign. It may be a growth spurt and it is usually best to increase
the amount of milk given for a few days
- Baby is not sleeping through. There is no evidence that giving
solids increases sleep
- Baby seems unsettled and is putting their fist in their mouth.
This may be a development stage or teething rather than a sign of
- The Department of Health also emphasises the importance of not
introducing solid food before 4 months at the earliest as baby’s
kidneys and digestive system are too immature to cope with
What to feed your baby
The baby needs to be given food from the four food groups shown
- Fruit and
Fruit and vegetables can be given fresh,
frozen or tinned in water or juice.
Vegetables and hard fruit should be boiled in a little water (no
salt or sugar) until they can be mashed easily with a fork
- Starchy Foods
Examples of these
- Meat and Alternatives
Examples of these
- Dairy Foods
Examples of these are:
Full fat yoghurt or fromage frais
Cheese or cheese sauce
Do not give any hard foods
(e.g. raw carrot, raw apple) to a baby as they can choke. Remove
any peel or pips before giving the food to your baby. Fruit can be
fresh, tinned or dried.
- Examples of these are:
Low sugar rusks
Information has been produced to help parents / carers ensure
that they are providing the correct foods for a baby when
introducing them to solids. These can be downloaded via the links
Solids - A menu plan for weaning using the recipe
weaning - family recipes for starting weaning
frenzy - family recipes for 7 months onwards
For further help contact your Health Visitor, Community Nursery
Nurse or Children’s Centre.
Go to the Food
Standards Agency website - provides information
Your Birth Book, by the Department of Health and given to
all first time mothers, will have more information.