The Stages of Weaning shown below can vary from child to child, but moving your child from milk to solids can lay the foundation of a healthy eating habit and eventually food will provide all the nutrients your little one needs.
First Stage – 4 – 6 months
- Weaning your baby from bottles only to solid food.
- Introduce slowly, freshly prepared food.
- Puree all fruit and vegetables, like a thick soup.
- Weaning spoons and bowls must be sterilized for the first 6 months.
- The baby still should be taking 20floz – 25floz per day.
- Foods should be introduced gradually and careful notes made of any reactions.
Second Stage – 7 – 9 months
- Make eating a sociable event, include your baby at the dinner table.
- Foods are now thicker and have lumps in it.
- Encourage your child to chew and get used to the new texture.
- The baby still should be taking 18floz – 20floz.
- The baby is having three meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Also the baby will be having one serving of cooked meat e.g.: Beef, lamb or fish in their diet.
- Red meat is an excellent source of iron.
Third Stage – 9 – 12 months
- At this stage your child will be progressing from crawling and possible even walking.
- The child is developing their independence and may now want to feed himself.
- Give him finger food and encourage him to feed themselves.
- Their diet can now be like the rest of the family
- No salt, nuts or honey.
- Encourage your child to drink from a beaker, only having one bottle of formula milk at bedtime.
- Babies who enjoy a wide variety of tastes and textures at this stage grow up to be good eaters who are not fussy with food.
Fourth Stage – 12 months – 2 years
- Three meals per day.
- Sitting with the family for all meals and using a spoon, fork and knife (plastic).
- Limit intake of foods that are high in sugar and salt.
- At this age there may be a change in their eating habits and favorite meals may be refused – this is normal behavior.
- Encourage their involvement with food preparation, make meals interesting