Weaning

Weaning your baby is an important milestone and at Woodlands our baby unit team and our chef work together with you, to move your baby on to solid foods. It is recommended that weaning begins at around 6 months. Some of our parents use the baby-led weaning approach while others choose to feed and puree their babies food. We will support and follow any approach you do at home. All of our baby unit staff have extensive knowledge on weaning babies and so can offer help and advice should you need it.

We understand that your baby’s first experience of food should be fun and positive and so we offer our babies a calm, safe environment to try new textures and tastes. Our babies that are weaning sit in low chairs with a member of staff on hand to help feed and offer encouragement, we do this at your babies pace and will move on to different food types as and when they are ready. The food we provide is home cooked, fresh and is a suitable portion size depending on age. Our babies eat together to share the important experience and our staff eat also to model table manners. We believe that eating should be a fun, sociable event that children enjoy.

Some parents choose to start by introducing vegetables or fruit that have been softened or pureed, then move on to soft cooked meats, pastas, and dairy products. It is a good idea to introduce different foods slowly to give your babies digestive system time to cope with the solid foods. Whilst your baby is weaning our chef will make the meals specific to what they have tried or are trying, this helps to rule out any intolerances or allergies, whilst allowing your baby time to get used to the new tastes.

When your baby has tried lots of different foods and textures, they may move on to finger foods and eating meals from our main menu. The next step is to encourage lumps into their food. Many parents may feel anxious about their young baby eating lumps, however our staff sit close to the children and are first aid trained so the experience is safe and enjoyable. Between the age of 10 month and one year, children should have experienced all types of foods, from spicy to sour, lumpy to smooth. Children that have experienced this at this time have far few problems with different types of foods when they are toddlers (NHS,2013)

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