Solid support


A campaign to help parents introduce solid foods to their babies has been launched by Public Health England’s Start4Life programme.

It comes as a survey reveals that many mums lack confidence when it comes to weaning, and there are some common misconceptions which may influence parents to introduce solid foods to their baby before six months. For instance, some mums believe that wanting extra milk feeds is a sign that babies are ready to start weaning; others believe that a baby chewing their fists is a sign that they are ready and some think that waking up in the night is a sign.

Official advice is that most babies should not start solid foods until they are around six months old when their bodies are better able to cope with solid foods, they are more able to feed themselves and they are more proficient at chewing, swallowing and moving food around the mouth.

Choking tops the list of worries about weaning, with mums also concerned about allergic reactions to new foods, how much food to give their baby, and anxiety that their baby won’t eat enough or will reject food.

As part of the Start4Life initiative, a free weaning hub developed in partnership with parents, is available. It’s packed with NHS-approved advice and tips for each weaning stage, healthy recipes for different age groups and new videos highlighting the signs that a baby is ready to be weaned, how much food to give and weaning tips from other parents.