Well-Balanced Weaning – Weaning from 10-12 Months
Your baby is growing up! As your little one’s motor skills are improving, they are enjoying shuffling around or cruising along the furniture, and also feeding themselves more, loving new recipes, and textures. As they approach their first birthday and learn the skill of walking, their diet will grow with them. So how much of baby’s milk should they have, what vitamins and nutrients are important at this stage and what are some baby-led weaning ideas? We have your questions covered!
If you are continuing to breastfeed, you may notice your baby is changing how much milk they want on their own as they continue to eat solid foods. As expected, the more solids they eat, the less milk they may want to have, and that is perfectly normal. The reverse is also true, if your baby is having a lot of breastmilk, they might not want as much solid food. If this is the case, you could consider holding off on breastfeeding until after they have had their solid meal.
Formula fed babies should have about 400ml a day at this stage, preferably between meals and not right before them. If your little one is enjoying three meals a day and wants more milk, it’s not a problem. Your baby and your parental instincts will guide you!
The vitamin and nutrient requirements at this stage are similar to the previous months of weaning, as your baby will need to consume foods that contain vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin D supplements if they are not getting enough via their milk (speak with your GP if you are unsure).
Vitamin A is important to strengthen your baby’s immune system, help with eye development and keep their skin healthy. It is fair enough to tell your little one that if they want to see in the dark like a superhero, vitamin A foods are essential for this! What types of foods are rich in vitamin A that are safe for your 10-12 month old? If you have successfully introduced dairy into your baby’s diet without a reaction, that is an excellent source of vitamin A. Cow’s milk as a drink is not recommended until 12 months (breastmilk or formula is), but full-fat yogurts, fromage frais, fortified fat spread and pasteurised full fat cheese such as mild cheddar or cream cheese are good options. Vitamin A rich vegetables including broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, green beans, chard, sweet potatoes, carrots, swede and peppers. Fruit ideas include cantaloupe melon, mango, watermelon and papaya.
Vitamin C is also important for your baby’s immune system, as well as collagen production and is an antioxidant. Vitamin C rich foods include broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach, swede, green beans as well as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and papaya. Citrus is not recommended until your baby reaches 12 months.
An important change at this stage, is that your growing baby now needs regular iron in their diet to help keep red blood cells healthy, which carry oxygen to their organs and muscles, and is important for brain development. Meats such as beef, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey and fish are great sources of iron. If you have successfully introduced eggs into their diet, this is a source for iron as well. Iron is also found in fortified infant cereal, tofu, beans and other legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, red lentils and cannellini beans.
At this stage, there are so many exciting options for your little one, and combining the above suggestions with your recipes creates a varied and nutritious meal. Offering fruits and vegetables (softened where necessary) as sticks along with a pureé veg, smashed avocado or cream cheese dip are some fun baby-led weaning ideas. Combining fish with sweet potatoes and a veg, perhaps with some cheese in a casserole, can then be frozen into mini meals for the coming weeks. Pasta sauces, meat or veggie burgers, veggie risottos (my family love a pea and bean risotto) and sugar-free cookies or muffins are also all easy to make in bulk and freeze for freshly frozen baby food. Offering home-made meals will make the transition to family meals much easier, and can often be made at the same time as the rest of the family’s food, just separated before salt and sugar are added. Make it easy for yourself!
If you don’t have time to make meals from scratch, Tom Pom Organic offers a red lentil dahl meal which is high in protein, fibre and a source of vitamin A, and our salmon, sweet potato and pea meal is high in vitamin A, vitamin D and a source of protein. My family also loves the chicken, quinoa, pea and spinach meal which is so comforting, and all 100% organic baby food. Take a look here to find out more about the delicious collection of Tom Pom Organic meals.