You put your weaning questions to baby nutrition expert and best-selling author Annabel Karmel. Here’s what you wanted to know.
1. What can’t my baby eat?
My baby is seven months old. Is there anything she can’t eat? Kelly
Annabel Karmel: Avoid giving her honey, shellfish, sugar, salt, whole or chopped nuts, unpasteurised cheese and undercooked egg until she’s a year old.
2. How can I give my baby pasta?
My little one is six months old and has been on fruit and veg purées for a few weeks. I’ve been trying to give him baby pasta but he spits it out. I’m not giving him meat yet but should he have fruit after meals? Andrea
AK: Try a more gradual approach. Mash vegetables, grate fruit like apples and then try pasta. You should be giving babies meat from six months as they need iron. Try some of my beef casserole recipes. Salmon is particularly good because it contains Omega 3 which is important for brain development. See Annabel’s baby pasta recipes here.
3. The great weaning debate
What’s best: baby-led weaning or classic weaning? Anca
AK: It’s different for each baby. They eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re not. Trust their appetites. But a baby’s hand-to-eye co-ordination is not developed enough for them to feed themselves and get the nutrition they need at six months. Find out more about weaning.
4. Is a vegetarian diet ok for babies?
What are your views on raising children on a vegetarian diet? Dawnie
AK: It’s fine. Try to include cheese and eggs if possible as an adult vegetarian diet can be too bulky for little children. It’s also important to make sure you give iron-rich foods with Vitamin C to boost iron absorption.
5. Should my baby drink water too?
My six-month-old is on porridge, baby rice and purées with baby formula straight after – do I need to give water too? Lisa
AK: No, not if they’re drinking enough formula. Unless it’s a very hot day.
6. What snacks can I give my baby?
What are good snack ideas for an eight-month-old baby? Katie
AK: Dried apricots are very nutritious and cheese is good too. If your baby is teething, you can make fresh fruit ice lollies. With fruit, try giving larger pieces like apple or mango wedges. You can also give him small whole steamed carrots because larger pieces are easier to hold. Peeled grapes are good but avoid giving whole ones as your baby could choke.
7. Dinner time is difficult
Why does my 11-month-old refuse solid food and push it away? Feeding time is a struggle. Lucy-Jayne
AK: Babies’ rate of growth slows down at the end of the first year. Try giving finger foods – often, they prefer feeding themselves. Steamed vegetables or pieces of chicken are good things to try. Read more about dinner time difficulties.
8. What finger food can I give my child?
My baby happily eats rices and purées but when shall I give finger foods and what should I give? Should he have fruit too? Susie
AK: Try him on steamed vegetables, pieces of chicken, cheese and fruit. Soft fruit like bananas, ripe pear and berries are good. You could also steam apples to make them soft. Read more about finger foods.
9. How can I get my six-month-old to eat veg?
My six-month-old baby loves fruity purées but spits out veggie ones. How can I encourage her to eat the veg? Elsa
AK: Try sweet root vegetable purées or add grated apple or apricots to sweeten other vegetable purées. Find Annabel’s sweet veg purée recipe here.
10. How much food is enough for babies?
What are appropriate portion sizes? I want to ensure my six-month-old is getting enough nutrition. Nicola
AK: Every baby is different. Some will eat more than others and certain foods like a beef purée will be more filling.
Got a question for Annabel?
If you still have any questions you’d like to ask Annabel, on the topics of feeding, nutrition or weaning, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, children's name/s and ages, and where you live.
Please note that in the event of a large reader response, Annabel may not be able to answer all questions received. See terms and conditions.