Introducing little ones to solid foods is a really exciting stage. It’s a very popular topic of conversation with other parents at our favourite baby & toddler groups each week, & everyone has plenty to say on the subject. Unfortunately we’re currently missing out on those face to face conversations with our friends. Health Visitor clinics & workshops may also be on pause right now, so where do you go to find advice you can trust? I’ve gathered together a selection of trusted sources of information for you here, to help you get prepared for this next stage, or to help you along the way if you’ve already started. 

Watch this little video first
Before you go any further, sit down & watch this great little video. It’s produced by Dr Amy Brown along with Walsall Health Visiting Service. You’ll be introduced to some great tips, some myth busting & reassurance. It’s a fantastic starting point & also something you might like to share with your partner or family, so they can learn about it too.  

 

Health Professionals

Health Visitor & GP

Your Health Visitor & GP are your 1st port of call if you have any health concerns about your child. Even in these strange times when routine clinics & checks may not be taking place, you are still welcome to contact your health professional if you need any advice on introducing solids or questions which arise along the way.

NHS

NHS START 4 LIFE

NHS Start 4 Life

The NHS Start 4 Life online resource is always up to date & available for you.

It can be confusing knowing when and how to start introducing solid foods. We’re here to guide you through the weaning journey and explain what it all means. We’ve got expert NHS advice, helpful videos, tips from other parents, and lots of simple, healthy weaning recipe and meal ideas.

www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/

Books & Online Resources

Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley

If anyone ever asks me about a good book on weaning, anything by Gill Rapley would be at the very top of the list. She has published some really good books along with Tracey Murkett. Baby-led Weaning, Baby-led Weaning Cookbook & most recently The Baby-led Weaning Quick & Easy Recipe Book. You can also download a free Baby-led Weaning leaflet from her website, which will help you get started.

www.rapleyweaning.com

Why Starting Solids Matter by Amy Brown

Dr Amy Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health at Swansea University. She has published over 60 papers & her research continues to examine influences on breastfeeding & introducing solid foods. She is a regular Huffington Post blogger aiming to change the way we think about breastfeeding, mothering & caring for our babies.

Why Starting Solids Matter by Amy Brown

First Steps Nutrition Trust

First Steps Nutrition Trust is an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years.

Their resources can be downloaded for free or you can buy the printed books. They include:

Eating Well: Infants & New Mums

  • Eating well: The First year – A guide to eating solids & eating well up to a baby’s first birthday
  • Eating Well for New Mums
  • Breastmilk & Breastfeeding
  • Eating well: vegan infants and under -5s& more

Eating Well: Early Years

  • Eating Well: Snacks 1- 4 years old
  • Good food choices and portion sizes for 1-4 year olds
  • Eating well: Packed lunches for 1-4 year olds
  • Eating well: vegan infants and under -5s& more

 OUR MISSION

  • To ensure that everyone working to support mums-to-be and young families has access to independent, expert and practical ‘eating well’ resources.

  • To provide up-to-date information on infant milks for sale in the UK and promote better regulation and marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

  • To contribute to good policy and practice throughout the UK and ensure that the importance of good nutrition from pre-conception to five remains on everyone’s agenda

OUR RESOURCES:

  • Are put together by nutrition experts, are regularly updated and are reviewed by policy makers, health professionals, independent experts and users.

  • Can be used in Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative accredited settings.

  • Are available as free pdf downloads for use by anyone promoting better public health on a not-for profit basis.

First Steps Nutrition – Infants & New Mums 

Teeth

NHS – Taking Care of Children’s Teeth

Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later). NHS dental treatment is free for everyone up to the age of 18. While you are pregnant treatment is free too, & remains so up until your baby’s first birthday.

NHS – Taking Care of Children’s Teeth 

Drinks & What To Drink From

What drinks you chose & what you put them in can make a big difference to their teeth. NHS says – ‘Introduce your baby to drinking from a cup or beaker from around 6 months and offer sips of water with meals. Using an open cup or a free-flow cup without a valve will help your baby learn to sip and is better for your baby’s teeth. It might be messy at first but be patient, your baby will gradually learn how to drink from an open cup’ Read more …
If you’re looking for a cup to fit little hands Babycup produce small simple drinking cups for little ones.

Babycup.co.uk 


What happens if we don’t take care of their teeth

Tooth decay is largely preventable yet it remains a serious problem. Findings from Public Health England’s (PHE) showed that in 2015 in England, a quarter (25%) of 5 year olds had experienced tooth decay, having on average 3 or 4 teeth affected. The vast majority of tooth decay was untreated.

Public Health England – How to prevent tooth decay in children under 5’s 

Health Concerns, Food Intolerance or Allergies

Health Concerns, Food Intolerance or Allergies

What do you do if you have a concern about your child’s health?

This is NOT the time to phone a friend or ask Google. We can’t compare our child with someone else’s, we can’t assume what worked for them will work for you, or the symptoms they have are caused by the same thing your child’s symptoms are caused by.

Give your Health Visitor or GP a call. They will be able to help you & can also refer you to a specialist if required.

Dietitian

Dietitians are qualified and regulated health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public-health level. They use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. Dietitians work in the NHS and in private clinics. They work with healthy and sick people in a variety of settings. They often work as integral members of multi-disciplinary teams to treat complex clinical conditions such as diabetes, food allergy and intolerance, IBS syndrome, eating disorders, chronic fatigue, malnutrition, kidney failure and bowel disorders.

How can I find a Registered Dietitian

Dietitian or Nutritionist?

Choosing the right person to seek help and advice from can sometimes be a confusing task. Many people claim to be experts in nutrition yet have very limited knowledge and offer no protection to the public. Click on the link below to learn more about the differences between the roles and functions of dietitians, nutritionists and nutritional therapists.

Dietitian, Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist or Diet Expert