Top weaning tips

Top weaning tips

Check out our how-to guide on weaning your tot, full of store-cupboard superheroes and advice on what to avoid


Tot moving on to the solids? Courtesy of Ella’s Kitchen, we’ve got the top tips:

Foods to avoid

When you begin the weaning journey, not every food is good for your baby’s tiny tummy. As well common allergens, the foods you should avoid are:

  • Honey: Bears may like honey, but little ones shouldn’t try it until they reach one year, as it contains bacteria that could be harmful to tiny tummies
  • Whole nuts: Whole nuts (including peanuts) are easy to choke on. Don’t give them until your child is over five years old
  • Eggs: Until your baby is one year, give well-cooked eggs only – there is a tiny chance of salmonella in runny eggs
  • Some fish and shellfish: Some fish, including shark, marlin and swordfish, can contain high levels of mercury. Avoid giving these in the first year, and after that only in small amounts. Shellfish can carry a risk of food poisoning if it’s undercooked, so be very, very careful to cook it properly all the way through
  • Added sugar: Your baby is sweet enough, so avoid adding sugar in your cooking. Natural sugars in fruits provide plenty of sweetness – any more could lead to tooth decay or an unhealthy sweet tooth
  • Unpasteurised and blue cheeses: Soft, unpasteurised cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, and ‘mouldy’ or ‘blue’ cheeses, such as Stilton, carry a small risk of food poisoning. Best saved for after your baby’s first birthday
  • Added Salt: Little ones under a year old need less than 1g of salt – or 0.4g of sodium a day, so added salt is a no-no. Processed foods not intended for babies, such as pasta sauces and breakfast cereals, could have lots of added salt in them, and stock cubes, too

Store-cupboard superheroes

Juggling a baby and everyday life is hard work. Even the most organised wonder-mums can get caught short. But with a few essentials tucked away in the kitchen, anyone can whip up a delicious, nutritious meal for a little one in no time at all.

  • Pasta, rice and couscous: These are perfect accompaniments, but also delicious stirred through a sauce
  • Tinned tomatoes and tomato puree: Add a few herbs and there’s your sauce
  • Tinned pulses: Butter beans and lentils provide texture and flavour, and are fantastic sources of protein
  • Tinned fish: Sardines and salmon can provide instant sources of protein and healthy fats
  • Rolled oats: These are brilliant for simple breakfast, or mixed with fruit for a pudding
  • Dried herbs and spices: Cinnamon, oregano, thyme and turmeric can transform simple dishes
  • Dried fruit: Raisins, sultanas and dark and unsulphured apricots make perfect toddler finger foods
  • Eggs: A mashed-up boiled egg or well-cooked scramble provides instant nutrition. Mixed with flour and some milk, eggs make a batter for pancakes, too
  • Frozen veg: Veggies that are always fresh. A bag of frozen peas of broccoli means that supergreen nutrition is always at hand

Tips from Ella's Kitchen: The First Foods Book, published by Hamlyn, £14.99 (


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