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 (


Related Articles

Weaning your baby: The best first foods
Weaning your baby: The best first foods
Weaning your baby: The best first foods If you're considering which first foods...
Mums share their best weaning secrets
Mums share their best weaning secrets
Mums share their best weaning secrets Jenny Hancock, mum to twins, Harrison and...
Weaning: Give home cooked food on the go
Weaning: Give home cooked food on the go
Weaning: Give home cooked food on the go Starting your baby on solid food can...
Got a little Charlotte in the family?
Got a little Charlotte in the family?
Got a little Charlotte in the family? To celebrate Princess Charlotte’s first...

email block


Baby's first Christmas gift ideas

Christmas is a special time for parents and their newborn's, which can make choosing the perfect present tricky. From baby's...

How to explain death to your toddler?

It can be difficult to explain the death of a relative or loved one to a small child. Here's some...

National Day Nurseries Association and Clangers launch ‘Kindness with the Clangers’

National Day Nurseries Association and Clangers launch ‘Kindness with the Clangers’, a five-week series of fun and educational activities...

Win super cute baby sensory toys with the Sophie La Girafe gift set worth £65!

Win a cute sensory development toy for your baby by entering our competition for your chance to win a Sophie...

Win a year's supply of tea worth £1,500

Here's you chance to win a year's supply of 'super teas' from We Are Tea