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Weaning babies with family meals

Start weaning at six months to prevent finicky eating. Family dinners promote healthy eating, prevent picky eating, and improve eating together.

Weaning babies with family meals

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Feb 2023 10:42 AM GMT

Family meals should include young children. After a few months, you can wean your child by giving him family meals instead of baby food recipes or large amounts. Make a baby-friendly family supper.You can gourmet-cook even if you have children of various ages.

Start weaning at six months to prevent finicky eating. Family dinners promote healthy eating, prevent picky eating, and improve eating together.

How to keep your family meals suitable for weaning

All meals, including weaning, should be family-friendly. Use baby-friendly foods, appetising flavours, and techniques to modify ingredients, prep and cooking for babies and toddlers. Make sure you serve your child as per age.


Start second-stage weaning with moderate spices. Keep spice recipes warm and flavourful for everyone. Some dishes can be spiced up or down depending on your kids, or you can add a kick of heat at the end for adults.


Avoid salt and use low-salt stock and soy sauce to protect children's kidneys and blood pressure. Add salt after serving your child or yourself.


Honey contains botulism-causing germs that can kill new-borns under 12 months. Recipes that have honey in them, can be replaced by brown sugar or agave nectar. This plant-based, unprocessed sweetener is safe for babies. Choose the mildest honey replacement.


Under-one-year-olds should avoid processed meat recipes. Processed meats lack minerals and protein and are high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar.


Introduce nuts and peanuts in the second phase of weaning, but if your child has an uncommon, undetected nut allergy, this will trigger it. Crush nuts before serving. Smash them in a sealed food bag.


Limit the sauce in richer or sugary recipes for your child.


Avoid choking by serving salads undressed and preparing veggies safely.

How to adapt family meals for weaning

Note if you need to replace ingredients or adjust the prep or cooking for each meal or side dish to make it baby-friendly.

Your 6-month-old can start eating meals with the family when they enter the second phase of weaning.

Spoon-fed baby

Purée or chop all meals except pasta, burgers, chicken or fish and bread. All babies wean at varying rates. If your infant has a strong gag reaction, you may switch to lumpier food. because lumpier food makes them gag.

6 months

Make puree as their supper. If you want to make it thin, then add hot, boiling water.

7-9 months

Use a food processor to finely chop the baby's portion; make it well-textured but lump-free. To thin, add warm, boiled water, stock, or sauce. Use a fork to mash soft fruits and veggies.

10-12 months old

Chop a baby's meal except rice. The chopped food should belumpier without huge chunks. Transfer to a bowl and loosen with low-salt stock or sauce. Serve with rice.

12 months + transition period

Use forks to shred the meat or poultry into small pieces. With the back of a fork, flake fish and mash tender veggies. Remove the shells, but don't chop up the peas or sweet corn.

1 year +

Cut food into bite-sized pieces. A sharp knife and fork will serve your purpose.

Baby-led weaning

6-9 months old

You can introduce soft meals that are cut into long, finger-width strips such as spaghetti, tagliatelle, or penne. Cut flake fried fish, shred chicken and beef into finger-width chunks for new-borns to palm. Fork-mash the peas, beans, and potatoes.

10-12 months old

Soft foods are cut into finger-width strips. Introduce penne, rigatoni, rotini, sliced spaghetti, or tagliatelle, mash potatoes with fork. Peas, sweet corn, and pea-sized diced vegetables and fruits are manageable too. The grip of the child improves by doing so.

1 year +

Finger foods can be hard or soft. Introduce grapes and blueberries here.

Serve the baby's share first. Always eat with the baby. It encourages healthy eating and good table manners.The family sometimes finds that the baby's mealtimes, especially dinner, are early. After the baby sleeps, you make a different family dinner. Baby-friendly family dinners can be frozen or refrigerated.

Full-time parents can cook and preserve family dinners during the week. Weaning starts at 6 months unless a paediatrician advises differently. Most families choose baby-led or a mix of baby-led and spoon-fed weaning. After mastering infant weaning and simple vegetable and fruit purees, your baby may try new flavours alongside you.

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