With this week marking Weaning Week, experts have separated fact from fiction to support parents on this new journey.
National Weaning Week, held in association with Organix which runs until Sunday, recently ran a survey on Your Baby Club to find out how UK families are navigating this period of their baby’s development. It was found that parents are conscious of giving their baby a healthy start in life but are confused about complementary feeding.
Despite NHS guidance to wean their baby onto solid foods from six months, almost half of the 1,183 respondents did so when their baby was four to five months, with 70 per cent of parents believing that nutrition from food is more important than from baby’s milk before they reach their first birthday, when, in fact, food should supplement milk until after 12 months. This may explain why many healthcare professionals are switching to the term ‘complementary feeding’ to emphasise the importance of milk at this stage.
The good news is that parents are determined to ensure their little ones get the best start in life; over 66 per cent always read the nutritional information on ready-made baby and finger foods before they buy, and over half make their final choice of food based on what they see on the packaging.
Over half of parents claim no added artificial colours and preservatives, no added salts and sugar and added vitamins are top of the list when it comes to nutritional elements which influence a parent’s choice, swiftly followed by products containing fruit and veg, and food being organic, approved by a nutritionist and baked not fried.
Co-founder, Kerry Haynes, commented: “This survey has shown there are still many concerns and fears around the current situation and parents feeling left alone without the support of their Health Visitor, friends and family whilst going through the weaning process. We have been delighted with the response from experts, parents, and brands this year who want to show their support to parents in their time of need. Throughout Weaning Week, we hope to create a network for parents to support them in weaning their children as nutritiously as possible, so little ones develop a good relationship with food which will lead to a healthier lifestyle later on. Most importantly we want it to be fun.”
Find out more at more at www.weaningweek.co.uk