Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Here we are at the threshold of 6 months and with them a new adventure: weaning. Very often the parents I speak to describe themselves as very enthusiastic about the subject but at the same time confused. What to give? When to start? The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until the end of the sixth month and the introduction of solid foods thereafter. Having said that, it is possible that your pediatrician has advised you to start weaning a little earlier (starting from the fifth month). This is because every child is different and there is no fixed ideal moment. Follow your child's instinct and behavior, he will make you understand that he is ready. Towards the fifth / sixth month the child will acquire control of the trunk and neck (he will therefore be able to sit upright on the high chair), the chewing reflex will appear and above all he will begin to show interest in the food he sees you eat. It is the moment! So the search for the healthiest homogenized product begins, without salt, gluten, without flavorings. The so-called "baby food", or industrial preparations for early childhood. But are they really necessary? There is no scientific evidence to support its improved quality or safety. It is industrial food that weighs heavily on families' wallets. Real baby food is the food of adults, forget about homogenized and freeze-dried products! Buy healthy and quality products, cook and offer your child a correct and balanced Mediterranean diet. In this way you will establish healthy habits, reducing the risk of obesity (in childhood and adulthood) and related consequences. Another very common misconception is that there are lists and schemes to follow in order to introduce food correctly. Everything is much simpler! From the sixth month on, the baby's digestive system is now able to digest solid food and it has now been shown that introducing potentially allergenic foods later in time does not prevent the onset of allergy. Green light to fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, legumes, eggs and cheeses; break up or blend foods and offer them to your child.
Finally, let us quickly mention self-weaning. It is important to trust the self-regulating abilities of infants and this is a very valid weaning method that reduces waste and stress. It consists of offering the child the food on the table and letting him eat the desired quantities. In this way the baby will wean itself, gradually increasing the amount of food eaten and reducing the amount of milk. It is also a great way to control and improve our diet by ensuring that healthy foods are on the table!