You’ve probably heard the saying floating about… ‘food before one is just for fun’.
I’m here to debunk that – yes, I know I’m bloody pedantic… but I love debunking stuff! It’s a lie that rhymes, it is catchy so people remember it and parrot it without checking the facts. It sets my bullshitometer off blaring every time I see it used. Neeeeenor, neeeeeeenor!
Of course, before one, milk should be the main source of nutrition, but this doesn’t mean that food isn’t important.
Saying that it is ‘just fun’ is inaccurate and it completely downplays the importance of introducing solids at 6 months (because we advocate the NHS, WHO & UNICEF guidelines). Not only is it supplementation for a growing child in terms of calories and vitamins (iron in particular as they need 11mg a day by 6 months, which boob and bottle doesn’t give), but it helps develop important fine motor skills and cognitive skills through picking up food, chewing, swallowing, and learning how to use cutlery. It’s such an important step in their development!
Fun, yes, but ‘just’ fun? Nope.
It doesn’t matter if your little one doesn’t take to it immediately though, it can take time for a kiddo to get into the swing of enjoying their grub, but the fact that it has been introduced means that your wee one will begin to hone their motor skills and learn. The social aspect of weaning is also surprisingly important as it teaches a little one to enjoy family meals at the table, which is super handy if you ever want to eat out.
So, to summarise… before one, milk is number one and food is certainly a fun new exploratory aspect of their diet BUT it isn’t ‘just’ a game, it’s important for a plethora of reasons. Mummies who hear this phrase shouldn’t hold off weaning just because they’ve heard that it isn’t ‘important’ (yes, this does happen surprisingly often) and should persist in offering solids as their baby becomes used to food.
Please excuse my pedantry, and have fun weaning!
Love from Katie. Xx
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