Weaning: the answers to the most common questions

Weaning: the answers to the most common questions
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The index of the most common questions on weaning



Is it better not to wean in the summer?

What kind of meat should you offer the child?

Which fish are best for the baby?

Do you prefer meat and fish cooked at home or in the form of ready-made baby food? What about freeze-dried products?

Which fruit is it advisable to offer him?

At what age can the child eat ice cream?

When can yogurt be given?


Is it true that it is better for the baby to use honey as it is more natural than sugar?

Before putting the baby to bed, is it better to offer him a bottle of milk or, if you are still breastfeeding, a last feed from the breast?


Is it true that in order to give the egg to the child you have to wait for the completed year?

At what age can legumes (beans, lentils, peas) be added to the baby food?

When can normal cow's milk be given?

Are cookies indispensable? How much should you drink after weaning has begun? Should I only use bottled water for the child? How long can you keep the vegetable or meat broth?

Is it better not to wean in the summer?

No, the indication to avoid the summer season does not today have any scientific basis for which you can safely wean your baby at any time of the year. The old advice not to wean it in the summer had a reason for being only when there were no refrigerators: since it was difficult to store food, there was the danger of giving the baby spoiled food.



What kind of meat should you offer the child?

From the very beginning it can be given to the child any type of meat, as long as it is lean (in other words, the fat must be removed if necessary). Meat must always be given cooked (preferably boiled) and shredded, not pureed.
The dose is approx 20-30 grams.



Which fish are best for the baby?

There is no evidence that it is better to start with a specific type of fish: hake, plaice, sea bream, trout, blue fish all are fine from the earliest times of weaning. The important thing is to check very carefully that they do not have bones.
The dose is approx 40-50 grams.

Read also: Weaning, the 15 things to know

Do you prefer meat and fish cooked at home or in the form of ready-made baby food? What about freeze-dried products?

Can be fine both solutions and each family can decide how to behave on the basis of what seems most appropriate. The baby food have positive characteristics of hygienic and nutritional safety; however, they show homogeneity of flavor and do not favor the autonomy of the child. Obviously they are more comfortable for travel / commuting.


If, on the other hand, you opt for butcher's meat and fish from fishmongers, you must make sure that they are safe products both in terms of origin and hygienic storage methods.

Freeze-dried products, on the other hand, are not recommended and are to be limited only to children with poor growth and refusal to eat because they are "concentrated" and therefore provide a product with a high protein content in a small volume.

Which fruit is it advisable to offer him?

In principle it is fine all seasonal fruit homegrown. Better to limit exotic fruit due to the forced ripening to which it is subjected. To promote the activity of the intestine, especially in the early days of weaning when it is possible that the evacuation rhythms slow down, it may be advisable to give cooked fruit. The best cooking is steamed.

At what age can the child eat ice cream?

Babies shouldn't have sweets for the first two years of life. Fruit ice cream could be an exception, let's say from 12 months, only offered occasionally as a snack, in small quantities.

When can yogurt be given?

From the very beginning of weaning, there are no contraindications. Better to prefer that white, whole, to which possibly add fresh fruit.

Is it true that it is better for the baby to use honey as it is more natural than sugar?

The idea that it is better for children to use honey than sugar is widespread but wrong. In fact, honey may contain spores of the botulinum bacillus, which are toxic to the organism of children in the first year of life. However, remember that children should not be given added sugars before the age of two.

Read also: Weaning: 40 expert answers to your questions

Before putting the baby to bed, is it better to offer him a bottle of milk or, if you are still breastfeeding, a last feed from the breast?

Proposing a bottle of milk in the evening does not represent a correct dietary habit, but it would be good to limit it and gradually remove it. This is because it is a “more” compared to meals, which should be five (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner), with the risk of an excess of proteins, calories and fats.

Obviously this applies to formulated milk and possibly cow milk (after one year of age). It does not apply to breast milk in case of breastfeeding: in this case the evening or night feeding has no contraindications of any kind.

Is it true that in order to give the egg to the child you have to wait for the completed year?

No: according to the latest indications of the scientific literature, the egg - like any other food - can be introduced from the beginning of weaning. It should be offered boiled.

Read also: Weaning and food allergies: when to introduce risky foods

At what age can legumes (beans, lentils, peas) be added to the baby food?

Also in this case, the most recent indications provide for the possibility of offering them, like any other food, from the beginning of weaning. It is not necessary to remove the skins, as it was recommended until recently.

When can normal cow's milk be given?

Only after the first birthday, and in any case in limited quantities, because it is very (too) rich in protein and low in iron. If consumption is high (more than 200-400 ml per day), it is better to dilute it with water or prefer a growth formula.

For those who can and want to do it, the ideal solution is to continue with breastfeeding.

Are cookies indispensable?

Absolutely not. Indeed, since they generally contain high amounts of sugars, it is better to avoid them and prefer bread or rusks.

How much should you drink after weaning has begun?

The child regulates himself as regards the amount of water to be taken in the 24 hours, but it must remember to offer him a drink. Water should be offered not only after a meal but also several times throughout the day.

However, it must be borne in mind that before the year of life (but sometimes even for several months) the child takes a substantial amount of liquids thanks to milk, vegetable broth and fruit, so you don't have to worry if you have the feeling that he is not drinking enough: if he refuses water it means that he is not thirsty. The best drink for him is water: it is not necessary to give him more to drink.

Read also: Children and water: when should they start drinking it? How much? And what kind?

Should I only use bottled water for the child?

There is no need to use bottled water if your tap water is of good quality and tastes good (as is often the case in many parts of the country). If in doubt, ask your family pediatrician who is certainly informed about the quality of the water.

How long can you keep the vegetable or meat broth?

The broth can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours. On the other hand, it can be kept much longer in the freezer: if you choose to freeze it, you should opt for the individual portions.

Sources for this article: advice from Ilaria Giulini Neri and Giacomo Cagnoli, pediatric nutritionists at the Hospital of Melegnano

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  • weaning questions
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