Feeding Time Food & Drink Parenting

This is what parents think during weaning

weaning
Written by Steven White

New research reveals emerging trends and top things on parents’ minds when weaning and feeding their baby.

Before beginning weaning, parents can find themselves bombarded with conflicting information on how and when to wean their little one. 

Weaning Week, in association with Organix, recently ran a survey on Your Baby Club, the UK’s fastest growing online community of new parents, to find out how UK families are navigating this period of their baby’s development.

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. And 70 per cent of parents believe 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.

Internet advice

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, wanting to do their best to help them appreciate natural flavours on their precious palates. 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.

Parents are also turning to the internet for feeding advice more than ever

Over half of the respondents also agreed the current coronavirus situation is affecting how they start their child on solid foods. Notably, there has been a significant jump in those who use the internet to research how they should go about weaning and weaning products, with 40 per cent using it as their preferred method, more than double any other option available to them (compared to 29 per cent in 2019).

Question of ability

The biggest concerns are choking and allergic reactions.

Parents biggest concerns around weaning and feeding are that their baby may choke or have an allergic reaction, with 40 per cent worried about portion control and over a quarter are anxious about confidence in their own ability or knowledge.

Mirroring last year’s results, Tesco has won the race for baby food shopping, followed by Asda. Although, it’s a slightly different picture when it comes to where people are shopping for weaning products like spoons and bibs, with Amazon taking first place, followed by Asda, then Tesco.

National Weaning Week runs from 4th to 10th May.

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