Christmas dinner for your baby?

Are you thinking about giving Christmas dinner as your baby’s first meal?? I have heard this notion brought up a few times recently, and whilst I don’t want to burst any kind of Christmas bubble (and of course it’s fine to give Christmas dinner to a baby!) please do have a read and consider the following things…

Is your baby really for weaning? If your baby is more than 17 weeks, is sitting up with a steady head, can get food into her mouth without issue and is able to swallow (has lost her tongue thrust reflex) then you can start weaning. BUT if you are pushing ahead with weaning because you are desperate to see your child eat a Christmas dinner then perhaps there are other ways to make Christmas special this year (Christmas pudding outfit maybe?!) and remember that whichever day you choose to give your baby her first meal is going to feel extra special to you.

Have you done a first aid course yet? Although it is very unlikely that your child is going to choke, it is very important that you know what to do if she does. It is also good to know the difference between gagging and choking. I have several posts on this if you search! @daisyfirstaidsouthend runs brilliant first aid courses that are all online.

Allergens: If your baby is just starting out with solid food it is important to think about potential allergens that might be in the food you are giving. As stated in my blog on introducing allergens (see www.teenyweanies.co.uk/blog) it is important that you introduce allergens one at a time so that if your baby does have a reaction it is easier to pinpoint which food your need to avoid and saves you a lot of stress! You also don’t want the stress of dealing with an allergic reaction on Christmas day, and let’s be honest, the possibility that everyone has had more than 1 glass of wine so nobody can drive to the hospital!

Sensory overload: Christmas cane be a bit of an overload for some babies and children with extra people, new toys to play with, different smells, music and often a change of routine. So don’t be too disappointed if your baby doesn’t want to be sat in their highchair and performing for the family by eating! They may not even know what to do as learning to eat is a huge learning curve. So if you do sit your baby, try to relax and just let her eat if she wants to but don’t try to push it if she doesn’t.

Salt: many of the foods that we prepare for Christmas dinner are going to be too salty for your baby. Stuffing, gravy and pigs in blankets (which would also be a choking risk!).

There are of course many things from the meal that you can give your baby. If you’re giving purees then you can do some of the vegetables, potatoes and turkey and blend these together. Or you could just give some of the green veg (advice is to give your baby 1-2 weeks of green veg before moving onto other foods). If your baby is ready and you’re doing baby led weaning then something like broccoli and some very soft meat cut into finger sized pieces that your baby can hold and feed herself.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited to give your baby Christmas dinner??  If you have any questions about weaning or would like to attend a workshop then please do get in contact at hello@theearlyyearsdietitian.co.uk or 07825 703221.

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