Top tips to stress-free weaning & beyond

Piccolo’s co-founder Alice Fotheringham is an infant nutrition specialist who has spent years working with families and providing advice to support their weaning journeys. Since Piccolo’s launch in 2016 she has also been developing Piccolo’s delicious, organic meals and snacks to create baby food that is both balanced, nutritious and scrumptious for tiny tummies. Alice and Piccolo’s approach to introducing food and the weaning journey acknowledges that our relationship with what we eat isn’t a well trodden path; there are a number of different routes to getting your little one into a feeding routine that works for the whole family. Alice Fotheringham says: “Throw the weaning rulebook out the window. There’s no one size fits all baby or family. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break, and make time for what matters.”  
Listen to your baby
  It may seem strange, but your baby is actually a smarter eater than the average adult – they’re great at self-regulating their appetite, and actually know that it’s time to stop eating once you’re full! Many parents are worried that they’re not feeding their baby the right way, concerned that they’re either over or underfeeding their little one. There is no need to stress about this – your baby will let you know once he or she is  full, and will definitely let you know if they are  hungry!  
Balancing can be an easy
  A balanced diet is a mix of a little of everything – it’s important to introduce your baby to a variety of foods early on to ensure they get a balance of nutrients, introducing new textures and flavours as time goes on. Lead with vegetables, as they are nutrient and vitamin rich as well as versatile in a number of dishes, and incorporate fruits, grains, and proteins to ensure nutrient balance.  
Taste is an adventure
  Many parents shy away from strong, bold flavours because they’re scared that these will be too intense for their babies. However, slowly introducing various herbs and spices into your babies diet  is actually beneficial in developing a more sophisticated taste palate, helping your baby be a much less fussy eater later on in life. Don’t be discouraged if your baby isn’t receptive to a new taste at first – it can take up to 12 tries to get your baby accustomed to a new flavour!   Piccolo’s Mighty Squeeze snack pouches are the perfect way to get your baby accustomed to a lifetime of food adventure- including superfood charged ingredients like turmeric, amaranth, mint and quinoa.  
Enjoy meals together
  Mealtimes are a great way to bond as a family, no matter how and when you may eat –  so whether its an on-the-go snack or a sit down meals, the important thing is that you make time to share healthy, nutritious meals together. Babies are social beings, and making a small occasion out of a meal helps to make the weaning process that much more integrated into their overall growth and development.   For some inspiration, check out Piccolo’s recipes – some delicious Mediterranean inspired family meal ideas from our family kitchen to yours.  
Embrace life wherever it takes you
  Finally, make sure that you’re focusing on spending time with your growing family  – it can be easy to get caught up in all the stress of what you can and can’t feed your baby, so you could forget to take a step back and enjoy spending time together getting out and about. Remember to enjoy yourselves and take the opportunity for a mini adventure – from a baby swim to walks in the park to soft play – wherever you can. These formative years are all about having the best adventures with your family – showing your little one what the world is like, and building up experiences you’ll cherish for life.  

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