From baby milk to solid foods: unmissable trends in your store
A new phase in the life of a child begins at six months. Milk alone is no longer enough, and it’s time to introduce solid foods. Step by step, under the careful eye of parents and adapted to suit the age of the child. Do parents come to you with questions about baby-led weaning or Rapley? Or are they looking for another way of introducing solid foods? This blog provides more background for advice and interesting products that simply must be part of your range.
Baby-led weaning or Rapley
Six months is the time when milk alone does not provide enough nutrients. Children grow and develop quickly and they need more protein, vitamins and minerals. So it’s time to introduce solid foods. This can be done using the traditional method, with pureed fruit and vegetables. In the last few years, however, more and more parents have been advocating baby-led weaning (BLW).
With this system, as of six months babies eat soft pieces of food themselves. So children become familiar with different foods in their own way and at their own pace, by exploring what they like and how much they want to eat using all their senses. Advocates of BLW stress that this way of eating suits babies’ innate urge to imitate, explore and experiment.
"Ideal vegetables and fruit for BLW include cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and bananas. Cheese, yoghurt, small pieces of meat, egg, steamed carrots or beans and pieces of bread can be added, as well. "
BLW is a natural way of introducing solid foods and in principle, children can simply try whatever is served. Parents who prefer to offer separate vegetables and fruit can steam them first to make the pieces softer. So a good steam cooker is a handy appliance to have in the home.
When babies first start eating solid foods, parents do best to introduce one sort of fruit or vegetable at a time. Bigger children find it fun to choose for themselves, from a monkey platter for example: a segmented plate containing various sorts of healthy food.
With both BLW and monkey platters, it is important that parents stay nearby and keep an eye on things. Not only to stop food being thrown around, but also to be able to act quickly if their child chokes. The advantage of both methods is that children practice their fine motor skills more quickly and feel like they ‘belong’ sooner because they can start eating with the rest of the family.
Special dishwasher-proof plates with a sturdy base or suction cap are available to avoid (or at least limit) spillages. And bibs can be found in all shapes and sizes. They are essential too, because a good bib – preferably made of cotton, bamboo or viscose – keeps children's clothes clean for longer. Even if a baby likes carrots finely chopped or rubs them into his hair.
Pureed fruit and vegetables
Many parents opt for the traditional mashed fruit and vegetables. Here, the baby is offered steamed and pureed vegetables step by step. Pureed fruit is added to the menu later on, as well as meat, fish or vegetarian options, pasta, rice or potatoes. Important tip to give parents: always add a little vegetable oil to mashed vegetables. This contains essential nutrients, as well.
Parents who want to prepare mashed fruit and vegetables at home will find a good steam cooker or an all-in-one babycook that both steams and mixes very useful.
Ouders die - thuis zelf fruit- en groentepap willen maken, hebben baat bij een goede stoomkoker of alles-in-één babycook, die zowel stoomt als mixt. Koop hier groothandel babycooks in voor jouw winkel.
Important: a sip of water from time to time
Whichever method parents choose to teach their baby to eat solid food, it is important that they offer their child something to drink during the meal, as well. To avoid choking, rinse away a nasty taste and ensure that the child remains sufficiently hydrated. A small bottle and a teat with different flow rates is ideal for children from six months. Older toddlers can already drink from a sippy cup, a drinking bottle with a straw or an unbreakable plastic cup - with or without handles.
As a retailer or a storekeeper, do you have parents looking for plates, cups, steam cookers or babycooks for their child? Be sure to take a look at the wide wholesale range in cooking and dining for kids here.