On March 4th, the Department for Health and Social Care’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) will launch the Better Health Start for Life Introducing Solid Foods campaign.

Weaning is when you introduce your baby to solid foods alongside breastmilk or infant formula, and it is a crucial milestone within the first 1,001 days.

The NHS recommends that most parents should wait until their baby is around six months old before they start introducing solid foods. By this point, babies can cope better with solid foods and are more able to feed themselves. They are also better at moving food around their mouth, chewing and swallowing.

Lots of parents wonder when and how to start introducing solid food, so a dedicated weaning hub has been created on the Better Health website offering support and advice during what can be a confusing time.

The weaning hub is packed with NHS-endorsed advice, videos and tips, plus simple, healthy recipes, it puts everything parents need to know in one place.

An additional focus for this year’s campaign is around the theme of confusion. New survey data of 1,000 parents with children aged 3-18 months shows:

  • Three in five (59%) first-time parents found the decision to start weaning confusing
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) have received conflicting advice on what age to start introducing solid food
  • Two in five (40%) of new mums have already introduced solid foods by the time their baby is five months old, even though experts recommend that solid food should be introduced from the age of six months
  • After partners, grandmothers are the biggest influence on decision making with over a quarter (28%) of first-time mums reporting their mother had the biggest influence on their decision to start weaning
  • The majority (73%) agree there should be one official source for weaning advice

Visit www.nhs.uk/better-health/start-for-life/weaning

Published: Mar 4, 2022

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