Start4Life is a programme that helps parents adopt healthy behaviours during pregnancy, birth and their children’s early years.
There is a range of information available on complementary feeding, leaving many parents confused about when and how to introduce solid foods. The government advises that most babies should not start solid foods until they are around 6 months old. By this point their bodies are better able to cope with solid foods and they are more able feed themselves. They are also better at moving food around their mouth, chewing and swallowing. The last UK Infant Feeding Survey showed that three-quarters of parents had introduced solid foods by the time their baby was 5 months old.
The Start4Life weaning campaign will promote waiting until around 6 months to introduce solid foods alongside breast milk or infant formula. The campaign will also explain the government’s advice to gradually introduce a wide variety of foods and textures from around 6 months, and will provide advice on what foods to introduce and how to prepare simple recipes.
As part of the campaign, a brand-new weaning hub has been launched on the Start4Life website to provide parents with NHS-approved weaning advice and tips, plus simple, healthy weaning recipes for baby. Developed in partnership with parents, the hub makes it easy for parents to find answers to their weaning questions and get information relevant to their baby’s age and weaning stage.