Cayman Community

Struggling with portion size when weaning your baby? Squash, cereal, grains. We made it simple!

In our recent poll 89% said they struggled with portion size when weaning their baby in the Cayman Islands. Years ago cereal was the first go-to food but we caught up with our feeding specialist from Cayman Theraplay, Rachel Lawrence, MOT, OTR/L to talk about what, and how much to serve.

At this stage, your little one is still getting the nutrients they need from milk feeds so the bottom line is it doesn’t really matter how much your little one eats – introducing food at this point is mainly about getting them used to new tastes, textures, and experience of eating that solids bring.

Portion size, starting small when weaning

First things first, portion size. Rachel says ‘if following a texture progression, it is helpful to start with one meal a day with the remaining meals consisting of breast or bottle feeding. Tiny Spoons prepares smooth purees in 2-3oz sizes which is a great amount to start with; but be mindful of those non-verbal signs that your baby is full. If you baby gets full before finishing a serving, save it for the next day’.

We got a request from a busy working mom, with two under two, to create the Beginners Bundle. This mom was finding it hard to predict how much baby would eat and how they might react to new foods. Tired of blending tiny portions of food, only for baby to reject the new flavour they asked us to help – so we created a bundle of 16 smooth blends in handy 2oz portions! With locally grown ingredients and healthy grains and cereal, this bundle offers the perfect small bites of carrot, broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, oatmeal, lentil and quinoa. The small portion size are ideal to be matched with a known flavour to help your baby learn the new one – remember it can take lots of tastes for a baby to learn a new flavour, so don’t get discouraged!

Signs of fullness

Rachel recommends looking closely at your child during mealtime so you can ‘notice the signs of hunger or fullness, and respond to the signs by providing food or ending mealtime. This gives your baby control over how much they eats during feeding and the beginning stages of understanding one’s appetite signals which is so important for maintaining a healthy weight and nutritional dietary intake across the lifespan’.

Signs of fullness include baby turning their head away, looking around or not paying attention during feeding, falling asleep, sealing lips or pushing food away.

Other mealtime tips from Rachel

Developing early feeding habits are so important for developing a positive relationship with food and maintaining a balanced diet for years to come.  Rachel recommends eating with your baby so they learn from your experiences and role modeling, it is an exciting time to bond over the experience of mealtimes together.

Getting messy is a natural expectation of mealtime and should be embraced. Using a liner under the highchair can make cleanup a little easier and using an easy to wipe high chair, and scheduling solid food mealtimes before bath time or moving mealtime to outside can also make mealtimes more relaxing.

If you still have concerns, why not get in touch with Rachel who offers feeding advice at Cayman Theraplay.