When your baby starts weaning, their diet is one of the main ways you can help to support the development of a healthy gut microbiome. This diverse community of flora are really important for your baby’s health and there is so much that you can do to help their microbiome really thrive.
- Focus on vegetables: veggies are such a great food for the microbiome, especially if you include lots of different colours. It’s not only the fibre in veg that helps to feed their microbiome, but also the different pigments and colours literally fertilise and support the growth of a diverse microbiome. Choose veggies of all different colours – from squash and sweet potato to broccoli and peas, purple cabbage and swede to carrots, courgettes and avocado.
- Include some fruit, but not too much: fruit is also packed with healthy fibre and colourful pigments, but it’s best not to start your baby on fruit or they may get used to sweet tastes. Use a little fruit to balance up the bitterness of some veggies, and always offer the savoury tastes first.
- Choose a variety of grains that are rich in fibre: whilst it’s important not to overdo the fibre when you start weaning, babies do need some fibre in their guts to feed their microbiome and keep things moving down there! We love quinoa as a first weaning food, because it’s naturally gluten free, so gentle on the gut, and also contains plenty of fibre. You can also try other healthy grains such as pureed buckwheat, a pureed blend of brown and white rice, or pureed oats or millet flakes.
When you start weaning your baby, you may choose to go slowly with new foods that you introduce, just so you can see how your baby reacts to new foods. But the aim over time is to encourage them to try a variety of different flavours from a multitude of different foods. More variety in their diet = more diversity in their gut microbiome!
What’s your baby’s favourite combination of veggies?