So the weaning process has begun! I’ve been very by the book and waited until Rose was the recommended six months old until I begun the weaning process. I never felt the need to start Rose on food earlier, even though the demands of breastfeeding can be tough at times!
Research shows babies can get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or infant formula until they are around six months old. Waiting till then gives their digestive system time to develop fully so it can cope with solid foods. This includes solid foods made into purées and cereals added to milk.
We are three weeks into our weaning journey and so far so good. Rose hasn’t turned her nose up at much and with each passing day she seems to be gobbling up food with more gusto! I tried to prepare myself for the weaning process by reading books and relevant online articles. I decided I would start Rose on homemade pureed fruit and vegetables first so see how she liked the taste and coped with the new food textures. In this blog post I’ll outline my favourite weaning resources, Rose’s preferred first flavours and items we’ve found useful during this fun and messy new stage.
Weaning Reading References
Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner – Since my Home Economic days at school, I’ve been aware of Annabel Karmel’s books. For me, she’s the go-to person for infant nutrition. When a friend of mine gave me her Annabel Karmel book, I made this my first reference book for weaning. I took Annabel’s advice of first food tastes and food timings and quantities.
Ella’s Kitchen App and Book – Ella’s Kitchen is a well-known and popular organic baby food company and I’ve bought a range of their food pouches for Rose to try. I recently downloaded the Ella’s Kitchen app which has information and guidance on weaning, plus a few recipes for each weaning stage. You have to pay £3.99 to upgrade the app and get more recipes, which I haven’t done. As a Boots Parenting member I got the Ella’s Kitchen First Foods book for free. Bargain!
Bumbo Chair – If you’re not familiar with the bumbo chair, it’s a hard-wearing, moulded rubber seat for babies which allows them to safely sit up-right. I first bought the bumbo chair on its own, then bought the matching tray a little time later. Whilst Rose has a high chair, I’ve not fed her in it yet. I have found feeding Rose beside me on the sofa to be handy and comfortable for us both.
Oxo Tots Feeding Products – Oxo Tots kindly sent me out a range of feeding products a while back so I was excited to finally put them to use. And I rate them very highly! Not only are they functional and cleverly designed, they are also stylish. The roll-up pink bib is easy to clean, it collects fallen bits of food and can be rolled up and secured so perfect for feeding on the go. The silicon spoon is satisfying to use for both Rose and I. I like the curves of the spoon and the fact it has a narrow and shallow mouthpiece – ideal for small mouths. Rose always reaches out to feed herself and can hold the spoon very well. The Oxo Tots cup is another winner. With each meal, I give Rose water and she is able to hold the cup herself. It comes with a handy lid for feeding on the go. I’ve done a little bit of baby-led weaning and used the Oxo Tots divided feeding dish to put slices of fruit and vegetables in for Rose to suck and chew on. As time goes on I’ll use the dish more for when Rose is eating more than one type of food at a time.
Small Freezer Jars – These are essential if you plan on making alot of homemade food for your baby. There’s no stopping you making large batch of pureed fruit/vegetables and then portioning them into small jars ready to freeze.
Convenient Food Pouches – I’ve bought Ella’s Kitchen organic food pouches for times when I’m running tight on time and haven’t prepared or defrosted homemade meals for her. She absolutely loves the Ella Kitchens vegetable combos – alot more than mummy’s vegetable attempts!
Rose’s Favourite First Foods
Pureed Pear and Apple – These were the flavours I started Rose on in the first few days as I knew they would be sweet and palatable to Rose. I cook the fruit until they are soft, drain off the water and puree until smooth using a hand blender. Once cooked and ready to serve, I add my breastmilk to make it taste familiar to Rose.
Mashed Banana and Avocado – Rose loved mashed banana and mashed avocado on their own and together. I mixed these with a little breastmilk to make them creamier for her to take. No need to cook these fruits, just mash with a fork so they are ideal (and quick) morning meals for Rose.
Carrot, Parsnip and Apple – This combo works great as it’s nice and sweet tasting. t’s easy to make yourself, but the Ella’s Kitchen pouch is absolutely delicious. Rose gobbles up this medley, more so than just carrot on its own.
Soon I’ll be starting Rose on dairy like yogurt. Then I’ll try her with meat and eggs. After that I’ll give her some starchy food like bread. I want to get her used to a wide variety of healthy foods, tastes and textures. By the time she’s one I hope she will be eating similar meals to Phill and I, and enjoying healthy snacks like fruit pieces. Neither Rose’s Daddy or I are fussy eaters so I want her to embrace all types of food and know the pleasure of eating and feeding herself.