Wednesday, 16 May 2018

WEANING: Favourite Meals, Tips and Products

WEANING: Favourite Meals, Tips and Products
When it comes to weaning it can be an exciting journey for parents or one that is completely intimidating. I remember being so worried when it came to weaning Isabella because all the advice I read seemed to conflict each other, the risk of choking was scary and there were so many weaning products out there I didn't know where to begin. We started weaning Isabella just before she was six months, starting with purees and quickly moving onto finger food then lumpy food. Despite my nerves it ended up being so much fun and I learnt that the mess one baby can make is impressive. When it came to the time we should be weaning Poppy I was surprised to feel those nerves come back, as an 'experienced' mummy I thought I'd know what to do this time. 

However, in the parenting world everything changes so quickly and in the two years that had passed since weaning Isabella there was a lot more advice to take on-board and lots more products to consider. As a busy mummy to two little girls this time around I was certainly more in the market for products that made life easier and lasted through the years. But I couldn't decide which approach to take when it came to the actual food. Isabella had loved finger food, so I was tempted to do complete Baby Led Weaning. But the risk of choking really worried me, so I ended up opting for a bit of a combination. This seems to be my approach to parenting - if in doubt, do a bit of both. We have combination fed both girls and now combination weaned them too. 

In the few weeks running up to starting the weaning process with Poppy I made batches of the following purees to pop in the freezer:
  • Sweet Potato
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Melon
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Parsnip
  • Spinach
  • Butternut Squash
  • Pea
 I also stocked up on bananas and avocado to start off with. To make the purees I steamed the food in the Babymoov Nutribaby(+), then blitzed it in the food processor attached, which made the whole process very quick and helped to keep the goodness in. A mistake I made with Isabella was making so many portions of the purees to freeze, so this time I kept portions to a minimum and it worked a lot better. We didn't give Poppy's purees for very long, but I would recommend doing extra apple puree as it is the perfect ingredient for baking baby friendly foods. Once Poppy had had a taste of each of these purees I mixed the flavours together, though was careful not to mix fruit and vegetables together. Personally, I opted to not sweeten any of the vegetables up with fruit because I wanted Poppy to get a true taste of each food. I think we kept to purees for around two weeks after starting and then moved onto mashed food. 

When we moved onto mashed food Poppy went straight to eating 'normal' meals that were 'no teeth' friendly, such as:
  • Risotto
  • Orzo pasta in a cheese and broccoli sauce
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise 
  • Vegetable soup
  • Lasagne 
  • Fish cake 
  • Tomato lentils
  • Cauliflower curry
  • Cottage Pie
I homemade all of these and froze them in batches, which made life so much easier when it came to meal times. I made everything friendly for both Isabella and Poppy, so that there was no need cook different meals for them. Some of my favourite baby/toddler friendly home-cooking ingredients are:
Our weaning essentials this time around have been very different to the first time, perhaps because our family situation is different now we have two children or because there are just so many more exciting and new products out there on the market. Either way I thought I'd share a few of the products that have made our life easier since starting weaning four months ago.

Safety 1st Timba Wooden Highchair in White (£59.99) - Choosing a highchair is key before starting weaning and there are so many out there with various different features. We choose a very simple one when it came to weaning Isabella and she now has to sit on a booster seat because the highchair didn't adapt to her age. This time we wanted to find a highchair that would suit all of the stages, which is why we went for this one by Safety 1st. It can be used from 6 months to 10 years, as the seat can be adjusted to four different positions. The footrest can be adjusted between eight different heights, which is ideal for creating a highchair sitting position to suit your child at all ages. I really like that the tray is detachable because when Poppy gets older it means she'll be able to sit at the table with us when we eat. The design and finish of this highchair are so stylish in my opinion, yet the practical aspects needed from a highchair aren't compromised. The bumper bar and three-point harness provide a secure and safe place for Poppy to sit, but they can be removed when she's older and no longer needs them. The only thing I would say is that the highchair is quite high, as you can see it is higher than our kitchen table. This hasn't been a problem for us and as Poppy grows we will lower the seat and she'll be at the right height for the table, but it may be something worth considering. The ridges around the edge of the tray are helpful for avoiding all food being swept onto the floor, though of course Poppy still manages to create an considerable mess! 
Piccolo Squares in Mango and Coconut - Keeping Poppy happy while I prepare the girl's meals can be tricky, as she's obviously yet to learn how to be patient. I've found the supplying her with tasty snacks keeps her happy, but getting the right balance as to not fill her up is important. These Piccolo Squares Smooth Teething Squares have been perfect because they are a good size for her to hold herself, take a while for her to eat and come in two delicious flavours. Each wafer is made from a blend of three ancient grains, chickpeas and a dash of either coconut or mango to help introduce new flavours. They're also 100% organic, vegetarian, gluten free and have no added sugar. 
Babymoov Nutribaby(+) - As I mentioned earlier, the Nutribaby(+) made those initial months of weaning so much easier and it has now become a staple in our kitchen. The steamer is such an easy way to cook vegetables and fish, while the blend has been handy for making sauces and soups. It's compact, practical and convenient, while being stylish too. I've done a more detailed review of it here, if you're interesting in finding out more. 
How did/is your little one find the weaning journey? 

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x

*This post contains PR samples. As always, all opinions are my own and 100% honest. 

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17 comments

  1. Ooh I love that high chair! It looks lovely and so easy to clean! Mine were all fans of cottage pie!

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  2. Great tips! Weaning was not my favourite thing and I was pleased to get through that phase. Cottage pie was always a winner in our house!

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  3. I actually enjoyed weaning our son. I couldn't help but laugh at the faces he made when trying something new for the first time!

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  4. I remember when I was weaning the twins. It was so crazy but fun at the same time. Love the high chair here.

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  5. I'm not a mother yet but I've always loved the idea of making my baby's first solids so this was great for some ideas! I made a roasted butternut squash and sweet peppers soup the other day and thought this would be great for a baby too. Thanks for sharing!

    Victoria

    www.spokenreveries.co.uk

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  6. Mine loved baby led weaning and we did this from quite an early age. It's great to see them enjoying food so much isn't it. I love the highchair, and a great price too

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  7. I really enjoyed the weaning stage - I go for the combination approach too and I loved making all the purees. I did struggle with Max in that he had a really sensitive gag reflex (and still does), and with Ben this time around the struggle has been with his milk allergy and his definite preference for finger food. He'll tolerate me feeding him still, but it has to be something he loves!

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  8. I loved weaning. First time round I did mainly purees but with my second I did a lot more baby led. The second is far more fussy though!!!

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  9. 'No-teeth friendly' that is such a great expression, it should be used on baby food packaging, it's so descriptive!

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  10. We are weaning and this is going to help massively :) Kira

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  11. Ahhhhh I miss this stage! It's such a fun time exploring all that new tasty food and looks like you are well kitted out for it too with that lovely highchair and Nutribaby!

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  12. It is good to see that you have been trying out a variety of food. I love the high chair also, it sure looks sturdy and safe xx

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  13. I found weaning so daunting. Everyone around me was doing baby led weaning, but to be honest, the thought of all the mess stressed me out. And we weaned early, at 4 months, so the health visitor advised against BLW anyway.

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  14. Some great tips. I used to bulk cook food and freeze it for mine

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  15. Aww, I remember the weaning stage. I loved it with both my two. I think my youngest actually makes more mess now he's older than he did back then! LOL

    Louise x

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  16. I am completely loving that high chair, it looks so sleek and stylish yet comfy for the little one. I miss the weaning stage, my little bear loved all his food but now he's so fussy haha the nutribuddy sounds great for the food prep.

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