Wednesday 22 June 2016

WEANING: My Top 10 Tips

I found weaning was an intimidating milestone when Isabella was approaching 6 months. I didn't know where to start, there was a lot of conflicting advice and I was repeatedly warned about the mess. Well, one thing is true...weaning is messy! But it's also incredibly fun and reignited my love for cooking. I love experimenting with ways I can create interesting, tasty and nutritious food for Isabella, that doesn't have any added sugar or salt. Many of these recipes I share here on my blog, a new recipe goes up every Tuesday and it's been incredible hearing/seeing that you've made the recipes too!

Here are my top 10 tips for making weaning as easy as possible: 

1) Prepare purées/meals in bulk and freeze them in individual portions. Also I've found it helpful to freeze good in different sized portions because sometimes Isabella will have it as a while meal or mixed with something else, in which case it needs to be a smaller portions. 
2) Plan ahead which meals your little one will enjoy the next day, so that you can get them out of the freezer the night before and allow to defrost. It also means it's one less thing to think about the next day. 
3) Use prepared vegetables/fruit as and when you need to. Cauliflower couscous is good when your just starting to introduce texture. 
4) Try different foods multiple times to see if they really do or don't like it. I read that a baby has to try something up to 10 times to know if they really don't like it. Originally Isabella wasn't keen on pineapple purée, but a couple of weeks after giving it to her for the first time I have her sticks of pineapple and she loved it! 
5) Variety is key. I wouldn't want to eat the same things over and over again, day after day. So why would Isabella? I try to ensure she has three different meals a day, i.e. not the samecthingvfor lunch and dinner. I also try to ensure she has two portions of oily fish a week, a meat based meal at least every other day (as a vegetarian I really have to try and remember this one) and plenty of fruit and vegetables, both as part of meals and as finger food. 
6) Cook bulk meals every other week - some parents may invisage the struggle of cooking an extra meal every mealtime for their little one. In our house there's a meat eater, vegetarian and baby, so technically three different meals each mealtime! That would be too much to do everyday (and just imagine the washing up created!), so I tend to cook Isabella batches of meals/finger food every other week. It keeps the freezer stocked up with variety and means I'm not spending hours cooking everyday. 
7) Invest in a food processor with grater/slicer attachment options. It saves so much time, especially at the beginning of weaning when otherwise you have to cut everything up into such small chunks. Before investing in one I spent over an hour cutting vegetables up for a lasagne - which parent has time for that?!
8) Search the internet/recipe books for adults meals that can easily be adapted for babies. Often it's just about on noting chilli and changing the stock cube to a no/reduced salt version. 
9) Use pouches when out and about for ease and convenience. You could use pre-prepared ones like HIPP Organic/Ella's Kitchen or put homemade purées into a Nom Nom Kids pouch
10) Stay stocked up - keep a range of pouches and snacks in your house and a meal option in your changing bag. You never know when you might need it!

Did/do you enjoy the weaning process?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x 

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
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  1. We're approaching weaning with little one now 4 months so starting to think forward a little so this was good timimg, thanks for sharing! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

  2. Some fab tips here. I had a similar feeling of dread when weaning time approached as it seemed so much effort compared to breastfeeding, but we love it! I love Alfie's expressions as he tries new flavours although I have the same problem of trying to give him a varied diet and not the same food over and over #marvmondays

  3. Weaning wasn't too bad with my girlie as she ate it all. Fast forward to her passing 12-18 months and the food refusal started so I'm lucky if she will eat any fruit now! It's amazing after how well she started. I did quite a lot of what you suggested xx great tips X #marvmondays

  4. Great tips. We did all the home cooking and freezing and Baby wouldn't eat anything unless it came from Ella's Kitchen! Thanks for linking up to #TheList x


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