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Weaning: What Worked For Me
Fifi's Directory Fifi's Directory
Weaning: What Worked For Me
September 29, 2017
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Fifi's Directory Fifi's Directory
Weaning: What Worked For Me
September 29, 2017
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As i’m a Mum, I can relate to that feeling of bewilderment when it comes to feeding your baby food. Why does it need to be so confusing? The simple answer is – it doesn’t.

When my daughter was born one of the many challenges for me as a new mum proved to be food. Even this simplest of tasks raised a barrage of questions: How to puree an apple? Can I freeze it? Is an apple too sweet as a first taste? And so on. My exhausted state of mind didn’t help guide me and I believe I am not alone. Learning to feed your baby is at times extremely daunting, especially a first baby.

As a fellow parent, I want to tell you not to get anxious about this next exciting step with your baby. I am not a nutritionist, nor am I promoting any products, ranges or cookbooks: I am just a parent writing about what worked for us.

What I wished I had known:

  • Keep it simple – Weaning your baby need not be stressful or complicated. Find a weaning plan you like and keep a chart of your progress, marking down new foods you have tried.

  • You don’t need to be a master chef – So many parents are worried that they aren’t ‘good’ cooks. But if you can steam some vegetables and roast a piece of fish or chicken, you are already half way there.

  • Don’t privilege sweet flavours – So many baby food recipes are sweetened with fruit. Only in a baby food recipe will you find “avocado mashed with banana” or “chicken and apple”. Use lots of vegetables (instead of constantly adding fruit) and make delicious combinations that taste great.

  • Offer variety – Encourage a wide variety of colours, tastes and textures. Present vegetables and fruits for your baby to eat, without hiding them. They might learn to enjoy them! No food journey should begin without the premise that most babies and toddlers will hate the look of fruits and vegetables; make them the norm.

  • Eat seasonally – When I started weaning, I read somewhere about a specific list of fruits and vegetables that were good first foods to try. Most were not in season, were difficult to source and expensive. A peach purée is delicious but only in summer when peaches are at their best; there are plenty of other options otherwise.

  • Buy a basic kit – You don’t need a whole kitchen of gadgets to get started. I use a pot, steamer and hand stick blender. Yes really, that is it.

  • One family one recipe – As your baby progresses, cook recipes that work for you and your baby. No one has time to make multiple meals for themselves and a baby, at least I didn’t. For example, if I made an apple and pear purée, then I would eat the same with natural yoghurt. Or, if I steamed salmon and vegetables, I would then eat half (perhaps adding a herby dressing to mine) and then I would make the remainder into a delicious fish and vegetable baby purée.

  • Don’t give in to “baby food panic” – I wish I had been more relaxed when I started cooking for my daughter. It really should be a fun eating adventure: with lows, highs and moments of food success. Embrace it all, even the mess (and yes, there will be mess); enjoy watching them exploring new tastes and trying new foods.

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