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The Great Debate : Weaning
Baby talk Baby talk
The Great Debate : Weaning
August 6, 2018
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Baby talk Baby talk
The Great Debate : Weaning
August 6, 2018
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Samantha Silver weaned her little boy using traditional methods…

I’m about to embark on my second weaning journey. I have a box of baby rice ready and waiting and I’ve already dusted off the old Annabel Karmel recipe books. I’m days away from the old chop, steam and purée process.

I weaned my first baby, Leo, at 19 weeks. I was so excited to buy all of the paraphernalia – high chair (the Ikea Antilop), bibs, bowls and spoons. My little boy was growing up and this was a fun new chapter away from the monotony of the newborn routine. Although looking back, I was also quite nervous. His dad had severe anaphylactic allergies to dairy, egg and nuts when he was a child and so I made sure that I was very careful, trying different tastes one by one.

I remember his little face lighting up when it was something that he loved (parsnip, pear or sweet potato) and how he looked at me disgust if it was something he hated (peas, mostly). I remember discovering the hard way that puréed potato isn’t the one. And I loved organising my frozen food cubes neatly, popping them out into little labelled bags and filling my freezer. I felt like a mum.

“As we moved on away from the purées and into real food territory I learnt so much. Here’s the thing – I’m not a natural chef.”

As we moved on away from the purées and into real food territory I learnt so much. Here’s the thing – I’m not a natural chef. I struggle to create flavour and taste and I have a repertoire of approximately three dinner party dishes. I therefore fully admit that Annabel Karmel taught me how to cook for myself as well as for Leo. The beauty with her recipes (once you’re past the single taste stage) is that they work for adults as well as children, you just adapt the salt content to who’s eating what. Pre-weaning, I hadn’t the faintest idea how to make a white sauce from scratch, my ragu stepped up a notch, and my fish pie and mac and cheese are all recipes I learnt from her.

Leo is now three and he has a brilliant diet. He’d rather a plate of broccoli and avocado followed by a bowl of raspberries over a chicken nugget or chocolate cake any day and I think if given the chance, he’d happily be vegan. I credit Annabel with opening both mine and Leo’s eyes up to the world of real food, real tastes and a great diet.

@samantha_silver_ and @thisismothership
Mama to Leo, 3 and Alfie, under 6 months

Gemma Rose Breger chose Baby Led Weaning for her little girl…

I was always worried about the next stage in life for my daughter Belle. I’d established a great routine and we were in a rhythm on this mammoth parenting journey. And then all of a sudden it had to change and I had to introduce real food to my five month old baby. I’m not a foodie – I’ve had an awful diet since I was very young. Lots of allergies meant that I became super fussy from a very young age. I don’t eat any fruit or vegetables and my sweet tooth is out of control. I was so adamant that Belle wouldn’t be the same and we decided to go down the baby led weaning route for two reasons – firstly, to introduce a better variety of foods as early on as possible so there was less chance of her becoming fussy, and secondly, because I was too lazy to spend my spare baby-free moments purée-ing!!

“I’ve had an awful diet since I was very young. Lots of allergies meant that I became super fussy from a very young age.”

I was lucky, Belle took to it really well. We started with baby porridge and after a couple of days we introduced bananas and she LOVED them (they are still, almost 3 years later, her favourite food.) I liked the convenience of Baby Led Weaning. I could always find something for her to eat wherever I was. I didn’t have to deal with the transition of going from purée to different textures, as she had tried all sorts of foods from week one. She is still a brilliant eater now and I’m convinced it’s from BLW. I’m a fully-fledged member of the boring police and she isn’t allowed any refined sugar (apart from the occasional slice of cake at a birthday party) but she doesn’t really know otherwise. If you ask her what her favourite food is she says bananas and broccoli. Although I’ll be in trouble when she realises that her mum would never eat either of them… but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!!

I’m planning on going down the Baby Led Weaning path with my son also. He’s approaching the five month mark and I’m not nearly as apprehensive as I was with Belle. I’m hoping he takes to it as easily as she did, mainly because I’ve got even less time than before, but also because I don’t want him to pick up any of my bad food habits either. Wish me luck!

@gemmarosebreger and @thisismothership
Mama to Belle, 3 and Ace, almost 6 months

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