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    Easy Guide To Weaning

    Easy Guide To Weaning

    I love the weaning journey watching your little ones experience new tastes and textures. It's a wonderful time for them to finally be able to join in with meal times and it's a major milestone. Although I am no expert I have two children and hope you find my experience useful in your weaning journey.

    When to wean?

    This is really up to you, I think you know when your child is ready, and maybe also when you feel ready and have some time. The guidelines are from 6 months, we started with both of ours at 5 months they just seemed ready it's really up to you.

    Signs they are ready?

    They can sit up independently, have good coordination, baby can grasp objects and guide them to their mouths, and can swallow food - not push it back out. 

    What method?

    If you choose to do just purees or baby-led weaning that's up to you, do what works for you best, I seem to combine the two but just go with what's working for your baby. For my first child, I did mainly purees, to begin with, and with my second he wanted to feed him self so we did a little of both. Think puree vegetables alongside soft-boiled veg sticks that they can pick up and feed themselves.

    What foods to start with?

    Baby porridge, Baby rice, and pureed fruit and vegetables.

    When starting with fruit and vegetables all of the books and blogs I have ever read advise to start with giving green vegetables first. I guess the theory is that they will be less fussy with veggies. I did all this with my now 3.5-year-old and let me tell you unless it's peas if he sees something green on his plate he still won't eat it. I do persevere and always put whatever food we are having on his plate in hope that one day he will at least try, over the years he has got better but starting with the green veg didn't help him to eat more veg so don't stress about it.

    How much food to give?

    The suggestion is to start with a teaspoon of food a day and ideally given in the earlier part of the day, but do whatever works for you. I just find earlier in the day works better if they are going to experience any tummy pains etc then you can deal with it in the daytime instead of at night when you maybe feel tired.

    Again remember each child is different, my second child moved on very quickly from a teaspoon here or there to three meals a day very fast. Babies can self-regulate so they will let you know when they have had enough.

    Eating together

    Since my little one can sit up, unless he happens to be napping I always bring him to the table in his high chair with some stacking cups, or a little toy so he can see what's going on at meal times. I sometimes give him a fresh food feeder with a little banana in, it so that he has something to hold and try and eat before we started getting into weaning. This was more to keep him included and so he could see what was going on.

    Starting out

    You don't have to do lots of prep work if it's not for you but this is part that I quite enjoy. I set aside some time to cook, and puree Potato, parsnip, sweet potato, broccoli, and carrots, and put them in individual ice cube trays in the freezer. Make life easy and simply steam a little extra vegetables when you are cooking dinner, blend and freeze then it's ready to go.

    I start with giving a small ice cube of food and then move on to mixing a few different cubes for example one sweet potato, one carrot, and broccoli.

    I then choose a couple of recipes from the books such as a baby lentil curry, a soup, and Bolognese and freeze in small portions. If some of the purees have gone a little watery after freezing I just add some of the baby rice to thicken it up a little.

    What equipment will you need?

    1. High chair
    2. Fresh Food Feeder
    3. Bowl, bib, spoon
    4. Blender - if making your own
    5. ice cub trays small and a little larger for when they have more than a teaspoon
    6. A couple of weaning books you only need a few for ideas. I bought the Ella's Kitchen first food and Annabel Karmel weaning, I also follow SR Nutrition and a few others on Instagram for inspiration.

    My top tips for weaning

    1. Embrace the mess, the floors, the walls, and the child!
    2. Experiment with as many different varieties of foods and textures as possible.
    3. If they don't like something at first keep on offering it every few days as it can take quite a few goes before a food will be accepted.
    4. Buy a couple of weaning books but don't go mad, there is endless recipe inspiration is on Pinterest, Instagram, or google anyway.
    5. Freeze a few meals and also get some Ella's pouches and baby food jars in to save you time on busy days.

    Enjoy this time and don't stress it's really good fun exposing them to new textures and flavours and before you know it they will be a toddler refusing everything anyway.

    If you are looking for a good starter kit, bib, bowl, spoon, etc we have weaning kits available to purchase on our website available in a variety of gorgeous colours. Click here to check them out.

    As always, if I have missed anything that could be useful to another mum on this post please let me know.

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