Friday, 10 March 2017

Elsie's Weaning Journey 4-6 Months

Weaning is such an exciting time for baby and parent. It's a huge milestone and wether you chose to start at 4 or 6 months, it should be when baby is ready so that it's not rushed and this fun new stage can be enjoyed by everyone. Oliver and Elsie were/are big babies and have big appetites. I knew Elsie was ready to start weaning at 4 months as she was watching us like a hawk when we were eating, constantly trying to grab our food and 8oz bottles were barely keeping her full for 2 hours instead of the usual 4 hours.

So we started off slowly, just a spoonful or two of baby rice at 5pm-ish for a week (not every night though, if she was unhappy with her teeth or too tired I didn't bother). She took to it really well so then I tried plain baby porridge for a couple of nights. Once she was happy with that, I started giving her some porridge in the morning at 8am and then a plain vegetable puree at tea time. Within a couple of weeks a couple of spoonfuls had turned into a full portion and before I knew it we were doing a puree at lunch too!

It's always best to start off with basic flavours of fruit and vegetables and then once they are comfortable, you can start mixing flavours together. My two go-to cookbooks for weaning are Annabel Karmel's 'Weaning' and Ella's Kitchen 'First Foods Book'. Theres so much information in both of them to guide you through the stages of weaning and how to enjoy the introduction of solid food to your babies diet. Plus there are plenty of recipes to get stuck into!

I absolutely love making my own purees and meals for the kids. I love cooking anyway but it's nice to know exactly whats gone into the meal (plus its far cheaper to make your own and freeze it!). Unfortunately, Oliver is a fussy eater so I don't get to cook as much as I'd like for him, although he's getting better very slowly. But Elsie is enjoying pretty much anything I put in front of her so far which makes me so happy. To blend the purees up, I've got one of the Tommee Tippee Explora blenders which are really handy. They're pretty small but that's what you need to get the purees smooth enough. I tend to use ice cube trays to freeze the plain fruit/veg purees (then transfer them to a labelled freezer bag once set) so that I can combine a few different flavours together for a meal. But for set recipes, I've got quite a few of the Tommee Tippee freezer pots which hold the perfect meal amount.

The purees I've made during the 4-6 month stage are...
  • Plain vegetables: Carrot, Brocoli, Courgette, Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Potato, Parsnip, Avocado
  • Plain fruit: Banana, Apple, Pear

Her favourite would definitely have to be banana and although she wasn't sure about potato or broccoli, she didn't mind when they were put together with some carrot or parsnip.

Although I do prefer to cook my own baby food, I will always have a few Ella's Kitchen pouches in the cupboard. Their range is so vast, there's plenty of different flavours for your little one to try (some that you probably would never think of making at home either). They're 100% organic and are perfect to take with you on trips out, especially if you get the on-the-go spoons to screw onto them. By using some of the pouches Elsie also got to try foods like blueberries, coconut, prunes (which she loves), mango, strawberry and vanilla.

Oliver and Elsie have both got Stokke Tripp Trapp highchairs. They are quite expensive but they are amazing quality and will last until they're teens (if they still want to use them then!). I've always liked the fact that they don't look awful at the table as they blend in with the normal dining chairs. 

1. Feeding Bibs / Sainsburys, £4 (3 pack)
2. Ella's Kitchen Cookbook / Amazon, £14.99
3. Tommee Tippee Storage Pots / Asda, £5 (4 Pack)
4. Munchkin Bowls / Munchkin, £5.50 (3 pack)
5. Sharpie Pen / Lakeland, £2.99 (2 pack)
6. Freezer Labels / Lakeland, £3.29
7. Tommee Tippee Blender / Argos, £14.99
8. Miracle 360 Beaker / Munchkin, £5
9. Munchkin Spoons / Munchkin, £3 (6 pack)
10. Ice Cube Tray / Everyone's got them!
11. Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair / Mothercare, £169 (& Baby Set £47)
12. Freezer Bags / Tesco, £2
13. Annabel Karmel Cookbook / Amazon, £6.49
14. Rusks / Tesco, £1
15. Baby Rice and Porridge / Tesco, £2 each
16. Ella's Kitchen Pouches / Ella's Kitchen, from £0.80

I'm no expert in weaning (far from it!) but this is what is working for us so I thought I'd just share it with you. If there's anything I've learnt from weaning Oliver, it's not to take offence or worry too much if Elsie doesn't like something, there's no rush and everyone has dislikes. So far, she's only ever rejected one meal so hopefully her interest in food will continue so I don't have another fussy eater on my hands. Did I do anything wrong when feeding Ollie to cause a fussy eater? I honestly don't know. There's not much I'm doing differently now to what I did then, but I'm definitely going to keep up with the variation of foods as that's possibly something I lacked last time round.

We're a couple of weeks into our next stage of weaning now which has included the introduction of finger foods, meat and dairy so I can't wait to share an update with you in a couple of months! Good luck if your little one is due to start weaning soon, enjoy it :)


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