Weaning is fun, messy and exciting and we’re loving it so far. When our Health Visitor asked if we would be doing Baby Led Weaning I’d never heard of it and was quick to poo-poo the idea. Turns out there are a number of different interpretations of the term but, either way, we’re sticking with traditional weaning over here. Although H & C are more than ready for food in terms of appetite and interest, they’re lacking the motor skills to pick food up and get it into their gobs at the moment. Once we have better hand-eye co-ordination we’ll get stuck into the finger food but for the moment they’re content to throw about a crust of mummy’s toast after their mashed up banana breakfast. If they don’t get their allocation my mealtimes become very disconcerting. The room goes silent and my audience throw me extreme daggers so it’s best all round for everyone if I share. A concept that Daddy is rebelling against.
Finger food will, I hope, be invaluable for us. We already have food rage when it’s not being shovelled in fast enough so I dread to think what it’ll be like once they’re actually relying on the food to fill their tummies! I’m hoping that, by giving each of the girls some finger food in addition to their actual meal, they’ll be encouraged to feed themselves when the spoon isn’t headed in their direction. I’m also hoping that we can phase out the purees and spoon feeding and move onto a more baby led direction as they get better with their hands.
To clarify, when I talk about baby led weaning I’m just talking about H & C learning to feed themselves. I’m not talking about giving them a smorgasbord of different options and allowing them to pick and choose. Despite what the advocates say I really can’t see how this discourages fussy eating…
So far, H & C have loved pretty much everything I’ve given them. Apple is the only thing they’ve turned their nose up at so far and it was early days so we’re going to try again this week. I’ve bought a different type of apple and I’m going to peel the skins this time as I think leaving the skins on made them taste too bitter.
I bought some silicon ice trays from IKEA (the long ones made for water bottles if you’re interested) and have been periodically cooking up batches of different purees and mashes, freezing them and popping them out into labelled food bags for storage. When it comes to meal times I pick 2 different sticks of food and ding them for 30 seconds to defrost before serving it up. It’s working a treat and allows us to experiment with different flavour and texture combinations. We’re loving the Tommee Tippee feeding equipment, the spoons are nice and shallow and they’re super cheap at the moment in Aldi (we’re talking 1/3 the price they are in Tesco!). You can check out what we’re eating on the What’s Hot and What’s Not page.
I’ve also bought some little feeder pouches which we’ve used a couple of times. I picked ours up from ASDA for a couple of pounds each however I have since discovered that you can get a silicon version on Amazon which I would go for instead as the mesh is the devil’s work to keep clean (which is, admittedly, part of the reason we’ve only used them a couple of times). These will be great for self feeding on the go when it’s just not practical to let the girls go to town on a banana. They’re also great if you’re nervous about choking (*ahem* grandma) as only bits that fit through the mesh will make it into your little tykes chomper.
It’s been fun watching the differences between how H & C have adapted to the whole eating thing. H has mastered the big wide mouth when a spoon approaches but is still working on then moving the food to the back of her mouth to be swallowed whereas C is still to work out that she needs to open her mouth to let the food in but once it’s in there she’s a dab hand at getting it down the hatch.
On the downside, it appears it is possible to simultaneously worry about whether you’re feeding your little one too much and too little at the same time. Who knew? Are they getting enough milk, are they having too much actual food? How much should they be eating and when? It’s a whole new minefield for mummy worry.
One thing I would like to know though, why are all bibs white and all the ‘recommended’ first foods orange?? All the stains. Any and all tips welcome!!
Next month: lumps and bumps and finger food!