‘Food! Glorious food!’ – What I know about weaning so far

I love it when the weaning books or the internet suggest that soon ‘baby will be eating a mushed version of your meal’… today was the first time that was maybe true- I had a healthy piece of salmon with baked sweet potato, carrot and cauliflower combo. Whereas normally it’s not so easy- I’m not sure I should be encouraging  blended pizza, chinese, or mushed up turkey escalopes and chips… can I? I mean granted I have started eating a lot more healthily recently. But when you first have a baby, in reality, who can really be bothered to cook fresh, healthy stuff each day when you’re basically trying to just keep yourself alive to feed the baby just milk?!

But yes, the days do get easier and there is a little more time to cook and prepare meals for the three of you, eventually. I evenbaked a cake last week! It was during one of the life-saving 2 hour naps she has in the afternoon and yes it burnt the oven a bit… (the smoke alarm went off and woke the baby) but it came out ok and I have something yummy to snack on… I mean share with visitors.

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So we’ve nailed the first step of weaning, baby eats puree and I vary up the meals by batch cooking (another thing we learn from books and the internet). We’ve even moved on to finger foods and 3 meals a day. Hurrah!

The next step with weaning (according to the books) is adding more lumps and texture to the pureed food. This seems simple and an obvious progression… So I thought since baby was eating finger food like toast and cucumber, using her many teeth (she already has 8 at 9 months old!) to chew, I would try the ‘texture’. So I made the usual blend of random vegetables, but instead of blitzing it to almost liquid, I mashed it with the potato masher. Apparently it’s too soon for this. We tried it one meal time and as I edge the spoon closer to her mouth, baby does that look of digust at me that they do, sticks her tongue out about half a centimetre, and looks at me like I’m trying to feed her poo. So I tempt her back to me with her favourite finger food of steamed brocolli, try the spoon of mashed vegetables once again and she starts crying at me! Really?! I’m trying to feed you  healthy, home cooked, nourishing food and you’re crying?! One thing I know she (of course) loves is the pouches of ready made puree. All brands, shes not fussy. But she has expensive taste. We try to save these for when we’re out and about and stuck for food or if I’m in a puree rut without anything ready at home. But they of course have the exact amount of sweetness and added fruit (in the savoury pouches) that babies will inevitably favor to mummy’s classics.

Eventually she ate about half of the bowl of fabulous, delicious veg that I’d slaved over and all of the brocolli. Then it’s the question of whether to give her ‘pudding’ even though she hasn’t eaten all her main course. Are we even at that stage yet of food bribery? Or should I give it to her anyway since I know she will eat all her natural yoghurt and fruit puree no question and fill her little tummy and maybe give us a full nights sleep (please!)?

Apparently it doesn’t always work that way with our child and she will wake up in the night probably more if she’s eaten all her food, and wake up only once if she hasn’t. The books aren’t always right people! Annabel Karmel and Gina Ford can stick it! And as for ‘baby-led’ weaning, well we dabble in it. On bath days. I can feed her with a spoon, until she can do it herself and we’ve practiced tidily… (!) as you can see (below) the turkey bolognese is a firm favourite and after letting her put her hands in it today (most of it ended up in her mouth- well done baby) I think that’s enough for a couple of days at least.

But as we know, our children wont be eating puree forever and soon will probably be eating us out of house and home. I can’t wait…!

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