Saturday, 17 December 2016

Hello food! A relaxed approach to baby-led weaning.

So, our fourth little one is eight months old already, yes EIGHT! My that's whizzed by so rapidly and so many changes have happened already. Something that our littlest lady has been showing lots of interest in just before she turned six months old was food. She would constantly watch us eating, dribbling, eyes wide open and mesmerised as to what we were doing. Instincts were showing us that she was ready to start some eating along with her fab diet of breast milk. She started of with trying out some organic banana porridge at breakfast time with us, it's always quite hilarious when they try food for the first time as they're so eager, and even if they do enjoy it they pull the funniest faces and shivers! I don't like labels, so with the whole groups of 'baby-led', 'pureed only' and so on, I can say we have a relaxed approach to the whole thing, she showed interest - we responded, simple as that. As she's become more interested, the start of her eating journey as flourish, but some days she still prefers breast milk, especially since she's cut teeth!img_7595img_7600Along with the pureed food and pouches, here's a list of the things she has tried so far:

Breakfast: Organic banana porridge, butter on toast, banana pancakes.

Snacks: Steamed vegetables, cheese either cubed or grated, we've tried yoghurt but she doesn't seem keen.
Snacks that have also helped with teething: peeled & chopped apples. Cucumber and carrot sticks, breadsticks, biscotti.

Meals: Homemade cheese & potato pie, baked sweet potato sticks, pasta in tomato based sauce. and basically any meal we have really in smaller pieces. She loves to chew on steamed veg!
These are only some of the examples as she basically tries anything we have (within reason). She's yet to try out more fruits and vegetables, and spicier foods but its all a gradual process I guess, following her lead for the most part plus us offering things.

Along with the baby-led weaning, we've always added in the factor of puréed food. Either home prepared and cooked, or using some pouches. We've done this with all four of our children and it seems to have suited them well having the choice, different textures and a variety of tastes. We've recently been trying out the My Little Piccolo range, and so far they seem to be a hit. We were sent a beautiful box filled with a fantastic variety:

Squash, red pepper and chickpea (with a hint of rosemary).
Raspberry & apple (with soaked oats).
Sweet potato, beetroot, apple & pear.
Spring greens (with a hint of mint.)
Banana, blueberry & apple (with a hint of vanilla).
Peach & apple (with a hint of basil).
Apple & apricot (with a hint of cinnamon).
Cherry & yoghurt (with wholegrain oats).
Mango, pear & kale (with a dash of yoghurt).
Banana, strawberry & peach (with a hint of mint).

What a delicious selection of flavours right? The list above is the stage 1 range and we were also sent a couple from the 7 months plus range that included: Three grain vegetable risotto (with a hint of basil) & Sweet potato and beef ragu (with a hint of thyme.) You can check out more of the flavours on the My little Piccolo website, where you can also get recipes to re-create the meals for the whole family! The website also has lots of great resources for weaning, ideas and facts about the company and their goals, what I love too is that it's all started out as a family business and sticking to their Mediterranean roots and traditions. This is shown not only in the tasty food itself, but equally portrayed in the vibrant and fun packaging. The packaging is also really compact & practical, just the right touch for busy mamas on the go.img_7626Something I am trying to be better at is meal planning, especially as our family has grown to six of us now - I think its crucial, and some days I find myself baffled as to what I should cook, so a new plan is a must! any tips welcome!img_7628You can read more about the range on their website, and you can also find the pouches stocked on various places online or at your local Waitrose, or Asda.

Some great products we've used over the years have been:
- A good highchair, we've had a couple but the best is probably the one by Mountain buggy as its also portable, foldable and such a nice design. We're not using this one at the moment as it doesn't fit our wooden table but its still fab for taking out with us. We're using this Graco one at the moment which is doing the job.
- A leak-proof drinking cup. Wowzers, we've been through a LOT of these and the best we've come across
- Good spoons for the softer foods, otherwise the baby's hands are the best tools for this!
- I'd recommend an oil cloth may or something similar to save carpet stains. We still sometimes use ours but having wooden flooring is just as easy to wipe it up.
- Storage pots for making batches, or storing leftover foods.
- Foodie bibs, washable or wipe able, we've also used the long sleeve ones before but any kind will do just as well.
- Patience and realistic expectations. Now this one is very important, don't expect your baby to be eating lots right away, it's a gradual process, they go off stuff on regular intervals, they gag, then they decide they love the most random selection of foods and may surprise you, and themselves! As messy as it can be, try to enjoy.
- Don't forget to photograph these little memories, as before you know it they will be having a strong opinion of foods offered, dinner times will sometimes be war zones and also telling you one day they love something, the next they're repulsed by it, some days school dinners are yummier than home foods (thanks) but they don't make apple crumble as good as Mummy does. (Oh yes!).img_7591Collaborativepost
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