When you feel your baby is ready to move onto foods it can be a stressful time. There’s a lot of great websites out there related to weaning. You won’t be stuck for ideas. Annabel Karmel is a household name for a reason, check her page out here Annabel Karmel. Below I have shared my experience, and also recipes that have worked for us.
People are keen to put labels on all forms of parenting and feeding is no different. After you get past the breast vs bottle debates you get the joy of spoon fed vs baby led weaning, and the other minefield of when is too early to start at all! It’s a personal choice and one I know no one takes lightly. I personally spoonfed both my kids, using a mix of my own home made stuff and a lot of baby jars. We also gave finger foods (baby led weaning?!). I’m not sure there should be such restrictions on what way you decide to feed. As long as the baby is thriving and you are all happy that’s the main thing. If in doubt always approach your healthcare provider for the latest guidelines and advice.
One thing I will say is don’t be too scared of weaning. With my first I was so scared of him choking that I left it ages before giving him anything other than pureès. I have since learnt that they are clever little buggers and even if they do appear to ram far too much in their tiny mouths, they are very clever at getting it back out if needs be. My daughter continually suprises me. I must say though never to leave them unattended, ever for a minute while feeding – it can go tits up very quickly! There are lots of great videos online to learn about choking and it can be helpful to check out some infant first aid classes in your area, it can massively boost your confidence in how you cope. I attended one run by the British Red Cross for free and it was great.
Speaking to a lot of mums, I realise that we all struggle to get it right. I thought I would give examples of what I started with and a few great recipes to keep at hand – I have recipes pinned to my kitchen walls so I can make stuff up quickly. Feel free to copy these and print them off. Whenever and however you decide to start then good luck to you! I suggest you invest in some stain removal washing powder – Vanish is a personal fave and the supermarket brands are just as good I’ve found, just make sure you get the stains before they go through the wash or theres no getting them out! Don’t bother with blenders and baby steamers as they very quickly gather dust on the top shelf! A pot and a tattie masher are just as effective!
So as well as the usual veg and fruit pureès that we all start with I gave;
Baked sweet potato, butternut squash or parsnip wedges. Can be baked and cooled and stored in the fridge for a couple of days as a handy snack.
Other veg that are good are cauliflower and broccoli florets. Buy frozen, as it’s still got all the vitamins but a lot cheaper and easier than buying fresh every week and much easier.
Watermelon is a great first finger food as it’s so soft so is avocado and banana.
Eggy bread. Dip slices of bread in egg and fry until golden on both sides. Slice into fingers.
Toast well spread with dairylea or cream cheese.
Well cooked peas are brilliant for learning co ordination- and really fun to watch!
Well cooked pasta, I coated with a little butter to make it softer.
Shredded chicken (I always put gravy on it to make it softer but that’s probably highly frowned upon!)
Fish Pie Bites
• Fillet of Salmon, Haddock, Cod or Hake.
• 1 egg
• 3 Potatoes
• Tablespoon grated cheese
• 1 Carrot
– Wrap the fish in foil and bake at 180°c for around 12min until it easily flakes.
– Boil potatoes and carrots until soft (aboit 20min), then mash.
– Flake fish into a bowl making sure to remove any bones, add potato and carrot, egg and cheese. You want a stodgy texture.
– Refrigerate for around an hour, although you can keep them in the fridge like this for 2days.
– Take tablespoon amounts of mixture out and form into balls, shallow fry in a little sunflower oil until golden, drain.
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup thick natural yoghurt
• 2 carrots, grated
• 1 red apple, grated
• 1/4 cup caster sugar
• 2 cups self-raising flour
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp ginger
– Oven 180°c, prepare a cupcake tin with paper cases.
– Add oil, eggs and sugar to a bowl and beat well.
– Add grated carrot, apple and yogurt.
– Gently fold in the flour and spices.
– Spoon into fairy cake cases and bake at 180° for 15min until skewer comes out clean.
• 3 eggs
• Any veg you have in, such as carrots(grate them), peas, broccoli, sweetcorn (I always have frozen veg or tins in the house for easyness).
• 1 potato (cubed and boiled and cooled)
• Splash milk
• Tablespoon grated cheese
• Oil – I use spray vegetable oil now so I dont use too much.
– Add the eggs and milk into a bowl and give a good mix.
– Add the vegetables, cheese and potato and mix gently.
– Heat a deep frying pan with a tiny bit of oil.
– Pour mix into a the fry pan and cook over low heat until cooked through – you can put it under the grill to cook the top if needed.
– Leave to cool then it can be cut into pieces. Can be stored in the fridge for up to two days.
• 3 tbsp porridge oats
• 4 tbsp milk-breast/formula or cows
• Half a banana mashed
– Soak oats in milk for 10min
– Add mashed banana and mix
– Place in flat bowl and press down and microwave for 2min, cut into fingers while still warm. Serve when cooled.
Vegan banana pancakes
The best thing ever if you’ve nothing in the cupboards, if you’ve ran out of milk or eggs and also fab for egg or dairy allergies.
• 150g plain flour
• 1 tbs baking powder
• 1 mashed banana
• 3 tbs veg oil
• 1tbs sugar
• 180ml water or whatever milk you use (regular milk, oat milk, soya milk, breastmilk, whatever although I haven’t tried it with formula so probably give that a miss) Using water is a great option for kids who have dairy allergies or if they haven’t moved on to cows milk yet.
– Mix flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Add mashed banana, oil and water/whatever liquid you are using and whisk this well. Pour into a jug to make pouring easier. Can be used right away or stored in the fridge for up to two days.
– Heat frying pan – I use a dry pan but make sure yours is non-stick.
– Depending on the size of pancakes you want, pour out batter into pan and cook until you can see plenty of bubbles appear on the top. Flip it over and cook for around 2 min. If your pancakes are cooked on the outside but doughy in the middle then you just need to turn your heat down. Add in raisins if your kids are like mine and will eat anything with raisins in them! Pancakes are always a winner!
I don’t pretend to be an expert, my recipes are a but but hao andhao hazard and I find that I am learning all the time. Whatever way you chose to go forward in your feeding journey is fine and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty we are all just trying to get by one day to the next!
Hope you all have a great week. Let me know what you think of the recipes.