Time is speeding by and we’ve been on the weaning journey for nearly 3 months now. As mentioned in previous posts we ended up going down the baby-led-weaning route as it worked best for us.We’ve come a long way since that first munch on broccoli and there has been an unexpected benefit for me – shedding those pounds.It hasn’t been intentional, but looking at what we eat to make it suitable for LB has meant I’m eating better too. It also means more or less no naughty baking. LB’s not daft, she seems to know when I’m eating something she isn’t.
We regularly eat out now with LB and she certainly knows how to charm the other diners, though we need to work on her table manners. Grinning at people with a mouthful of food won’t be as acceptable in a few years time! Eating out with her has made me look at menus more. She usually eats what were eating and not too long ago we visited a certain pub for a meal. There wasn’t a single item on the menu suitable for her or remotely healthy for me. The main and kids menu was full of beige food and chips with everything. Even the obligatory peas looked sorry for themselves. The usual failsafe of veggie burger had been replaced with a macaroni cheese burger. Safe to say we won’t be returning there for a while. Thankfully our usual eating haunts have a better choice of tasty dishes.
LB is still toothless (I swear she’s been teething since October), so some foods can be a bit tricky, but it still surprises me what she manages to gum and eat without little pegs.
- Blueberries If she had her way she’d eat them all the time. When she was ill a few weeks back they were all she would eat.
- Prunes – A new addition to her diet and may even topple blueberries off the food top spot.
- Crumpets/pikelets – Particularly popular if topped with a mix of grated carrot, apple and cheese.
- Banana pancakes – Half a banana mashed into a beaten egg then cooked in a frying pan with a slither of unsalted butter. Can add extra fruits and toppings, like raspberry and cream cheese to make raspberry cheesecake pancakes.
- Rice cakes – the plain ones. Unsalted ones are not the easiest to find, I pick them up in Boots. LB has tried the fruit coated ones but prefers the plain ones.
- Quiche/tart call it what you like – There is a great recipe in the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook that LB adores, especially when I make it with cheese pastry. I usually make one big quiche, cut it in long slices then freeze.
- Cheese – hardly surprising when I craved it during my pregnancy.
- Yoghurt – It took her a while to appreciate yoghurt but now she’s masted spoon-feeding herself it’s the food she gets visibly excited about. Usually a good dollop of greek yoghurt blended with some ripe pear and peanut butter or Little Yeo pear and apple fromage frais. I’m a big fan off the Little Yeo range (for me too!) as they’re not too sweet plus they stick to the spoon well for her. Yeo Valley apparently sell mini pots of plain fromage frais but I haven’t seen them for sale near me.
Favorite recipe sources
- Baby Led Weaning Cookbook – I found this book useful, especially in the early days, giving me lunch and breakfast ideas. I found the sister book (Baby Led Weaning) to be a bit preachy and patronising but the cookbook (as long as you skip some of the introduction) is not. The most popular recipes from this book so far are the vegetable tart and meatloaf.
- 5 O’clock Apron – I’ve been following Claire on Twitter (@5oclockapron) and reading her Guardian column about kids food for a few years. Even pre-LB I was envious of the food she served her kids. A few months back she brought out a cookbook and it has been loved here ever since. It’s not a weaning cookbook, but a book of family food. She doesn’t believe hiding vegetables in an effort to make your child eat them, just make the vegetables better in the first place with spices and other ingredients. We’ve really enjoyed cooking dishes from this book and to make the recipes more for mine & Hub’s grown up palate we just add salt at the table and maybe a cheeky glass of wine. What I like about most of the recipes is that I can prep them during the day when I have time, then it’s just a quick cook or assembly job once Hubs is home. LB’s favourite recipes have been and Egyptian dish called Kushari and chicken shawarma with chop chop salad.
- One Handed Cooks – a beautiful Australian site and magazine full of tasty food ideas for children, half of which seem to be pinned on my weaning Pinterest board. It’s helped me introduce vegetables and textures to LB in different ways.
- Small frying pan – I picked up my pan, that’s no bigger than 20cm, in the Sainsbury’s sale for £4 a few years ago and it’s turned into one of the most used pieces of cookware at the moment. Great to making small omelette for LB along with heating up small portions of food. Bonus is that seems like less washing up and hassle than using our huge saute pan.
- Mamas & Papas Baby Bud – Rather than a traditional high chair we opted for a booster style Baby Bud with additional benefit of being portable. It comes with a play tray which is handy for keeping LB entertained when I’m trying to sort dinner. My only slight niggle with it is that the tray could do with being a tiny bit bigger. Second choice – the iconic Ikea Antilop.
- Bento box – LB has a little purple bento box from Paperchase sale and the adjustable little compartments are great for taking lunches and snacks out with us.
- Microfibre wipes – We started using baby wipes at first, but discovered they don’t seem to grip the food when trying to wipe it up. Instead it just seems to smear it around. A friend introduced me to reusable wipes. The brand name is Cheeky Wipes, but I made my own by cutting down and sewing some microfibre wipes from B&M Bargains. Cost me less than £2.
Have you found any useful things when weaning your little one?