Weaning struggles

By ani - April 26, 2018

A couple of months ago, in Victoria’s 6 month review here, I mentioned about our problems with weaning and solids. In short summary, I started introducing solids when she was 5 ½ months and she was doing really well until she got sick and lost her appetite for solids. Following the cold, she started teething again and had her first 2 teeth coming out so she only started gaining her appetite back 2 weeks ago.

Nevertheless, I chose not to stress out about her not eating enough solids, and used this introduction period to try various foods and learn her taste. So far, we have tried foods from all 5 basic food groups, including:

1. Carbohydrates

Victoria has already tried rice, oats, potatoes, barley and bread, and her all-time favourite sweet potato. If you start weaning early, make sure you avoid any gluten products until your baby is at least 6 months to reduce her chance of developing coeliac disease and any intolerance.

2. Protein

We have already introduced lean meats, poultry, eggs, seeds and pulses and we are about to introduce fish to her diet.

3. Milk and dairy products

Generally, it’s recommended to avoid giving your baby whole milk until she’s at least 12 months old. However, you can start introducing some full-fat cow’s milk dairy products such as cheese and yogurt around 6 months. Victoria has already tried some unsalted feta cheese and yogurt, but they are definitely not her favourite. So I have tried different ways to add and mix them with other foods and she seems to like the combination of avocado, banana and yogurt, for example.

4. Fruit

Vicky loves fruits, especially the really sweet and ripened ones (it looks like she’s having a sweet tooth just like her mom and dad heh :P). Her favourite fruits so far are bananas, mango, apples and peaches.

5. Veggies

Victoria has already tried a wide variety of veggies and her favourite ones seem to be spinach, broccoli and parsnip.

To enhance the flavour of her food, recently I have also started adding to her meals some fresh herbs, onion, butter and oil.

Baby-led or spoon-fed weaning?

There are two main ways of weaning a baby – spoon feeding purees or baby-led weaning (BLW), which means letting your baby try solids at her own pace, starting straight away with soft solid foods and completely omitting the puree stage.

Nowadays, baby-led weaning is becoming very popular as it helps babies become more independent from a very early age. Some studies also suggest that babies who have been let to feed themselves from the beginning are more likely to participate in family mealtimes and eat a wide range of family foods early on. However, sometimes BLW might be very challenging as it could be very messy and involve a lot of food waste, which eventually means that your baby will be getting a very limited amount of nutrients.

That is why, increasing number of mums find that it’s much better to simply combine both methods and this is exactly what I did. I simultaneously started introducing purees and some finger foods, such as raw banana, avocado, biscuits and bread.

For the purees, I used Philips’s 2 in 1 baby food maker, which combines a steamer and blender in 1 product and I can’t recommend it highly enough! The maker is extremely easy to use and it allows you to quickly prepare fresh baby meals on a daily basis. First, it gives you a healthier option for your little one as you can select and buy only the best ingredients, and you can also save a lot on the expensive ready meals. It only takes you 15min to prepare a fully nutritious and delicious meal. The only downside of the maker is that it stains very easily – mine got stained from carrots at the very first time I used it, but nothing is perfect in this life, right :P.

And for all those mamas who love being on the go with their little ones and would still like to offer them some fresh homemade food when they are out and about, I would also recommend using reusable food pouches – I went for the Small Human Company ones and I can’t fault them. They are absolutely brilliant and so easy to use!

Here are a couple of Victoria’s favourite meals:

Broccoli with Chicken

50gr broccoli
10gr carrots
10gr onions
10gr spinach
20gr cooked chicken breast

Steam or boil the veggies, add in the chicken and blend.

Mango Polenta

20gr polenta or corn semolina
50gr mango
20gr banana
10gr apple or pear

Cook the polenta as instructed. Steam or boil the mango and apple. Blend the mango, apple and banana together and mix the fruit puree with the cooked polenta.

What has your weaning experience been like? Please share your thoughts and any interesting recipes in the comments below!

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