Weaning… A messy update!

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When I last wrote about our weaning journey we were just taking little fledgling steps with vegetables once per day and porridge for tea. I was successfully keeping feeding a relatively tidy process. Oh how times have changed!

We decided to go with mixed weaning – incorporating both pureed food and finger foods. I felt this way we got the benefit of her being able to try more flavours (food she perhaps would struggle to try as finger food yet the opportunity to try texture and feeding herself). To date she shows more interest in eating every other available object the world has to offer rather than finger food. She’s very intuitive and knows the difference between food, sippy cups and toys. She’s just chooses at present to nibble the non-nutritious options. In the last couple of days she has somehow learnt to shake her head to indicate no. I would like to know how she came to know this sign since I’m pretty sure we didn’t learn that at baby signing, and Mummy and Daddy don’t knowingly shake their head to indicate this mean no. Is the headshake an innate skill?

I have been following the Ella’s Kitchen first foods book, and more recently the cookbook version, for recipe and weaning ideas. After starting with single vegetables we moved on to combinations of vegetables, and the addition of fruits at lunchtime. She was accommodating of all flavours she was offered. What we realised is that she would probably happily eat porridge all day long. There was also a realisation that we needed to be careful to ensure we viewed all the food she was trying as equally tasty. As I watched someone feed her once, they indicated that she preferred the porridge because it was better tasting than broccoli. I realised that I was sometimes making faces and sounds to indicate what might taste better and those food that weren’t as great. So we have made a conscious effort to treat all food as wonderful! It seems to work as usually she pulls as face at whatever she is offered for the first couple of spoons and then she eats it regardless. She clearly favours the sweeter tastes as she can wolf down a whole meal sometimes and just a few spoons on other occasions when it’s a more savoury taste.

We have progressed in the last 3-4 weeks to enjoying beans, lentils, rice, and most recently meat and fish. My hand blender has never seen so much action! I have occasional weekends where I boil/steam/blend masses of food! Last week we all ate recipes from the Ella’s kitchen cookbook, with Amelia having the pureed version. The recipes were actually tasty. I found some stock cubes specifically for babies (with very low salt content) in Boots, and they have been a great addition. Now I am not being sponsored by Ella’s kitchen, but I like this brand and recipes due to the flavours. Lots of the recipes have some herb or spice addition to them, which just adds to the taste. We use a lot of herbs and spices in our usual cooking, therefore we are keen to introduce Amelia to these tastes. I did try some other brands and she didn’t seem to enjoy them. We tried them and they were bland. They were what I thought baby food might taste like, whereas the Ella’s kitchen foods are very flavoursome.

I do use the pre-made pouches for travel and when we are out and about due to ease of use. Amelia seems to know the difference, and does have a preference to the sachets much to my sadness when I have a freezer full of ice-cube sized portions of all sorts of food. She recognises the pouches and gets pretty excited at the prospect of what’s inside them!

What don’t we like? Banana and baby rice. These two ingredients often lead to constipation, and much time spent straining and putting effort into pooping a small stone sized lump of poo. What do we like? Pretty much everything else, and especially prunes. Prunes are great for counteracting the bananas or baby rice. It is a guaranteed way to get the poo on the move! We are just entering the world of increased texture and lumpiness. She’s getting in to it, having previously spat any lumpier bits back out.

I wrote this earlier today whilst she was napping. Today’s dinner reflects accurately the title of this post, as this has been the messiest mealtime to date!