First Foods: Weaning Journey
The time has arrived that we can start trying Rosalind with food and this is one of the stages I have been most looking forward to. I love to cook and I love food so the thought of trying all these different flavours on her for the first time is just so exciting. I can't remember the last time I tried a new food but she gets to do that every single day at the moment.
I wasn't sure which method of weaning I wanted to try, there are so many strong opinions, positives and negatives about Traditional Weaning (TW) or Baby Led Weaning (BLW). I thought that we would probably just try her with some porridge to start easy and then just go from there.
Once Rosie hit all the markers that she was ready - she could sit up by herself, she lost the tongue-thrust reflex and doesn't automatically push solids out of her mouth and had good hand-eye coordination - we excitedly blitzed some porridge and mixed it with breastmilk. She tried a little bit, but overall she wasn't fussed. The next day we tried to go the BLW way and boiled a carrot until it was mush and offered it to her.
Then my heart stopped as she started to choke on a piece. I'm not talking gagging either, which is perfectly normal and all part of the learning process, she was really struggling. A couple of whacks on the back and up it came but of course that put the fear of God in me and we parked eating for a couple of weeks. Not the best start at all.
When we started again it was back on to the purees, this time carrot mixed with breastmilk and she didn't complete hate it. So the next day we tried her with some pureed parsnips and again she didn't seem sure but she wasn't spitting it all back up again so we decided to push on.
We've decided to start her on vegetables first and introduce fruits later. A couple of reasons for this, 1. After seeing how much sugar is in fruit after having GD I want to AVOID and 2. Why would you want spinach when you can have strawberries? So she gets the 'boring' vegetables first, although we did let her try a fruit pouch on her 6 month birthday as a special treat.
We've also been giving her some food pouches from Babease when I just don't have the time or inclination to cook! They have some very tasty flavours, with choices that wouldn't look out of place on a restaurant menu with flavours like 'Thai Green Chicken Curry' or 'Garden Vegetable Risotto'. They have different stages allowing you to move up the 'lumpiness' scale without worrying. I love that they aren't shy with their flavours and spices and I've tried some and they don't taste like your average baby food. I'd highly recommend these if you're looking for a pouch brand.
So after trying her on the purees for a little bit, I then worried that she wasn't learning how to handle food so I decided to start introducing some finger foods as well so that she experienced a range of tastes and textures. This actually seemed to go down better than the purees, and she has loved handling the food. She'll turn it around in her hands, mushing and tasting and is much more likely to be engaged with the whole eating process.
It's meant that we have been able to introduce a few different things doing it the combi way like cucumber, egg and bread. Her favourite food out of everything so far seems to be peanut butter on bread, which is definitely not the healthiest option but it's nice to watch her enjoying something. We've also been offering water with her meals which she likes, although she still needs help with tipping the cup.
We are currently continuing to trail a mixture of purees and finger foods but allowing her to feed herself with the spoon when she reaches for it. I'm still not 100% ready to let go as I like knowing that she's at least getting a few mouthfuls of food. There is significantly less mess this way too and it's more convenient if we are out.
I have been using The Small Human Co reusable food pouches when we've been out and about to hold the homemade purees. They are double sealed to protect against leaks and you can wash them out and use them again and again. I love how bright they are and so much more convenient than carry pots around. You could also pop a couple of fingers foods in them as well and just open them up from the bottom when you are ready.
We've been trying, where possible, to eat our meals together as a family so she gets the idea - although she tends to try and grab our food instead of eating her own, even if what we have is similar. She is also now on 2 meals a day, breakfast and lunch and is continuing to have all her milk feeds. There is no need to drop a feed at the moment as she is hardly taking in any food with her meals, perhaps only a few mouthfuls.
We've been weaning her for just under a month now and so far she's tried the following:
Tips & Information
Tip: Give any new foods for breakfast so you have all day to monitor for an allergic reaction
Tip: Microwave or steam (rather than boil) to retain more nutrients
Tip: Use 'adult' porridge (which has less sugar) and whizz it in the blender to create a finer consistency
The coverall that she has is this one, it's so good at keeping her clean when she's eating and easy to wipe down afterwards. We've been double covering so she wears a bib as well - maybe overkill but I'd rather she didn't get her clothes completely ruined!
I'm hoping that as the weeks progress she will start to really enjoy eating. I had assumed that she would just love it from the off, so it's been quite a shock that she seems more hesitant than I thought she would be. This is just the start of her food journey though so I need to be patient!
*Please be advised that this post contains gifted items but all opinions are my own