7 Brilliant Weaning Tips from Organix
I found weaning one of the trickiest stages of parenting. At the time, it seemed like a mission to get Joshua, my eldest, from milk to three meals a day. I need not have worried, he happily chomped down whatever he was offered, which was mostly cubes of pureed organic food as baby-led weaning seemed relatively new at the time. At 7 years old he's a very adventurous eater and a keen cook. He eats huge portions at mealtimes and is always up for trying something new.
When it came to weaning Daniel, now 5, it was a different story. He wasn't keen on any of the pureed foods I offered him and heaven forbid he found a lump. Eventually he would take very fine purees and very gradually began to tolerate a little texture. The first time I saw him really enjoy something was when he had some dough balls at Pizza Express. Perhaps baby-led weaning would have been a better option for Daniel back then?
Isaac is only 10 weeks old, but I'm already thinking about how I'm going wean him. I recently asked a friend of mine who is a health visitor what the latest advice on weaning is. She said they're currently recommending a mixture of baby-led and purees as you can make sure a baby gets all the nutrients they need in the purees while exploring a mixture of flavours and textures through finger food. It makes sense to me and it seems like quite a natural way of doing it.
There's lots of great weaning advice in the downloadable Organix Little Book of Weaning which includes lots of great hints and tips. There's also lots of good recipes for weaning and beyond on the Organix website. They work with children’s food expert Lucy Thomas who has created lots of simple, fun activities to help inspire parents about introducing new taste sensations to their baby. Here's seven of them.
7 brilliant weaning tips from Organix
1. Fingers first
Help your baby to dip their fingers in some bright fruit or vegetable puree and guide their fingers to their mouth. Exploring the taste and sensation of food on their hands might be messy but it's the first step towards getting your little one to feed themselves.
2. Dip dip
Offer your baby finger food along with some puree to dip it in. Vegetables should be cooked until they are soft enough to squash between your fingers. Rice cakes are great for later on. Introducing different textures early on will help your baby become accustomed to both whole and purred foods.
3. Spice it up
Baby food needn't be bland - little ones will enjoy a tiny taste of herbs and spices in their food. Try sprinkling a little cinnamon or nutmeg on their porridge or apple puree, or curry powder on their parsnip puree. Let them have a lick of a slice of lemon from your water to experience the sour flavour.
4. Mirror mirror
Babies love to watch their own reflection. Hold a mirror in front of your baby while they are eating so they can see themselves and what they are exploring. It will help them with their coordination as well as their interest and confidence with food. This really works as you can see in this video.
5. Hot or cold
Encourage your little one to explore food at different temperatures by putting spots of fridge-cold puree alongside warm or room temperature puree. Let them feel it with their hands first so they become familiar with the sensation first. They may show a preference.
6. Eat your greens
Introducing your little one to tricker tastes, particularly green vegetables, will help them accept them more readily later on. Don't be tempted to mask the strong or bitter flavour of something like spinach or cabbage, offer it to them lots of times while singing or smiling. It can take 10-15 attempts before they accepts a new food, it's completely normal for them to pull a face!
7. Frozen fun
While the ups and downs of teething can interfere with weaning, cold foods can help to sooth babies gums as well as offering a new taste too. Offer older babies a frozen homemade mini-pancake, a frozen cube of puree or peeled frozen celery stick to gum on. Remove the lid of mini pots of sugar-free baby fromage frais and insert a spoon into them before freezing to make great little frozen yoghurt pops.
Disclosure: This is the third in a series of sponsored posts for Organix. Words and most images are my own. Video used from Organix.