Isaac's First Food Adventures and Weaning Tips from Organix #NoJunkJourney
Weaning my three boys has been a very different experience each time. Joshua, now 8, was like a hoover at 6 months, wolfing down everything on offer. He had a huge appetite and an adventurous pallet from the word go, so feeding him was a breeze. It still is. Daniel, now 6, was extremely fussy as a baby and would only take very fine purees for a long time. It was a stark contrast from his big brother and, to be honest, quite stressful. He only seemed to develop an appetite for food at the age of one, and he preferred finger food and snacks to proper meals.
Isaac, now 17 months, appears to be somewhere in between his brothers at the moment. When he's in the mood he will eat a wide range of food with great gusto. However, there are days when he just doesn't seem to have an appetite for anything more than a banana. He's not keen on texture so he still likes his meals well mashed. He's got quite an independent streak so loves finger foods that he can pick up himself.
Isaac was weaned at 6 months old on baby rice and purees. His favourite purees were carrot, pumpkin and apple. He also loved to gum a little piece of mango or soft melon, which had to be well supervised because of his of over-zealous chomping! I hadn't tried baby-led weaning with either of the older boys, so it was quite exciting to try it with Isaac.
We continued offering purees alongside baby-led weaning and he was doing great. By 7 months he was having three meals and three milk feeds a day. He enjoyed his baby porridge in the morning so much that he would sob when he'd finished it. The Organix strawberry and banana porridge was his favourite. He enjoyed homemade fish pie and chicken soup, alongside finger foods such as soft vegetable sticks or cubes of toast. When we were out and about Organix finger foods made great snacks, especially apple rice cakes and carrot sticks. I love that they are completely organic, healthy and contain no nasties.
It all went smoothly for a few months, but as he got closer to his first birthday he began to get fussy. He started to purposely throw food off the highchair thinking it was funny. He refused foods he previously loved, like broccoli, carrots and grated cheese, and would only eat toast, fruit and plain yoghurt. He also started to turn his head away from all the lovely blended meals he enjoyed previously. I was trying to move him onto mashed food with more texture, but he was having none of it. Generally he preferred to plaster his face and the table with his food rather than eat it.
Mealtimes did become a bit stressful and messy, but I was more relaxed third time around and knew this phase would pass. I didn't stress about the mess too much because as annoying as it is to clean everything three times a day, I knew it wouldn't be forever. Playing with food can actually help give little ones a healthy relationship with food as an adult, so I just shut my eyes and thought of the positive side of the mess!
I noticed that Isaac ate better in the company of his big brothers rather than by himself, so I made sure the three of them had their meals at the same time. I also noticed that he would try to steal food off their plates! I started to give him little bits of what they were having along with a few spoons of his own food. He still favoured finger food but if I gave him a mixture of foods he would eat one and chuck the rest on the floor. Giving him a small amount of one type of food at a time minimised the damage. So if dinner was broccoli, cheese and pasta I would give him the brocolli first, then the cheese then pasta.
I tried not to give him too many snacks between meals as well to make sure he was hungry at mealtimes. He enjoyed pieces of fresh fruit he could hold in his little hand as well as all the yummy snacks in the Organix Goodies range now he was older. He is absolutely crazy about the apple and date bars will shove the whole thing in his mouth so quickly. His big brothers are still massive fans of the gingerbread men.
Currently Isaac is desperate to feed himself with a spoon, so it's still a messy business. I give him a spoon to hold and help him to dip it in the bowl while I get a few spoons in of my own. Finger food is still his favourite, so I try to make most of his meals this way. He also changes his mind almost daily as to what he likes and dislikes, so I keep persevering with food he rejects.
Third time round and there still seems to me there's no exact science to weaning, as every child is different. My best piece of advice would be to follow the latest guidance from the World Health Organisation, get advice from reputable sources, follow your baby, take one day at a time and enjoy it. There's loads of great tips in this post from Organix which I have found really useful. Check out their website for even more helpful advice and recipes for weaning and beyond.
Disclaimer: this part of a series of sponsored posts for Organix. Words, opinions and photographs are my own.