Weaning Jack has mostly been lots of fun, stressful some days but definitely lots of fun. I love food, I mean, really love food, I’ll be eating lunch whilst thinking of what were having for tea and I’m certainly no fussy eater. It’s really important to me to try and raise a child that at least shares half of my interest towards food. I’d like to think I’d try anything once and I’d like Jack to be the same. I have this whole little person to pass on my passion for food and this concept massively overwhelms me. You could say I’m somewhat paranoid of raising a fussy eater so I’m going to try my hardest to get Jack to embrace food like I do. Even though current health guidelines recommend introducing solids at around 6 months we decided to start Jack on solids at around 19 weeks. This may seem early to some but it was right for us. Even though guidelines are there for a reason, I also believe all babies to be different. Jack has always had a healthy appetite and been a big baby. At this stage no amount of milk seemed to satisfy him as he was draining 8oz bottles every 2.5 hours. He’d also had started waking in the night, even though this isn’t supposed to be a sign to start solids it was too coincidental for us. He had slept through from around 8 weeks so for him to start waking 2-3 times a night was a MASSIVE shock to the system. We held off for a few weeks hoping it was a growth spurt or just a phase but it just wasn’t working out that way. After running on fumes for a few weeks and looking like an extra from Shaun of the dead we finally caved in and introduced solids. His weaning journey began with a few tiny spoons of baby rice mixed in with his usual milk with his lunchtime milk feed. I chose baby rice as being a first time Mom I didn’t really know any better, everywhere I looked I saw that it was ‘an ideal first weaning food’. It has added vitamins and is easily digestible but in hindsight I don’t think I’d give Jack baby rice at all.
Jack now has three meals a day along with 4 milk feeds, I think he is soon to drop another bottle as he just doesn’t seem interested in his 3.30pm feed. We started with puréed food, mainly because I was worried about the choking risks and as we weaned him a little early I didn’t think he was ready to feed himself. However, more recently he has been having finger foods as well. After puree I’ll give him finger foods to play with so that he can experiment. The whole process has proved VERY messy and the dog has soon learned that when Jack is in his chair food will soon fall on the floor for him to hoover up. The Annabel Karmel book has been brill for recipe ideas and meal planners. Homemade purees have been great when home as I know he is eating fresh without any nasties, the hidden veg pasta sauce is a particular fave as I know it’s jam packed with veg. But, when we have been out and about or needed a more convenient food for him we use the Ella’s Kitchen pouches (spag bol is his favourite!) which are ideal, there is loads of choice but they are expensive. . So far Jack has tried: bread/toast crumpets breadsticks cheese egg pasta blueberries strawberries (cut into 4) grapes (cut into 4) banana (finding fruit it difficult for him to pick up as it’s slippery) avocado sweet potato cut into fries carrot baby biscuits (Organix, Heinz and Rusks) cheese sandwich egg mayo sandwich peanut butter Yoghurts Goodies snacks (carrot sticks, rice cakes and onion rings) I’m trying to keep things interesting for him and to introduce new and exciting foods but it’s hard to be continuously inventive. I’m super paranoid that by somehow trying to encourage him to be adventurous it’s actually going to have the opposite affect and turn him fussy. I stress most days that he’s not eating enough as some days he eats more than others. I worry that less food one day is going to mean a sleepless night (even though that’s not turning out to be the case). Eating out can be stressful, those wooden highchairs are a nightmare, even with a bib he gets FILTHY and there isn’t much choice for really little ones (must remember to be organised). All in all it’s been a fun experience so far but I know I need to learn to chill out more. Unfortunately that worry switch got turned on when I found out I was pregnant, don’t think it’ll switch off anytime soon. How is your weaning journey going? Does your little one have a favourite food? Can you recommend any finger foods to try?