Weaning… I haven’t really enjoyed it that much if I’m being honest. I’ve written about it a couple of times here and here and while yes, it is wonderful introducing Richmond Baby to new tastes and new textures, I have however found it (a) a lot more time-consuming than just preparing a bottle and giving it to her to suck away on, so the day really seems to disappear faster than usual, (b) pretty disheartening when you spend time cooking/pureeing a meal only to then have to chuck it away when it is met with disdain and retching noises (my cooking’s not THAT bad, honest!), and (c) boy is it messy… especially when they get hold of the spoon, or the bowl, or both…!
I’ll admit, there have been times when I have descended into slummy mummy territory and just relied on pre-prepared pouches (thank you Ella’s Kitchen and Plum) to feed my little one, mostly because I find that whenever I serve those up she does eat them pretty much without fuss and certainly without a soundtrack of retching and hurling, which of course is a bonus. But after a few lazy
weeks days, I did my best to get back on track by dusting off the Annabel Karmel book and trying again with the home-made approach.
And, I think we’ve turned a corner… I think Richmond Baby was at her fussiest when it came to food during a particularly full on bout of teething – which is understandable I guess – and now that’s settled down again, she seems to be more willing to entertain the whole eating thing again. But also, I think she’s starting to enjoy food more now and meal times have become less of a battleground and more of a fun activity (there is still the odd spat, but by and large I think we’re on the right track).
So, thanks largely to inspiration from Ms Karmel and the New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Plannerbook, I can now confirm that Richmond Baby’s top five foods/dishes are currently:
- Chicken with Sweet Potato and Apple (pretty self-explanatory!)
- Lovely Lentils (split red lentils with onion, carrot, celery, and sweet potato)
- Napolitana Pasta (tasty tomato sauce with little pasta shapes)
- Going Bananas (banana cooked with ground cinnamon and orange juice – makes the house smell amazing too!)
- Cauliflower Cheese
I need to branch out more into red meats and give her more variety generally, but I’m pleased that we’re getting there in terms of establishing her on three meals a day. At breakfast time she usually happily chomps on porridge or a baby version of weetabix, with milk, and then has some fruit and/or a yoghurt, and some milk. Lunch is usually one or other of an Annabel Karmel recipe followed by fruit. She’ll have a small bottle of milk mid afternoon, then tea around 5.30pm – again, usually an AK recipe – and then a bedtime bottle at around 6.30pm after her bath.
I’m so pleased that it feels like we’re finally going in the right direction, feeding your little one is clearly an area fraught with potential stresses and worries, so to see them eating anything enthusiastically feels like a real victory. Aside from the AK dishes, Richmond Baby has also shown a keen liking for…. Philadelphia cheese – ideally on a rice cake, or toast, but equally happy to just eat it off your finger tip (just mind those teeth!);
fromage frais and/or yoghurt – loves it and quite often I have resorted to feeding her that at the same time as her main meal if she’s being fussy about eating!; melon, avocado and banana mashed together, and sweet potato with just about anything! She has also developed quite a liking for mummy’s morning crumpet with butter, which of course I am happy to share
So, on the menu for the week ahead, I think I am going to give some more Annabel dishes a whirl, I particularly like the look of the Braised Beef with Sweet Potato – because I’m hoping that baby’s love of sweet potato will encourage her to give red meat a try – and the My First Bolognese Sauce – which I’m hoping she’ll embrace with gusto as she’s a 1/4 Italian, so surely she must be pre-programmed to love Bolognese, no?
In the meantime, I am encouraging her more and more to feed herself by giving her things like chopped up banana or little rice cakes, or toast, to pick up and eat, and she’s pretty good at that. In truth, I think she’d probably rather feed herself than have me coming at her with a spoon, but I’m just not sure I’m quite ready for the mess that will undoubtedly result… will put that off for just a bit longer!
What are your top weaning tips? – do share!