06 Jul My Story – Our Journey of Weaning
In this weeks post we will be discussing a well known topic that tends to occupy every mothers mind at some point when and just before their little one turn 6 months. WEANING! It’s an exciting milestone which can open a lot of questions and even concerns such as; what if my baby is showing early signs of wanting to eat solid foods? What should I give my baby to eat for thier first meal? Are shop bought baby food good? My baby does not show any interest in solids and only wants breast/milk what do I do? There is an exhaustive list of questions (which we will explore in some blogs to come). But we’ll start with the story of a mum Jenna who introduced her daughter Marine to solids at 4 months. She started an instagram page: baby_yum_in_my_tum_ out of the love she has for cooking. She has attracted over 1,000 followers who are inspired by what she does. Her page showcases mouth watering mini dishes & treats she makes for her little one who absolutely enjoys them. Here is how they stared their journey.
Weaning can be an extremely confusing and also a concerning time for first time parents. There are so many questions surrounding this topic such quantity, timing, nutritional values, spoon feeding, baby led weaning…. etc etc etc!
Weaning should be a fun experience, one for you to connect with your baby and also find joy in. My husband and I decided that when our daughter (Marnie) was 4 months old it was the right time to introduce her to purées and also baby porridge. I did some research around the subject and we felt that as Marnie was becoming less interested in her milk (formula) and more interested in what people around her were eating, it was the right time. We started with baby porridge, only very small quantities and she absolutely loved it. As soon as she tasted her first ever mouthful she reacted in a positive way and you could almost see her little cogs processing it all.
At such a young age it’s really just about getting them used to a slightly different texture, taste and also a totally different feeding experience. We were not focused whatsoever on how much she was having, we were just enjoying watching her try something new for the first time and we were completely bouncing off her reactions to it.
After trying baby porridge I went about introducing purées to Marnie. I made all of my own from scratch. I would steam vegetables, fruit or both together and then blend to a smooth purée and freeze in small pots. These could then be brought out of the freezer and defrosted within minutes. Marnie was still having 4-5 bottles a day at this stage so it was just to get her used to a different way of feeding and getting her to be open to exploring new tastes and textures. My husband and I were not overly interested in going down the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) path. Firstly we were (as most parents are) extremely concerned with choking, and secondly (I openly admit) we are neat freaks! The thought of the mess everywhere just filled us with dread! We quickly decided on the spoon feeding option which worked very well for us.
Purée combinations I would make consisted of:
* PARSNIP & PEAR
* SWEET POTATO & SPINACH
* BUTTERNUT SQUASH & BROCCOLI
* SPINACH & APPLE
At roughly 6 months old we started to introduce foods with a slightly thicker texture, so I would mash up banana and avocado together or combine sweet potato with soft steamed broccoli and mash them rather than blend them. I also introduced things like cous cous which was great for adding texture.
I then started to blend cooked meat into Marnie’s diet too and would blend the “hard” foods and mash the things that were soft when cooked such as carrots, courgette, butternut squash and onion. This not only added flavour but gave her an entirely new exciting feeding experience. It also started to become more of a meal, so we looked at how many bottles we were offering in a day and reduced the quantities appropriately. We also let her lead us on this and she started to show less interest in certain bottles during the day.
We also slowly started to give Marnie soft, steamed vegetable sticks as finger food! I know, we were slowly coming around to it! She did gag a fair few times, however my husband and I would watch her the entire time and very quickly realised the difference between gagging and choking!
Babies are so resilient and clever! When a baby gags on food they automatically cough, splutter, and their tongue pushes the food forward to move it out of the way.
As long as you watch your baby (never leave them alone while eating) I would say go ahead and introduce soft finger food from around 6 months. It encourages self feeding as well as helping to develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination and independence.
This definitely helped us get over our gagging/choking concerns and also believe it or not our messy phobia!
At around 7 months we again would introduce slightly more chunky textures to Marnie’s food so as an example I would chop mushrooms really finely, make sure they were soft and add them to orzo pasta and stir in some cream cheese. We would offer things like lightly toasted bread with various spreads such as hummus, peanut butter or cream cheese. I also began experimenting with “finger foods” and made breakfast bites with cereal and fruit and I would just break them up into bite sized pieces.
At 8 months old I decided I would take photos of the things that I would make for Marnie and start an Instagram page to keep a record of the food journey Marnie had been on. The only reason I didn’t start it earlier is because, let’s face it, photos of purées are not particularly exciting!
I have always enjoyed cooking and baking and thought it would be a nice idea to keep recipes and document some the concoctions I made. This is when @babyyuminmytum was born!
I have now been running the account as well as winging my way through parenthood for over three months and I just wanted it to be a bit of fun but it has actually made me get more creative in the kitchen. I have had a lot of messages from parents all over the globe saying that I have inspired them to get cooking. If I can do that then I am even more excited to keep the page progressing.
Baby Yum In My Tum has showed a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and treat ideas. From flapjack fingers to yogurt bars, Kedgeree, pinwheels, sweet potato brownies, the list is endless. I try to keep all of my cooking and baking as healthy and nutritionally balanced as possible. I have more recently had messages from numerous followers about starting a blog.
I am currently working on content for that and I am hoping to launch it within the next month or two.
Marnie is currently 11 months old and her FIRST birthday is hurtling towards us like a cannonball! She absolutely loves her food and we are so proud of how she isn’t scared of exploring with her food and trying new things. It means I have a blank canvas to work with and I really do take advantage of that when I am trying to come up with new ideas.
Please be sure to check their instagram account out baby_yum_in_my_tum_ for some exciting recipes to give to your little one(s) and family. She will also be providing updates on her new blog to come which we are also look forward to.