With both Theon and Penelope I’ve tried to follow what is often referred to as ‘baby led’. In some ways it’s great as you simply allow baby to lead the way by following their signs to feed. However, once they move towards food (weaning) it can often be difficult to come up with meal inspo to let them try and explore.
Penelope is almost 7 months old now and so I’ve started to begin her journey into the exploration of food. What’s great this time around is that I’ve already stock piled a good catalogue of dinner winners and binners.
Before You Start
There’s a few things you should note before allowing your baby to try solids
• Food before one (12 months) is just for fun!
• Although there is ongoing debate as to when babies should/can begin to try solids the World Health Organisation, Unicef and the NHS all suggest that introducing solids (or weaning) should not begin until around 6 months old
•Weaning doesn’t mean the reduction of milk and the replacement of food
•Never leave an eating child or infant unattended
• Be prepared for gag reflex and learn the difference between chocking
A Typical Day
I try to make ‘family’ food, rather than meals specifically for the kids. This way we can eat together and it’s less stress for me. Because it’s food for all, all seasoning is done after the food has been cooked and prepared.
BREAKFAST: Cereal with fruit and yogurt, this is pretty much our go to breakfast as its a good filler and easy to eat. We often do over night oats to make them softer for P. Theon likes his fruit fresh/raw but, for P I will often boil down fruits like pear, banana, apple, berries into batches of puree.
LUNCH: Finger foods
• Sandwich fingers, like untoasted soldiers. Filled with humous or cream cheese.
• Sliced carrot batons; boiled for P and raw for T
•Salad; sliced unseasoned tomatoes and cucumbers
• Corn on the cob
• Mini pies filled with either Feta or Bolognese
• Bread sticks
• Mini Yorkshire puddings
• Fish fingers
• Sliced, half boiled and roasted veg like parsnip and sweet potato
• Sausage rolls
• Hash browns
• Boiled greens such as french beans or brocoli
DINNER: Messy food, I’ll often let the kids do messy food play or at least let Penelope loose on one of our family favourites like Moussaka or Bangers, mash and beans or Meze. This is because they usually have their bath before they go to bed and so I know I can strip them off. Let them eat and get feral before they get chucked in the bath and rinsed down. Yiannis and I will season our meals at the table and although I don’t mash P’s food I do make sure it is soft, cut up in to manageable handfuls (not mouthfuls) that she can squeeze and smoosh.
Cheats And Tips
For fruit purees that make great kiddy snacks, especially for on the go try Ella’s Kitchen.
It’s good to note than as well as being notorious choking hazards, (especially if not sliced long ways), grapes are toxic to dogs! If your pup is anything like ours who sits waiting at the feet of the children’s chairs for scraps, it might be an idea to avoid them all together.
Pre make sauces that can be frozen and used later as the base for multiple dishes.Open pots of petit filous and pop tea spoons in them before popping in the freezer. For quick ice pops. Perfect for the summers months but also for teethers. For young teethers why not also try breast or formula milk.
Have a go at your own messy play session by using the bath tub (without water in it). Sit baby/child inside and give them various foods to play with. Try baked beans, yogurt and mash potato.
You can find more weaning inspiration by either checking our recipes page and looking for the ‘Weaning Friendly’ logo or by checking out our weaning board. We also keep a log of What Theon’s Fancies over on Instagram. If you’ve a dish you’d like to share with us simply use #booBerrit
Ultimately have fun together!