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Things I wish I’d known about weaning

After weaning three babies, I can say that I’ve had my fair share of being batted with spoons and smattered with purée.

Let’s be honest, weaning can be really frustrating – when you’ve prepared something delicious and your baby decides it’s not for them, it’s pretty disheartening.

But weaning can also be fun and very rewarding. When your baby discovers they like a new flavour, it’s a great day at the office! It’s also really interesting to watch a baby slowly develop an interest in food – hopefully for life.

At first, I fed my little one’s meals on my lap while we both got used to the experience but eventually progressed to the high chair (obligatory mat on the floor.)

I also introduced finger food from about seven months to give my babies a feel for what it felt like to feed themselves. But I don’t think that my babies ate very well like that until about eight months plus. It was really just a few nibbles at first, and that’s fine.

Here’s what I wish I knew then:

Start your baby off on veggie flavours 

I started each of my babies off with baby rice for the first meal, and then baby rice mixed with pear purée for the second meal. But times have changed. Now it’s suggested that you start your baby on veggies rather than sweet fruit or baby rice, to help them encourage a love of veg. Wonder if that would have made a difference to my fussy little boy?

Try not to pass your first baby’s likes and dislikes onto your second child

If your first baby didn’t like something, so you didn’t serve it often, it’s easy to forget about that food the next time you wean. For me, spinach falls into this category – my first baby didn’t really like it so I sort of forgot about it somehow. It just dropped off my radar in terms of baby food. And today, with my kids all at primary school, a green soup will emit yells of ‘Yerch!’. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that each baby is different.

A grimace doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like that food

It just means that it’s a new texture or taste, for example a more bitter-tasting veg like broccoli, that your baby needs to try a few more times before accepting – so give it another go a different day. There are foods that I think I abandoned too soon (spinach comes to mind…)

Let them play with their food

Sometimes a meal can get so messy and take so long that you just want to clear up and move onto another activity – and yes, I’ve been definitely guilty of this. We don’t always have time to linger over meals when there are naps, meet-ups, buggy-fit etc to get to. But when a baby plays with their food, they’re actually learning.

Organix children’s food expert Lucy Thomas suggests trying:

  1. Letting them squish and squash their food

This will help your baby gather sensory information so they start learning how to pick up different foods with their fingers

  1. Smearing raspberries

It’s like finger painting! When they lick off the raspberries from their fingers afterwards, it strengthens your baby’s tongue, which helps them to move food around their mouth

Remember to give yourself a pat on the back!  

You’re doing this day after day after day, and, looking back, I can see it’s easy to lose sight of that. So if your baby is trying different foods, enjoying their meals and you’re still standing, you know, you’re doing alright. Best of luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all views are my own.

I’m an Organix No Junk Mum. Follow our #NoJunkJourney

For more tips and advice, download the Organix My Little Book of Weaning.

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Read more:

7 mistakes parents make when weaning
8 healthy apps every mum should know about
How to help your child like vegetables
Are you suffering from insomnia after having a baby?


Comments (13)

  • Avatar

    Helen Wills

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    Great tips. I’m not sure about the veggie thing. I did rice and fruit for both mine, and whilst my daughter did go through a phase of not eating her veg, my son has always cleared his plate of vegetables before anything else (he’s odd like that – loves lobster and squid too!). But definitely I’d agree that perservering pays off – both mine altered what they loved and didn’t like over the course of their childhoods.

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    Jen Walshaw

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    I started my boys off on veg and we never did the baby rice thing (I think my mum thought I was odd), I also managed to avoid rusks too! I was pretty relaxed when it came to weaning. I cook from scratch most days, so they just had what ever we had, but blended or mashed. I also was very baby led, which was seen as very odd 11 years ago!

  • Avatar

    Otilia

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    Very good advice here and we are definitely already tried some of the stuff above. Thank you for reminding us that we need to be good.

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    nessjibberjabberuk

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    Weaning is so difficult and I think there are few children who happily gobble up everything you try to serve them. My daughter loves green vegetables but my younger son can’t abide anything green on his plate. He doesn’t know though that I put chopped up broccoli stalk in the spaghetti bolognese!

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    Kizzy

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    Great tips, I also wish I had started off with vegetables too. Weaning is such a fun time, but can also be quite stressful too

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    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

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    Definitely a good tip to be aware of not passing on your first baby’s likes and dislikes to the second child – both of mine have always been completely different in the foods they enjoy.

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    Orli Degani

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    Excellent tips for weaning. Reading your post reminded me the time we weaned our kids, that was a very messy time :) But it is a great advice to let them play with their food and touch it, really helped us.

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    Emma | The Mini Mes and Me

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    I think the tip relating to eating veg first is an interesting one, I remember my daughter always loving veg and my son fruit but now they seemed to have swapped over! x

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    Fritha Strickland

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    this is super relevant for me at the moment as my baby is 5 months and currently desperate to start trying foods! I’ve forgotten it all from first time round as well! x

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    ANthea

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    I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules. When I weaned mine I started on veg and then fruit and very quickly they were having both. I just used to whizz up things that I would eat anyway and see how it went down

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    Karen Langridge

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    Really helpful tips, it seems so long ago since we did wean the boys here, but I remember it being a daunting journey when we first started x

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    Kara Guppy

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    Weaning is a very messy time isn’t it. I always start with vegetables as didn’t want to get the babies hooked on sweet stuff straight away

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    Ninjacat

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    Some great advice here , weaning is so very messy

Comments are closed