Weaning. It’s messy, it’s hard work (at times)… but it’s actually quite fun.
After months of breast then bottle feeding, it was time for Isaac to make one of the best discoveries he’ll make in his early months: food.
Little Man took to weaning puréed food very well; there wasn’t much he wouldn’t wolf down. You know when he really likes something, because he’ll sit with his mouth open waiting for the next mouthful.
Things are, well… I mean were, going swimmingly. However, now we’re heading towards the territory of ‘lumpy mush’, we’re starting to see some fussy traits coming through!
Note to self: Perhaps calling it ‘lumpy mush’ doesn’t help…
Chicken – that’s a no-go. He somehow manages to store tiny bits of chicken up in his mouth (presumably like a hamster would) and return them, in a ball, on the next spoonful of food we give him.
Greens – not a chance. Isaac has developed an acute sense of smell that must trigger some form of alarm in his mind every time a heavily disguised spoon of greens comes his way. When we do manage to break down the anti-greens barrier and sneak a spoonful in, his reaction is pretty funny (unfortunately, I don’t have a video – but just imagine a 7-month-old looking at you in a very disappointed way).
Fight the fuss
“Enough“, we said (inserted here for dramatic effect). It was time to fight the fuss and cook some tasty dishes for Isaac to enjoy on his quest towards solid food.
The recipes were down to Nikki to find. Out came the Annabel Karmel weaning book and a short half-hour later, we had a page crammed with ingredients we needed to buy.
I’m not just talking one or two ingredients here. I’m talking about a fridge full:
So it was decided, Sunday afternoon was to be spent cooking up world-renowned dishes such as ‘lovely lentils’ (a classic…) and ‘cod with sweet potato and orange’. Wait. Cod with what? Orange? A Baby Blumenthal classic, no doubt.
Two hours of cooking yielded 12 meals; all of which were super tasty (tried and tested of course!). The kitchen was a mess, but we had been successful in our quest:
“Save the Nutrients”
Like many parents, we freeze homemade weaning food for convenience. Puréed veg gets frozen in ice cube trays then popped out into sandwich bags, while meals get frozen in small tubs.
My dilemma comes when it’s time to defrost said food. I’m a little cautious about using a microwave – there are so many stories and theories flying around about losing the nutritional value of food when cooking this way.
Back in 2006 (long before I ever considered having kids!) The New York times ran a feature on this theory (Hat tip to Healthy Tipping Point for this gem). It was suggested that when vegetables were cooked submersed in water and in a microwave they lost a large percentage of their ‘goodness’. When steamed, however, the veg retained their nutrients.
Personally, I prefer to steam any veg I cook; and I rarely use the microwave… simply to avoid the risk of compromising any of the food I’m giving to Isaac.
I recently got talking to Tam over at Lillypots about his new creation – the Lilly pot – and said I’d be willing to give it a try to see if it helped make the weaning routine any easier!
Reading through the website, I couldn’t agree more with Tam’s words on avoiding microwave cooking:
“We just think that if you’ve taken the time to lovingly prepare healthy, nutritious, home-cooked baby food like we did, then you don’t want to risk all those nutrients being obliterated by a microwave.”
Hear Hear, Tam.
My thoughts on the Lilly pot
It’s easy to see how Lilly pot makes the process of defrosting and warming frozen veg more convenient. Despite it taking a little longer than microwave cooking, you know that the nutrients are all in place and you aren’t risking any hot spots in your food!
The only downside to the Lilly pot is if you’re not an organised person. The trick to efficiency when you’ve got a hungry baby waiting for your marvelous creation is to get your pan of water boiling/your Lilly pot heating before you begin getting the food out of the freezer.
The joys of weaning
There’s nothing complicated about weaning, nothing at all. It’s actually one of the many enjoyable things about being a Daddy. Watching Isaac eat good, wholesome food – knowing exactly what has gone into it is very reassuring. Not only that, but spending time feeding your little one is a great time to do some bonding – oh, and you get to act a little silly pretending the spoon is a plane/train/horse/car… whatever moves with a noise really!
So, what have your experiences of weaning been like? Share your thoughts in the comments below!