I’ve loved introducing Horatio to solid food. Maybe I’m more relaxed about it because I’ve done it twice already or maybe he’s just an easy weaner (!) but it’s been more fun this time around.
I’ve been much less prescriptive about what I’ve given him and when, and much less fussed when he refuses it because he’ll usually start liking it if I try it again a few times.
It’s been fascinating seeing what flavours he likes (coconut, masala, chickpeas, beetroot) and what he will spit back out at me (chicken, mango).
Apart from a BabyBjorn highchair and a couple of Ikea overall bibs, which I already had, here are the things that have helped me through the process.
Crocodile (and other animals!) melamine sets
I discovered these in a shop in France and then found them cheaper on dotcomgiftshop.com. They keep their colour despite endless goes through the dishwasher and the children love them.
The weaning spoon is great too – nice and long, enabling you to stay as far away from your messy eater as possible.
My baby loves this stuff. We get the blueberry flavour and I don’t feel too guilty for not making my own porridge as it is low in salt with no added sugar, artificial colours or preservatives. They also make gluten free pure baby rice and creamy banana porridge.
Available to buy online at Castlemilshop.co.uk and Amazon UK.
Babease baby food
I came across Babease at the Baby Show last week and tried three of them over half term.
I like to think I’m quite experimental with purees but Babease is even more daring. I wondered if Broccoli, parsnip, green & puy lentils with onion, fennel, tomato & herbs might be taking it too far but he wolfed it down, and Chickpea, pumpkin, tomato & coconut cream with herbs & mild masala went down well the following day.
Unlike other baby food brands, Babease isn’t pumped full of fruit to make babies like it and they’re all organic. They also make great bases for meat and vegetable dishes for older children.
From £1.19, www.babease.co
Baby at the Table
This is my new favourite book. What could be better than weaning your baby on delicious Italian food? Michela Chiappa recommend introducing you baby to a simple vegetable soup made of courgette, carrot and potato rather than baby rice, and explains how to introduce them to new flavours and textures gradually until you are all eating the same mouth-watering recipes.
We now have a jar of their broccoli and avocado pesto in the fridge at all times and all enjoyed the fish pie in a mug, even the baby. You can order it on Amazon. Get a copy for yourself and all your friends.
Silicone mini muffin trays
So much easier get your frozen baby food out of than ice cube trays and they hold so much more.
These mini ones on Ebay are the perfect size for a stage one weaner but you’ll have to upgrade to a larger size as your baby starts eating bigger portions.
Beaba Babycook Plus
Ok, these are expensive (£159.95) and definitely not essential but they make life so much easier when you’re starting out with making baby food.
The machine steams fruit and vegetables preserving vitamins and minerals and blends into a completely smooth puree. And because there are two baskets, you can make two different flavours at once. Totally straightforward to use, cooks quickly and can also be used to blend, defrost and reheat baby purees.
You can buy them at Kiddicare