Apparently, babies who lunch together are more likely to try new foods. I put this theory to the test earlier today… can’t say the new foods on offer were particularly challenging – chips, tomato macaroni, fennel-flavoured Ella’s Kitchen bites, yoghurt raisins – but Alfie did quietly devour everything in front of him while I chatted to my friend.
Holly Bell, finalist in the Great British Bake Off and author of Recipes from a Normal Mum, who is currently weaning her son Lawrence, has launched a campaign with baby and toddler food brand Organix called ‘Babies Who Lunch’ to encourage parents to get together and share their weaning experiences.
This can only be a good thing… weaning can be a soul-destroying experience when your baby constantly throws their beaker on the floor and refuses to eat a single mouthful of whatever Annabel Karmel recipe you have lovingly prepared.
Alfred is going through a phase of clamping his mouth shut whenever the spoon comes near. He’ll only eat from a spoon that he is holding – which can get very messy. He prefers to eat finger foods, which works well in restaurants (particularly those that serve chips).
Perhaps it is because I’m distracted and don’t hassle him or because I leave him to eat for longer but in a restaurant Alfie tends to eat everything I put in front of him – including carrot sticks and apple pieces which he will throw in the floor in disgust when we’re at home.
Going out for meals with Alfie makes such a positive change to feeding him at home that I often take him and his brother out for lunch on my own.
I have to pick the right restaurant of course – the emptier and more spacious the better – but both boys seem to eat better outside the home environment.
And what makes it even more appealing is that apart from a bit of face-wiping I don’t have any clearing up to do afterwards.
Social Weaning – Psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin explains why it’s good for weaning to be a shared and social experience
- Eating together is one of the most important social skills we teach children – weaning is primarily about introducing a variety of foods but learning to sit and eat with others is also important.
- Children learn by watching others – it’s a good idea to create lots of opportunities for learning and imitating other people.
- Peer influence – watching peers will make it more likely that your child will try new food or behave in a different way – you will be surprised by what they will try out when they would not at home.
- Eating together is great fun – and babies can learn eating and social skills from one another.
For more information see Organix.co.uk