Some notes on weaning...
To start with...
Weaning is not a formulaic or a one-size-fits-all process- like most things worthwhile it takes time and patience. My first daughter definitely took longer to get into new food whilst Esther is rattling through, and enjoying, new flavours like there is no tomorrow. I have no idea whether this is down to their personaility, me being more relaxed or simply a whole combination of reasons, but regardless, she's far more excited by trying new flavours than Madeleine ever was at this stage.
Regardless of their different characters there have been a couple of quantities and habits that I have used for both the girls in these early stages which may or may not suit you but I found enormously helpful.
- all my purees are made using approximately 150g raw vegetables or fruit and once steamed can be pureed down with 2-3 tablespoons of liquid. This makes 4/5 x 30g portions (depending on the vegetable) which seemed to be the perfect starting (and building) block for us
- start with one 30g portion at one mealtime until their bodies learn to process and digest the solids
- have some very soft, 'gum-able' finger food available for them- batons of cucumber, mango or steamed carrot/broccoli/cauliflower/sweet potato are my favourites
- choose a time that works for your family and don’t hurry it
- once your baby is happily taking a whole 30g portion introduce another mealtime or another portion
- once my daughters' were taking more than 30g I combined different 30g portions to give them varied flavour profiles and textures - pea + broccoli, sweet potato + red pepper, carrot + beetroot, banana + avocado
- be led by your baby and always look out for signs your baby is full- simple indications include turning their head, not opening their mouth or simple spitting food out
- don’t be surprised if they turn their noses up at new flavours- try it again after a few days and you’ll probably have a completely different response
- perseverance, a blind eye to mess and a sense of humour is key