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Week Two – Baby led or purees?
Here is the second instalment of my weaning blog. Enjoy x
Now baby is kitted out you need to decide how you’re to embark on this adventure!
Baby led or purees?
My advice is to start with purees and then introduce baby lead for snacks. Weaning should not be taken lightly and although it can be fun it needs to be a very slow process to ensure that your little ones get the best start in their life adventure with food. They have so much to learn in the next 8 weeks about taste, texture, smells, temperature, and learning to swallow! So here’s a short breakdown for you to help make the decision, but note that my plan below is focused on puree led weaning.
Baby led weaning means forgetting purees and weaning spoons, and simply letting your baby feed himself.
– Adventurous palette – fans of baby-led weaning believe that babies who choose foods for themselves are less likely to turn into fussy eaters
– Ready for lumps – It’s also said the ‘finger fooders’ may be less likely to struggle with lumps than babies weaned on smooth purées
– Family meals – It’s also easier for the family to eat together – giving your baby a chance to learn by watching you eat and being part of family mealtimes
– Less work – it’s certainly means less work for you in terms of mashing or puréeing food
– Mess central – well, it can get madly messy, but it’s fun to watch!
– Time – it takes ages for them to consume a decent amount and you must stay with them in case of choking
– Unknown quantity – a lot goes on the floor and it is difficult to know how much your baby is actually eating – some mothers find their baby keeps demanding more and more milk as their baby is not getting enough to eat
Puree led weaning is when you spoon feed your baby smooth purees, progressing to mashed/chopped textures over the next couple of months and introducing finger foods around 7-8 months
– More food more quickly – your baby can get their food as quickly as they want it if you go at their pace. This is satisfying for them when they are hungry. And they will eat more because it is easier for them to begin eating smooth food
– Less mess – It goes without saying that allowing your little one to only feed themselves can result in some very messy situations at the dinner table. With spoon-fed weaning and some finger foods as well you can ensure most of it is going into their mouth not on the floor! But it is important you encourage you baby to touch and play with the food as well. It helps them learn about food.
– You’ll know how much they’ve eaten – By creating your own mashes or purees you know exactly what is going into them and what nutrients and vitamins you’re giving your baby. Also, if you’re helping to feed them, you can be sure they’re actually eating the food you’ve prepared rather than playing with it
– Less chance of choking – If you begin with smooth food and then move onto thicker mash with soft lumps you are giving your baby time to learn how to manage increasingly more difficult food textures at their own pace
– It is difficult for you to eat at the same time as your baby because often babies are spoon fed before the rest of the family eats – but you can still include your baby at the family meal and give them some finger foods to play with and try
– Can require more prep – as you need to mash or puree food
Information from www.bounty.com
There is a third option, which is ever increasing in popularity. The basis is to spoon feed your baby with the introduction of baby led elements and snacks from the very beginning.
You get the benefit of knowing how much food your baby has eaten and they get to learn and have fun with their food at the same time.
Equipment needed for purees
If you are going to be making your own purees, which I would strongly advise then you need a steamer and a blender of some description. All the food you cook can be steamed and it’s the healthiest way to cook to preserve all of those nutrients for your little one.
You then require some kind of belnder. You can use anything really. There are lots of gadgets on the market specifically for pureeing baby food, but most houselhold options will work just fine, to save you spending any more money!
If you have a food processor that’s what I’ve found the best option as it’s the biggest capacity so I can get more done in one go!
Alternatively you could use a hand blender, or a jug blender which will also do the job just as well.
You will then need a way to store these gorgeous nutrient rich purees.
I found ice cube trays were useless. They are too fiddly and too variable in size and the mess that was created was ridiculous. So I created my method!
I found that if I used a wooden chopping board with baking paper on it then dropped 1tbs of puree onto it in neat little lines, I could get about 12 tbs on one board before popping some cling film over it and into the freezer. Then pop them out of the freezer when fully frozen and into a freezer bag. Ikea ones are great, you can write on them, they come in 3 different sizes and they’re really cheap!
Another storage idea are these great little pouches for when you’re out and about for the whole day.
So you’re all ready to go! But you may have a few more concerns. In next weeks edition I’ll address the concerns that I had and hope that you find some useful little tips help you too!
Until next week, love … eat … nourish x