My journey with weaning Small Boy wasn’t what I was planning. In fact, I felt decidedly pushed into it by a health visitor (not our usual one I should add who was fab!) who gave me the impression that if I didn’t start weaning him that day he would probably still be on a milk only diet when he was thirty. After a battle with purees, I discovered a couple of cookbooks and recipes which helped to reboot the whole thing, and we were back on track in no time at all!
Here’s a few of my favourites!
New and Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel
This was a great resource as it clearly sets out what to eat and when, a planner to help you batch cook and plan ahead, and a stack of helpful recipes. They’re all pretty basic and with ingredients you can get from any supermarket. Small boy was particularly fond of the Salmon “footballs” and a chicken and sweet potato casserole which us adults ending up eating too. The purees for first feeding are pretty straightforward and I’m not sure I needed someone to tell me to “cook peas, add water, blend” but if you’re not a big veggie eater you might get some ideas. You don’t need any spiffy cooking skills to make the older ones – although you might need some ramekins as they seem to be quite important in the photos!
Baby Led Weaning – Helping your Baby Love Good Food, by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
This book was a revelation. I would recommend it even if you are not going down the baby led route as it reassured me in what I was doing, how baby’s develop taste and what they can and should eat when. It gave me the permission to go at our own pace and understand baby’s development. I’m a big one for knowledge being power. It’s also got some great ideas for things to feed and encouraged us to try strong flavours. As a result small boy has a pretty varied diet.
A Girl Called Jack – Jack Monroe
Possibly my favourite of all the cookbooks – ever! If you want seriously tasty recipes on an extremely tight budget then this is the book for you. Babies suck up every spare penny you have. You also don’t have much time to shop so having a stock pile or tins and a full freezer isn’t a bad thing. Jack’s recipes are for the budget-minded rather than a weaning book, but almost all the recipes can be modified for little ones. I didn’t add salt, swapped brie for hard cheese and used low sodium or baby stock cubes, and cut out the chilli. I recommend “Not a Tagine” which is packed with prunes, carrots and potatoes in particular I love it and small boy thought it was delicious mashed up. There are a lot of one pot dishes and veggie dishes so something for everything here. I even managed to persuade my husband to eat tinned potatoes as a result. She also has a great blog so if you struggle to buy a book or get to the library, then check it out as there’s a bunch of free recipes.