I have been weaning babies for over a decade! When I weaned my first baby, the recommended age was 4 months and so I just followed the advice given by my health visitor and invested in Annabel Karmel’s baby weaning book and excitedly went through all the first tastes and purees as you do with your firstborn. We loved weaning our little boy and he still loves most foods. Daisy our 2nd came along and again the trusty book came out and she was them weaned from the 6 month point. Only 8 years ago when I weaned her there was no talk or mention about baby led and how they can be given finger foods to explore themselves. I was a busy mum of 2 and retraining from my career in recruitment into childcare, so Daisy was a bit of a blur and although she definitely ate homemade meals as I have just always cooked from scratch (as that was how I was brought up), we did fall into an easy trap of purée for too long and helping her eat to make life quick and less messy.
Florence loving finger foods!
Daisy has always been the fussiest of eaters and still to this day will not eat fruit without it being blitzed to oblivion and hidden within Greek yoghurt into a smoothie. We have to pretend certain ingredients aren’t in a meal and she struggles with certain slimy textures such as melon, cubed squash etc. I can’t help but think if baby led was hip then, she would maybe be a different eater, who knows?
So when Teddy arrived I started to look into baby led weaning and what it entailed. I can’t lie I was apprehensive, looking at pictures of young babies with breadsticks on their hands etc seemed quite daunting! It took me until 7 1/2 months to embrace it fully and I was converted, he was such a clean eater, able to use cutlery at such a young age and is our best eater.
With Florence I decided to start her at 6 months and with a slightly apprehensive Dougie at the start (he needed convincing and the spoon taking out of his hands a few times! We have embraced baby led with enthusiasm, there are times I hold my breath a little when she coughs up a morsel or two but other than that she’s been brilliant! Florence only cut her 1st tooth at 9 months and so we have baby led a gummy baby and she hasn’t let it hinder her!
We were fortunate enough to be sent a copy of Annabel Karmel’s Baby led Weaning Recipe book and as I was already a fan of hers I was pleased to receive it! I just love the fact that her recipes are all made with straightforward fresh healthy ingredients that babies and children enjoy, but the recipes are designed so the whole family will appreciate them and eat together. As a busy mum of four I do not have the time to make more than one meal and so these recipes are perfect for catering to everyone.
Sweet corn Fritters
The start of the book is really helpful to anyone embarking on baby led as it gives you helpful signs that your baby is ready as well as advice on which foods to give, tips for finger foods and a good run through on the first tastes for starting out and then where to progress from there.
I have been through the book and made several of the recipes so far and more than once already!
Almond Milk Porridge with Berries
Sweet corn fritters with salad have been a hit for us all, and an alternative summery lunch at the weekend to sandwiches or brunch.
Daisy the fussy eater has particularly enjoyed the Three Cheese and Tomato Muffins and I have added grated courgette to the recipe and she still ate them! I have prepared the Ragu sauce and used it over 2 meals with the options suggested for the sauce. One of Florence’s favourites so far is spinach and mushroom creamy pasta.
Mushroom and Spinach creamy pasta.
The sweet treats are also popular with courgette and orange being Teddys favourite, chocolate beetroot brownies being Mummy & Daddy’s favourite (one tweak would be slightly less beetroot as the earthy taste was a bit too obvious for Daisy), and Finlay is really enjoying the peanut butter cookies in his school lunch box.
Recipes I look forward to trying out include Banana, carrot and seed bread, griddles chicken with 3 quick sauces, and salmon, quinoa and spinach balls.
This book will be used by us for years to come, so well past our Baby led years just like some of the recipes in her previous cookbooks. For any mum about to start or needing more weaning inspiration this book is a real must have. I was sent this book for free to review but this review only contains my own thoughts and opinions,