Getting Annabel started on solids and beginning the weaning process was something I was really looking forward to. I did lots of reading, followed some professionals on Instagram to get some tips, listened to the Wean in 15 podcast series and bought a few bits of kit to get us started, so I thought I’d share –
Following Charlotte Stirling-Reed, Baby and Child Nutritionist
I found Charlotte through Wean in 15 – Joe Wick’s new baby venture that shares weaning tips and recipes for babies and the family . Charlotte helped Joe write the book and her Instagram and blog are full of great advice on what to expect and how to approach weaning if you choose baby-led or spoon-fed, or a bit of both like we’re doing.
The organic baby food range company have a great weaning guide and their free wallcharts and stickers are really handy reminders of tips if you’re going for a veg-led approach. I’ve stuck mine inside one of our kitchen cupboards and have been ticking off the vegetables as we introduce them as a way of documenting our journey.
Wean in 15 podcast and recipe book
This podcast series was a really good way of learning about weaning before we got started and I learnt a lot from Joe and Charlotte who co-host it. Each episode is a short 15 minutes so feels like a manageable, bitesize way of taking in all the information, with tips on everything from allergies to gagging vs. choking.
Highchair and splash mat
I found a secondhand Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair on Gumtree which we repainted and spruced up and I bought a new baby insert and tray. This is a great option as it grows with your child up to 8 years of age so I feel like its a good investment and even better if you can get one a little cheaper. I’ve also heard great things about the simple white Ikea highchair, a fraction of the price, so that would be another good option. We bought a splash mat to go underneath the chair to hopefully avoid too much cleaning and I think as we go further along this journey it will become a bit of a lifesaver.
Bib and lots of cloths/reusable wipes
We got lots of small, simple, collar-like bibs as gifts when she was born, but for weaning I decided to get a long sleeved wipe-able one and it’s great. It also has a pocket to catch larger bits of food. We also had lots of muslins and bamboo flannels which were ok at first when we were on purees and one meal a day but I’ve just bought some Cheeky Wipes and they’re a game changer.
Bowls, cup and cutlery
Silicone plates, bowls and cutlery are a must-have, why don’t we all just use these as adults?! Then there would be no broken crockery or smashed plates. I got this cute little one with dividers, perfect to separate purees and finger foods, as well as this set from Liewood.
Steamer, peeler and food processor or blender
As you only really need to blend food in the first few weeks of weaning before moving onto mashed and less smooth purees I didn’t want to splash the cash to buy one of these all-in-one gadgets that can steam and puree veggies, but that is an option for ease. Instead I just think you need a vegetable peeler to remove skin, a steamer which helps retain nutrients in the veggies over boiling them and any hand held blender or food processor to blitz to smoother purees with the addition of liquid.
Tupperware and ice cube trays
To save food waste which I was concerned about, especially in the first few weeks when she’s tasting and testing rather than eating, lots of tupperware and in particular ice cube trays are a really good investment. Most food can be stored in the fridge for two days or frozen for later and ice cube trays are great to save time when you can just pop a few out to defrost when you need them. I bought these initially which are good for the first few weeks and then these which are larger and will be good for the future. Make sure they’re silicone so they’re easy to pop out individually, stackable to save freezer space and also have a lid.
Have you been through the weaning journey with your little one, are currently going through it or excited/anxious to start? Any tips to share? Let me know. I can’t wait to start learning Annabel’s favourite foods, even dislikes – though spinach and butter beans were not winners in her eyes – and start cooking meals for all the family to enjoy.