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Hints and Tips for Babies and Toddlers
Baby Food Hints/Tips
Member Name: xjemloux
Baby Food Hints/Tips
Weaning can be one of them things which is either very easy or very difficult. Of course like us babies enjoy different tastes and smells, so getting them to try solid food is difficult enough but you have to try and give them things they enjoy and recognise the signs when they don't enjoy something.
I was told not to start weaning until quite late, but I decided against this as my boys were very hungry babies and I don't think formula milk satisfied them enough. Whether people agreed with my decision or not I don't know but as mothers (parents in general really) we know what our children need and want and I really don't understand how health visitors advise us to go by this 'imaginary book of rules about babies' .. it's beyond - not every child is the same as this imaginary baby in this book we all have to follow.
To be honest the jars of food didn't appeal to me very much at all so I hardly bought them unless they were fruity muesli, porridge or maybe custard, as for the main savoury meals they smelt and looked disgusting so if I disliked them so much and hadn't even tasted them I wasn't prepared to feed them to my boys.
Instead I bought a food mixer, I bought it off ebay it was a Lindam Baby food processor so it was meant for just baby foods. I wanted them to eat healthier than I do I have a habit of just eating crap so when trying to make them meals I wanted to introduce vegetables, and lots of fruit, I will eat it but I'm too lazy half the time to do it for myself.
I would mix everything, they mainly had a meat and veg or a roast dinner (bits of potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and even the gravy). For dessert I would puree fruit their favourites have been apple and banana, I don't particularly like banana but I wanted to let them try the things I didn't like as just because I don't like them didn't mean they were not going to either.
Firstly I would really mix it until it was literally just a puree - an extremely smooth consistency, gradually as they got older and became comfortable with eating a vareity of flavours off a spoon I would mix it less to introduce lumps into their food. This way they were getting used to textures of different foods. They took to it so easy and now they have anything I have near enough, so it's only now I really try and make interesting breakfasts, dinners and teas as whilst just getting them used to the food flavours and textures I tried to keep to the basics..
Here are a few of my ideas which have been a hit with my boys (not MY ideas actually just ideas I have used). These vary as to what ages you can use them but you as parents know your children but these range from suitable for younger babies to older babies.
Well the only proper 'baby' bought foods I would give them were the boxed breakfasts and porridges. They are of course meant for babies and could be mixed with their own milk.
Farleys Rusks - These were another beginner, they could be mixed with their milk also, and could be smoothed to a really soft, runny consistency or could be made thicker with the odd lump.
Weetabix - Sounds simple enough but I took the tips off their adverts about adding fruits etc with them, this way they were getting their milk which they LOVE, breakfast and their fruit. Yoghurt was another hit with these. This is a food which can be used a starter food as it can be mixed with a babies own milk and smoothed to a perfect consistency to allow them to swallow with ease and taste a familiar flavour - their own milk - as well as trying something new the taste of a weetabix and a new texture. Gradually as your child gets older you can make the consistency thicker and add extras to it such as fruits and yoghurts and begin to use normal cows milk when your little one starts to drink it.
Soup - I've never made my own, instead I've used tinned soups. Smooth soups and soups with added meats and veg.
Stews! - Full of vegetables, so to me just goodness for them and new for them to try, easy to freeze and store and cook another day for another meal too which comes in handy. This is one which is easy to puree in a food blender, and you could begin with just one or two added vegetables so not too overpower the taste and slowly add more vegetables to get your child used to different flavours, colours and tastes.
Roast Dinners - I would puree these so they were having a full cooked dinner with all the goodness from the veg etc but not having to struggle with lumps at first. Not adding salt to their veg or anything though.
Yoghurts - A good form of calcium, and easy for babies to swallow and get used to a variety of tastes and flavours too.
Soft cereals - Any cereals that soften when milk is poured over them my boys found a treat especially coco pops and rice crispies they would then like to drink any of the left over milk either out of their bottle or a beaker.
Fruit Purees - These are so simple to do with a mixer and you can mix absolutely any fruit on it's own or mix them together if you want to give them a combination of flavours at once.
Scrambled Egg - Can make a tasty meal, although a slight bit lump it's easy to swallow - probably better for an older child, maybe a toddler.
Spaghetti and Beans - A good way to get your child used to lumpier consistencys and eating hot food at the same time. Tasty yet basic and can also be purchased cheap enough and more often than not on offers.
Caulfi flower and Broccoli cheese - The goodness of veg but with an added twist so if veg isn't really a favourite with your child add the cheese for extra taste or to somewhat hide the fact they are eating their greens. This is something else which my boys used to love when it was pureed, didn't look so appealing to my eye mind you, but they seemed to eat plenty of it.
Pasta - Once your child is eating foods comfortably a pasta is a great way to introduce them to more powerful flavours and combinations of food. You can add so much to a pasta whether it be veg or sauces. It can make a healthy yet exciting meal at the same time.
Rice Pudding - When your child gets used to lumpy foods this can make a tasty dessert.
Fruit salad with Yoghurt - Or just fruit salad on it's own. The yoghurt however can again hide the fact that your child is just eating the essential fruits.
Sandwiches - When your little one is eating solid foods by themselves Sandwiches can be a great way to show them new colours of foods, textures of foods and tastes. You can hide things a little maybe if you want to add lettuce but add it with their favourite sandwich filling first that way you can find out if your child likes certain sandwich fillers or not. My boys began eating just dairylea cheese with theirs and they still love them but they are quite messy at first. I like it when they get messy when feeding themselves though (so long as it's not all over me or the carpet lol) as I don't want them to be scared of the foods they eating or the messes they create.
An older child/toddler tends to like snacks in between meals, often I use raisins, carrot sticks, a smaller sandwich than what they would have for a meal, fruit, cucumber, cheese.
These are just a few ideas, but you can purchase many baby and toddler food books nowadays which can really make your childs first meals and finger foods exciting.
A baby needs to be able to enjoy their eating habits to so at first it's good to make sure they are comfortable in a highchair. If they are comfortable where they are sitting they are more likely to try what you are about to spoon feed them rather than fight it.
Some children/babies will be more independant than others to so if your child is not happy with you feeding them off a spoon let them try it themselves either with their own hands or with their own spoon. See if they feed better like this.
Try if you can to offer them foods at certain times of the day, as hard as it can be as I know days are more often than not really unorganised when you have a child. But try get them used to a slight routine with their feeding. They will slowly get to know when they are due something new and tasty.
Also try to just offer babies one food at a time, get them used to one flavour one week you will soon know if they like it or not. Each week try a new food. Once you know yourself they are becoming comfortable and enjoying the trying new foods experiment slowly combine foods to get them used to flavours mixed together.
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