Now Arlo is entering the toddler feeding stage, and having gone through the whole weaning process for the final (and third time), it’s quite amazing to see the progress and changes that happen to your baby when it comes to learning to eat. The first foods and vegetable purees now seem a lifetime away for us, yes it was only at the beginning of January this year that we properly started Arlo’s weaning journey.
When it comes to weaning so far I feel we’ve been pretty lucky that all 3 of our babies have largely enjoyed their food, which has made our life as parents much easier, although I appreciate this isn’t the case for many parents. I’m sure my own Mum can sympathise, as I was a really fussy baby and disinterested eater- a tough combination!
With all 3 of ours we started just before 6 months (the recommended weaning age) on pureed vegetable combinations first (we waited a while before introducing fruit purees so they didn’t become accustomed to the sweeter tastes first, and therefore refused the veg). We then moved onto purees with meat, grains and dairy in them, before gradually introducing a range of easy to eat finger foods, such as small pieces of buttered toast, softened fruit and vegetable sticks, sticks of cheese and soft pasta.
After a while we also began using a range of ready prepared baby and toddler meals for out-and-about, and for when we’ve been time-pressed. We’ve always used Hipp Organic toddler meals even when Freddie and Sasha were small a good few years ago, and they’ve really come into their own now since having Arlo. With 3 children, meal planning is often a juggle. It can be a real headache working out who is having school dinners (always Freddie), who is having packed lunch today (sometimes Sasha), and where I’m going to be during the day with Arlo and what after school clubs the big two have on any given day. Whilst we all try and have the same meal as a family wherever possible, there are times when that doesn’t happen and Arlo’s requirements are different from the others. Being able to use these makes me ‘Feel Hipp’ when it comes to family feeding as life runs smoother and we get a better balance.
I tend to use about 2 of the Hipp Organic toddler meals a week at the moment, and I’ve been pleased that the tray range of meals has increased significantly over the years to include 6 new options, including lamb and fish dishes.
This means that Arlo never gets bored and gets the chance to try a whole heap of new flavours and textures with minimal effort- crucial on days where I’m spinning lots of plates as a working mum/ child taxi service! The meals all have no added salt and sugar too and meet EU standards, which means I more peace of mind and zero guilt. The meals take a minute to heat up in the microwave (or you can use the hob), so are perfect for feeding a hungry toddler in between the hockey/ art club and Beavers runs.
With Arlo’s weaning journey, as with the others, I found that being relaxed and confident that one day they would ‘get it’ really helped. I also tried not to stress if they didn’t like one thing, and remembered that we could always try that food again another day. Doing it ‘my way’ and not worrying about what other babies and parents were doing when it came to food made me feel empowered, and I tailored each baby’s needs accordingly. For example, Arlo is super-independent and has always liked to try and feed himself (even if it’s messy- part of the fun I guess!), where as Freddie was happy to have me feed him for quite a long time and therefore I used more finger foods as time went on so he could gain independence. Sasha was a real mixture of the two.
It just shows how every baby is different!
It will get messy, so make sure you ‘bib up’ before meal times, and I found leaving the messiest foods until teatime worked best for us- then they could just be popped in the bath afterwards! HiPP have a range of ‘Free from’ baby care products that are available in Superdrug. We’ve tried them and they’re gorgeous-smelling, without any added nasties- ideal for Arlo’s very sensitive skin.
Looking back now I still can’t believe we’ve helped 3 little people learn to eat and enjoy their food- and when you look at it like that it makes me realise that as parents we all mostly do a pretty good job as far as our children are concerned, especially when it can feel daunting and like you’re wandering into the unknown at first.
I’d love to hear some of your weaning stories and also any tips you have too. Were you a puree user, baby-led weaner, or a mixture of the two? Did you make your own meals, use ready prepared baby food or a bit of both like us? Any struggles or did you find it relatively easy?
Did you ‘Feel Hipp’?
I’d love to hear!
Watch my video below see me chat about Arlo’s weaning journey as baby number 3:
Also on the blog today I’ve got the chance for one lucky reader to win a Hipp Organic hamper of baby goodies worth over £50! All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter below, using as many options as you’d like.
Terms and Conditions: Competition closes at 11.59pm GMT on Sunday 16th December 2018. Entries received after this time and date will not be valid. Giveaway open to UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 and over. Winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter after the closing date and will be notified within 5 days of competition end. Only entrants received via the Rafflecopter widget will be considered valid. The prize is a box of Hipp Organic baby and toddler goodies worth over £50- no cash alternatives to the stated prize will be offered.
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