Navigating the world of weaning for the first time is like trying to work your way through a labyrinth. There are so many books, recipes, thoughts and opinions on this topic, it’s really hard to know where to begin. I decided to introduce solids to my baby at around 6 months, in line with the NHS guidelines and when I felt he was ready.
The first question I asked myself was, do I start with traditional spoon-fed weaning (feeding my baby purées), or baby-led weaning (give him finger foods to feed himself with)? After doing a lot of research on this topic, I learnt that there is really no right or wrong answer, and I should just do whatever works best for me and my baby. The most important thing is that weaning should be stress-free and fun, so my baby learns to develop a healthy and positive relationship with food. So I decided I would do a combination of spoon-fed and baby-led weaning, to get the best of both worlds.
The next question was, which food should I introduce to my baby first? After buying lots of weaning books and skimming through them all, I decided I would introduce him to vegetables to start with. According to Paul Lindley (Founder and Chairman of Ella’s Kitchen):
This made sense to me, so I loosely followed Ella’s Kitchen The First Foods Book The Purple One. This book is great because it provides a step-by-step, easy to follow guide on how to start your weaning journey. You really don’t just have to follow one book or method though. I found it useful to follow one guide at the very start, but after that I would mix and match by taking recipes and inspiration from different sources, and even make up my own as I got to know my baby’s likes and dislikes.
For more on weaning and which feeding equipment you’ll need, read my next blog post Weaning (Part II).