The First Stage of Weaning

Parenting

Like many parents, we stumbled our way through the first stage of weaning.

We started weaning Ben when he was 5 months, as he was showing all the signs: reaching for food, sitting upright unaided, as well as being hungry! We followed the advice in Annabel Karmel’s Weaning book, which I highly recommend. Because Ben is quite likely to be allergic to certain foods (I have food allergies and he has eczema), we were advised to introduce foods slowly, and to take particular care when introducing dairy and wheat.

 

Like many babies, his first food was baby rice. After a few days of this, the fun began! I spent several hours peeling, chopping, steaming, pureeing and freezing a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Instructions for making baby purees suitable for the first stage of weaning

  1. Peel and chop fruit or vegetables into similar size pieces. Make sure you cut out any damaged or bad bits.

How to prepare fruit for weaning - The first stage of weaning

  1. Place the fruit or vegetables into a steamer. Steam until very soft.

Steaming fruit for weaning

  1. Allow fruit or vegetables to cool for a few minutes before putting into a blender. You may need to add some of the cooking water for it to puree to a thick consistency. You are best to make the puree thicker and to add water or breastmilk when the baby is ready to eat it.

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  1. Put the puree into ice cube trays. I used an Annabel Karmel one which is not available any more, but it was a bit like this one.

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  1. Freeze the puree until solid. Then pop the cubes out into labelled freezer bags.

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  1. Defrost the cubes (1-2 cubes per meal to start with) thoroughly and heat until piping hot when you are ready to feed them to the baby. Allow to cool to avoid burning the baby’s mouth.

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A suggested order for introducing foods in the first stage of weaning

This was a really good way to make weaning as simple as possible. When Ben was ready to try a new food, I would be able to pop out a cube of the new food and a food he had previously tried e.g. Sweet potato with pear.

We introduced the following foods in this order:

Baby rice; carrot; sweet potato; potato; apple; pear; parsnip; butternut squash; banana; peas; plums. So far, he’s as big a foodie as his mum and dad!

By Naomi

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