Arlo turned six months over the Christmas period so I set up a weaning advent calendar. Instead of opening a door to a chocolate every day, he had the opportunity to experience a new taste.
He had experienced a few tastes – baby porridge being one of the first textures and also banana…. I remember he also stole a chip from right under my nose whilst sitting on my lap but this was before I got myself organised.
Day one – finger sizes slices of avocado
As I mentioned in my previous post, we decided to start our journey with meal times at 5pm – it’s important to try and stick to a routine for the first month so choose a time which suits you, so you could go for breakfast or lunch instead of dinner, but eventually you’ll be adding them all in.
Day two – strawberries
My decisions on the first foods to try were based on a couple of things – I used the Ella’s kitchen stickers and weaning pack to give me lots of ideas, and then I also figured out that the Aldi “super six” deals change every Thursday which gave me the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally purchase for pennies.
The first week with baby led weaning involved lots of grasping of food – and awkward mouth missing attempts. So much went on the floor that it seemed like a ridiculous waste of both food prep and also money…..
They eat what you eat
This phrase is really important, and it’s the perfect time to adapt your lifestyle, we started cooking a lot more foods from scratch. Batch cooking and omitting salt etc.
By day three I decided to simply put aside a couple of slices of steamed carrots from my own dinner – no extra cost or prep involved.
Day four was melon – I’ve read lots of different theories about the order of foods to try first – veggies vs fruit / cooked vs raw etc…. I just went with a mixed approach.
Day five – broccoli
Now broccoli is admittedly not one of my favourites, but it’s really great for weaning so here’s a little bit of advice.
Get the frozen stuff.
It’s got pretty much all the nutrients as fresh and is a really cost effective approach. Broccoli is amazing for BLW – Arlo could hold the stems really nicely and as time progressed he loved dipping them into sauces too. I also kept frozen cauliflower, out of season frozen fruits which are great for porridge / yoghurt toppings and also for adult smoothies. Spinach pellets are also a fab one to pop into a pan of boiling pasta at the last minute.
Our first negative experience was with sweet potato. (At this stage I wasn’t sure if it was the texture or the taste which caused this reaction. I noted it down in my diary and then tried to offer it again every so often in different formats – baked/mashed/wedges etc – I know now he really doesn’t like the taste – he will eat it mashed with carrots or as a soup if the flavour is somewhat disguised.)
By now Arlo was used to having something to eat with us so we offered him some baby food from a pouch and he had about 1/3 of it so he was building up an appetite. It didn’t seem like he was consuming much at all over the first week but I did also notice bits of broccoli appeared in his nappies on this day.
Day 7 Tomatoes – I wasn’t planning on getting these on so soon, I’d heard lots of skin contact rash stories about acidic foods but as he seemed to be doing so well, and we wanted to offer something raw, we went for it and he loved them. The skin around his mouth did appear to go a little bit red but this faded during bath time and caused him no problems.
At this stage by the end of week one I had also been offering the “successful” foods repeatedly – banana at lunch time was going down particularly well. Arlo was used to the routine, and despite not liking the sweet potato, wasn’t put off from trying new flavours.