Frozen lollies

Here’s a quick one for you to try out.

These ice lolly moulds from Nuby are perfect for little hands to hold. Last summer broke temperate records and with a teething one year old it was a nightmare trying to keep him hydrated and happy.

I tried other lolly moulds – but they were quite often far too big and Arlo couldn’t manage to hold them, everything melted and made a huge mess before he was finished because portion sizes were too big.

It just so happens that one Mamia fruit pot from Aldi divides perfectly between the four portions of the Nuby moulds – and because Arlo loved the strawberry flavour I knew it would work and mean that he wouldn’t be left out when all the older cousins were enjoying their treats full of sugar.

They are so tiny they don’t take long to freeze either – an hour tops so it’s minimal prep and keeps them busy for a little while.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous then try adding in your own mixture of ingredients – yoghurt works wonders and I’ve shared one of our favourite flavour combinations in another of my posts. Let me know how it goes in the comments!

Chef Arlo makes Pizza

Did you know that daddy is a chef! At 21 months it’s about time that Arlo started learning a trade and so daddy picked up a packet of Pastry and set up an invitation to play on the kitchen table (apparently this is also called “mise en place” and is quite a professional set up.

Basically he chopped up lots of ingredients and set them up in little dishes ready for Arlo.

First of all they spread the included tomato sauce all over the dough base which they rolled out onto an oven tray.

Then they chucked on a mix of ingredients which work well together – leftover chicken, sliced red onion, peppers and cherry tomatoes along with chunks of mozzarella.

There’s no set way to do this – everything just got chucked on and then daddy sprinkled on some herbs and popped them in the oven for just shy of 15 mins.

These tasted delicious and the activity kept Arlo amused for quite a while. Lots of interaction with daddy and chatter about colours, vegetables and food items.

Have you tried cooking with your little one yet? Share some of your ideas in the comments – we would love to try them out!

Frozen fish teething remedy

These bad boys are lifesavers when you have a teething baby or when it’s unbearably hot outside. Last summer was crazy hot and these frozen fish were in constant supply.

I use the Ikea fish ice cube mould because they’re such a good shape to grip and these are a simple 2/3 ingredient task which you chuck in a bowl and mix.

Ingredients

  • Greek yoghurt
  • Honey ( not before one year old)
  • Fruit

You can make so many different variances with these – go for a flavoured yoghurt instead of Greek, omit the honey and switch the fruit around to experience new flavours.

Simple freeze for a few hours until solid and then pop them out of the moulds and serve – and here’s a “mum hack” – pop them all out at once and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer. You can then make more and have a range of flavours stashed.

These little fish are ice cold and taste delicious. Whenever Arlo is teething he really appreciates something cold and I think he finds it quite soothing.

I picked up a pomegranate from the super 6 deal in Aldi and so this was his first ever taste, I wasn’t sure about the flavour being too bitter but combined with yoghurt it seemed ok. I love that I captured this moment.

Weaning – Preparation

This is going to be a long one….. probably best to do this in a few stages!

So you’re probably approaching the six months mark and now you’ve settled into a routine, it’s almost time to turn everything up side down (quite literally).

I would always advocate the guidelines which at this point in time state that it’s best to wait until your baby is six months old. It’s also really important to look for “the signs” – things which show your baby is physically ready to begin weaning.

In the meantime I decided that I wanted to fully embrace baby led weaning. I read as much as I possibly could and bought/ borrowed quite a few books. I also signed up to all of the different baby brand websites for free resources. The Ella’s kitchen Pack was amazing.

I decided to attend the weaning course with some of my NCT group which was a very balanced session, informative without being pushy.

I also attended a free first aid course at my local children’s centre – this was really beneficial as one of the primary concerns with BLW is the risk of choking – so being prepared for any kind of emergency is always useful.

I started purchasing things from my amazon wish list – and also digging out items I’d bought at the baby show whilst pregnant. Looking back I really wish I hadn’t spent quite so much money on these items – so I’m going to share a list of what I had, and be honest about how necessary it all was.

1. Get a diary – note down what you try and at what time. Record skin reactions and any side effects which appear in nappies. For the first week you will memorise every single spoonful, but eventually the novelty wears off and you can get a contact rash from satsuma’s or the after effects of mango in a nappy and spend a while trying to figure it all out.

2. The high chair.

This is very important advice – don’t waste money!!

Whilst it’s lovely to have something which looks nice, looking back I really wish I had bought one of the basic ones from Asda, Aldi or IKEA instead of my Cosatto thing. Very quickly I discarded the straps and the soft insert because cleaning them was a nightmare. Quite often I took the whole thing outside to wash with a hosepipe because I couldn’t get into the nooks and crannies to get rid of mush. It was also quite a heavy bit of kit and I had to buy a second portable thing to take out and about.

As a side note if you’re almost ready for weaning then spend some quality time with the high chair – do messy play and sit your baby in the high chair during meal times so they know it’s a fun place to be. If they’re used to it by six months you’ll be off to a flying start.

3. Utensils

I’ll be honest – I bought about six different brands of baby spoons, Annabelle Karmel ice cube trays, a steamer/blender, a stick blender, plastic bowls, portable Tupperware, sticky plates, bamboo portion plates and all sorts. One phrase springs to mind “all the gear and no idea” – I don’t know why I bothered with the blending stuff but maybe I needed a back up in case BLW didn’t go to plan?

Quite honestly I tried everything once and most of it got shoved to the back of the kitchen cupboard. The things we used the most were the little munchkin spoons and bowls – they had lids so were used as Tupperware for out and about. My tactic was to always give Arlo a spoon to hold – even when I was feeding him, we’d swap spoons and he would happily bang and tap and get mush in his eyes and ears and up my walls – all part of the learning process.

4. Beakers

As soon as you start offering food, also offer water. Again, I bought quite a few different beakers to try out and never stuck to anything specific – this worked well for us because Arlo hasn’t ever been particularly fussy about colours or styles of beakers. The Nuby 360 took a while to figure out, but became a firm favourite until he got a bottle with straw.

Once you’ve got these basics you’re pretty much all set to begin. You can get different floor mats, or maybe a tarpaulin, and there’s a huge variety of bibs around too. Our strategy was to conduct meal times stripped down to the nappy – after quickly realising Arlo was a messy baby, to save ourselves an extra load of laundry we decided to start our weaning adventure at 5pm every day for our evening meal – and then swiftly follow this up with bath time.

6. Don’t forget the toothbrush

You can pick up a little one for less than a pound at home bargains. I gave Arlo his to gum at bath time when we began weaning and he would use it as a teething aid. Setting the association between bath time and brushing teeth early on worked well for us. I can’t quite remember when we introduced toothpaste but it wasn’t straight away.

So now hopefully you’re all set with the equipment and you just need to decide which foods to try first.

We went with banana – I think it was a success. I was quite alarmed when he decided to shove the whole piece into his mouth but tried not to react, I think I managed to keep the same tone, stopped myself from getting up or stopping and just let him lead the way.