FOOD

Introducing solids and a few of Wilkie’s favourite meals

When Easton was a baby and it came time to introduce solids, I took it all quite seriously and truthfully found it a bit stressful. I had been told I had to wait until six months to start, so we waited until the day he turned six months old. I had also read somewhere that it was important to first introduce vegetables so my baby wouldn’t develop a sweet tooth, so I started with carrots and peas and courgettes, and felt slightly guilty every time I added in a fruit, worrying that I was going to damage my child. (Mama guilt with the first baby is always the worst, right?) I also remember someone telling me I shouldn’t add any olive oil to my veggie purees because it would ‘make my baby fat’. Crazy, right? And don’t even get me started about all the allergy precautions I worried about (despite the fact that allergies don’t run in my family). I spent the first couple months introducing one food at a time and waiting several days before introducing anything else.

With Quin, my second baby, I started giving him food when he was around five months old, and while I started with veggies, I was more relaxed about mixing in fruits and how quickly I introduced new foods. And by the time my next babies started food, all ‘rules’ went out the window. I believe Ivy’s first food was a banana and Marlow’s first food might have actually been gelato in Italy. Haha. (Esther shares a similar journey with introducing solids to her babies here.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are so many rules and opinions about how best to feed your baby — from when to start and what to feed them and even whether you should let them wean themselves! Sometimes it’s all a bit overwhelming and contradicting, and sometimes it’s just best to listen to your baby and trust your intuitions. At four and a half months, Wilkie was eyeing up my food and showing genuine interest in everything he saw. I also felt like I just wasn’t able to keep up with his hunger by breastfeeding alone. So we introduced solids early with him, and he’s been such a happy, enthusiastic foodie ever since.

All five of my kids are adventurous, healthy eaters. Marlow doesn’t have more of a sweet tooth than Easton because her first food was ice cream. And despite breaking rules on certain allergy-prone foods, none of my kids have allergies. Maybe it’s luck, but I do think there is something to be said about being relaxed about food and introducing a wide range of foods and tastes. Also, there is no reason they should be forced to eat something bland and boring when there are so many ways to make their food more flavoursome. (Have you tasted some of the jarred baby foods? They are so gross!)

Anyway, here are some easy purees which have proven successful with Wilkie (at nearly 7 months old):


Sweet Potato & Pear Puree:

-One sweet potato, peeled and sliced
-One pear, peeled and sliced
-Two teaspoons of cream (or butter)
-One sprinkle of cinnamon
-1/4 cup of baby oat cereal (optional)

Steam or boil the sweet potato and pear for a few minutes, until soft. Blend until smooth (adding water if necessary). (We have a mini food processor, but when we lived in London we used the Beaba Babycook.) Add cinnamon and blend again. Add cream or butter and stir until smooth. To thicken or to simply add more substance, you can stir in baby oats porridge or baby rice.




Apple and Courgette Puree:

-One apple, peeled and sliced
-One courgette, washed and sliced
-Three mint leaves
-One large dollop of whole fat plain yoghurt

Steam or boil the apple and courgette. Add mint into the boiling water for the last 20 seconds. Blend until smooth. Add yoghurt and stir until combined. (This recipe usually makes enough for two meals. Before adding the yoghurt, I set aside half to store in a jar for later.)

Apple and Blueberry Puree:

-One apple, peeled and sliced
-One large handful of blueberries
-Dash of cinnamon
-Dollop of full-fat plain yoghurt (optional)

Boil the apples until soft. Blend apples and blueberries until smooth. Add cinnamon and blend again. Stir in yoghurt if desired.

Please share your favourite recipes and tips for weaning.  I’d love more inspiration!

Courtney x


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Comments (19)

Miranda
October 12, 2017

With my third baby at about the same age as Wilkie, I can only confirm your experiences, Courtney. My favourite recipe for on the road is smashed banana and avocado! It sounds a crazy combination, but it is actually delicious and my kids love(d) it. Plus, it’s super convenient when you’re away from home at lunch time (which often happens in our family), cause there’s no need to heat it up and you can prepare it anywhere.


Courtney in Australia
October 12, 2017

Oooh I’m also such a huge fan of mashed banana and avocado. It was one of the first combinations I made for Wilkie, and I agree it’s perfect because you can make it on the go (I’ve even asked a few restaurants to make it for us when we’ve been out!). x


Clélia
October 12, 2017

Very inspiring. Thank you!!


Julie
October 12, 2017

Thanks Courtney. My first two babies were such adventurous eaters but my third little one not so much. Would your tiny little mam eat a bowl that size in a sitting? I know you are not much of a meat eater, do you substitute meat with anything?
Julie


Courtney in Australia
October 12, 2017

Hi Julie,
Yes, Wilkie will eat a bowl this size (as featured in the photos). He’s a pretty hungry boy! I’m now feeding him three times a day.
And we aren’t meat eaters in our family (we never buy meat or cook it at home), but we do eat a lot of lentils and beans… and occasionally we’ll eat meat when our friends serve it to us. 🙂 x


Lizzy in Minnesota
October 12, 2017

What yummy combos! We’re starting solids this weekend with my youngest (just under 6 months). With my oldest, my Italian mother-in-law taught me to make a broth with vegetables (carrots, potatoes, zucchine) and then use that as a base for cereal with some good aged parmesean on top. You can then puree the vegetables and serve the with the cereal or separately. And, if you would like to incorporate protein, you can add meat to the broth (we usually did chicken, but in Italy they often use veal because it has the lowest fat content). One other note, that we always used ‘semolina’ cereal instead of rice cereal. It’s something that I haven’t found in the States, so we brought a few boxes back with us this summer.


Courtney in Australia
October 12, 2017

I love the idea of using veggie broth as the base for cereals and purees. A great way to add depth of flavour and nutrients! Thanks for sharing. x


Janneke
October 12, 2017

My children loved avocado mixed with banana And the jar food does taste bad 😝 Never tasted and reconiged any vegetable


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jennifer
October 13, 2017

Hi Courtney,
You mentioned in one of the comments above that you don’t have meat at home. Does that include poultry as well? Do you get your protein other ways besides lentils and beans? Do you have any great lentil recipes your kids love? I do make the lentil and paprika soup that you posted a few years ago 🙂 Thanks!!


Courtney in Australia
October 14, 2017

Hi Jennifer,
Yes, that includes poultry as well.
I love that you make that lentil and paprika soup too. It’s so good, right?
We eat loads of protein-rich foods like eggs and nuts and green leafy veggies and cheeses, etc. Michael mades a lot of curries with dahl, so we get a lot of lentils in this way.
I’ll try to post his recipe for dahl soon. It’s so good! xx


jennifer
October 15, 2017

I’d love to see his dahl recipe! Thanks for your ideas!! xox and yes, that lentil paprika soup is incredibly good!!


Louise
October 13, 2017

My 10 month old enjoys scrambled egg and avocado. I make the scrambled egg over a very low heat (removing it every 10 seconds or so) to ensure it is well cooked but still very creamy. Combine with mashed avocado and you have an easy breakfast or lunch!


Emilie in Paris
October 14, 2017

I cannot believe that Wilkie is already 7 months old!!!


Ana
October 16, 2017

In Spain a usual combination for babies is pumpkin, carrot, potatoe and courgette. At 8 months we add lentils or chickpeas to the soup.
For the fruits, banana, peach, apple and orange juice. It is delicious (also for adults ; ) )


Anna findlay
October 23, 2017

Great recipes! I am a first time mum starting my baby on solids for the first time, so I wondered if I should use unsalted butter, or no butter? And if cinnamon could be too much too soon?! Thank you!


Courtney in Australia
October 23, 2017

Hi Anna,
I think you can start with just a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon and see if your baby likes it? Wilkie prefers it when his food has a bit more flavour (I even added garam masala to his sweet potatoes yesterday!), but because it’s a new flavour for your baby, maybe just start with a tiny bit?
And I use salted butter, but you could use unsalted if you prefer. x


Laura
October 25, 2017

Thanks for sharing these ideas, so much more interesting than the jars! My youngest is coming up to 4 months so I’m starting to think about this again. Do you always start with purées only, or finger food as well? What do you think of baby-led weaning?


Courtney in Australia
October 26, 2017

Hi Laura,
Thanks for the comment. I like the idea of baby-led weaning and have adopted some of the practices from that, but I have never been an exclusive baby-led-weaner (if that is a term? haha.) I’ll give Wilkie carrot or cucumber sticks and he enjoys munching on those, and I also give him some cooked veggies or soft fruits in edible bite-size pieces, which he enjoys. He is not fussy that his food be entirely pureed — so far he is a pretty adventurous, happy eater.
Good luck with your own weaning process! x


Laura
October 26, 2017

Thank you for sharing these, I agree, so much nicer than the jars! My youngest is coming up to 4 months so I’m starting to think about introducing solids in a month or two. My older kids are fussy eaters and I often wonder if it could have been avoided with a better start?! I am not adventurous or knowledgeable when it comes to food. Are these recipes that you made up yourself? Could you recommend any books or websites with good ideas? Thanks!


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