A baby friendly fry up

It’s the weekend – hooray! Time to think about breakfast…

Austin is a terror with food lately (see my last post here) so I thought I’d try him with something a little different this morning. A fry up! I had made one for myself and he seemed interested so I made him a baby friendly version. It was also a great opportunity to let him try using a spoon and fork for this first time. We tried a regular set of cutlery plus a fancy set that came free with a suction bowl. The fancy set is set at a jaunty angle to make it easier for children to be successful when using them. We found no difference whatsoever, Austin didn’t have a clue with either! It was his first time to be fair, so I could be being a tad harsh.

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Austin sat patiently and waited for me to cook. I decided on scrambled eggs,  unsmoked bacon, buttered toast and cherry tomatoes. What a lucky little boy!

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As I said, he’s being a fussy little so and so of late so he wasn’t as excited as most of us would be if we were presented with a cooked breakfast. He ate some of the toast, picked up some scrambled egg and played with it (I’ll take this as a success, he usually throws his head back and screams in the presence of any form of egg) and poked holes in the cherry tomatoes. The bacon was treated quite well – he licked a few pieces.IMG_7065IMG_7062The spoon and fork were fun for him I think, he’s never seen a fork and usually never gets a go on the spoon! He enjoyed picking them up and even put them towards his mouth the correct way once or twice – shame the food didn’t go in though…

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All polished off with some melon and pineapple

Austin didn’t actually eat much, but I’m determined to stick to my plan of introducing colourful, healthy foods and if he choses not to eat them that’s up to him. I won’t give in and offer stuff I know he loves!

Today his breakfast mostly went to the dogs, but he still poked around and licked a few new flavours without moaning, so we’re getting somewhere. He should be pretty hungry by lunchtime so let’s see how that goes down!

Thanks for reading!

xx

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Help – My child only eats beige!

Austin has turned a corner with eating lately. Turned a corner and driven himself straight off the ruddy well-behaved-good-eating-cliff. What a NIGHTMARE!

I have always spoon fed Austin, only giving him bits to eat with his hands that are ‘supposed’ to be eaten by hand – toast, bread sticks, snacks etc. All of a sudden a month or so ago he’s been refusing the spoon and I mean full-blown tantrum, pulling his own eyes out of his skull refusal. I never wanted to go down the full baby led weaning route – spag bol up my walls and all that, but it suddenly seemed as though I might have no choice! Noooo!

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I somehow got myself in the mess over the last month or two of feeding him beige until he’d refuse anything that wasn’t beige. Brilliant, top marks Hannah. As an ex-nanny, and a seriously tough one at that, how did I get into this with my own baby?! I was on the highest horse as a nanny it seems, swore blind I wouldn’t do half the things I’m now doing. It’s true though what people say, it’s totally different when it’s your own child! I’m still sticking to the majority of what I preached when nannying, I’m no mug! But the odd few things have slipped the net due to the higher emotions that come with being a parent vs being someone who is hired to do the right thing.

I realised after a week or two of Austin’s beige addiction that he’d become ridiculously fussy – wouldn’t touch a vegetable (unless it came straight from an Ella’s pouch –  no real pieces mother thank you very much). He will eat pieces of real fruit and berries until the cows come home, other puddings and also anything that is beige. You know, bread, cheese, crisps, bread sticks, rice cakes, cocktail sausages, mini scotch eggs. Utter crap! It didn’t take me long to give myself a proverbial slap in the face and sort myself out – why was I letting him run rings around me? Enough was enough.

I’m a fan of the old ‘tough love’ so I went straight in for it the next day. Porridge and fruit for breakfast, then an omelette with some pieces of steamed broccoli, carrots and peas for lunch. Breakfast was fine as usual but he ate no lunch, just screamed at me in disgust. To be fair I expected it. He did the same with dinner too – would you believe I’d had the audacity to serve him up some grilled chicken, a roast potato and parsnips. Basically a roast dinner. What’s this boy’s problem!?hairy-bikers-roast-parsnips

He drunk a huge bottle of milk that night, surprise surprise and the same as soon as he woke the next day. He was so hungry but that’s what I needed him to be if he was ever going to give in. Lunchtime on day two, I’m calling a success – he held and licked a green bean! A GREEN BEAN! He also ate a few mouthfuls of the tuna bagel I’d made too. It slow, but its huge progress. Eggs and fish are things that have previously made his skin crawl, so it seemed.

I decide to carry on and only serve him fresh, real food from now on at least until he’d stopped his stubborn streak. He needs to learn that fish fingers and chicken nuggets are not going to be served up every day – sorry about that mate! I popped to the shop and picked up things I’d never fed him before, all different kinds of vegetables to steam or roast. His plate looks so much more healthy – he still refuses a lot but he will eventually learn that he will always be served up a plate of brightly coloured food and he has to get used to that.

You see as horrible as it is to see them cry and starve themselves (they will definitely not actually starve themselves), the only way of getting kids out of the “he’ll only eat chicken nuggets and chips” problem a lot of parent’s face is to stop flippin’ serving it!! Kids will only eat that because it’s being offered. If the problem foods are removed from their world, they will need to learn to enjoy others – simple as that. Here’s some of what we tried in the first week of change:

Crackers topped with boiled egg, garlic mayo and herbs

Crackers topped with boiled egg, garlic mayo and herbs

Eating the crackers with egg. Until this point Austin has always completely refused anything egg-based

Eating the crackers with egg. Until this point Austin has always completely refused anything egg-based

My saviour has been crackers. He absolutely loves them so I’ve found even if he’s refusing his main foods – fish, eggs, meat etc I can always create a way to stick it on a cracker. I’ve become one of those bloody Annabel Karmel mums I used to laugh at – hiding 48 vegetables in a tomato sauce on pasta FFS. I’ve topped crackers with fish paste (vom), mashed boiled eggs up into a paste with a some garlic mayo and herbs, avocado (his new favourite, I can’t believe it!) And lots more lately. Anyway, this is only a stop-gap to get him back to enjoying different flavours again. I’ll stop mashing and hiding soon enough and he’ll just have to get used to what he is served!

Chopped vegetables mixed with a tbsp of Ella's carrot puree

Chopped vegetables mixed with a tbsp of Ella’s carrot puree

Vegetable mix above used on a homemade pizza. Austin loves pizza so it's an easy way to get extra veg in him

Vegetable mix above used on a homemade pizza. Austin loves pizza so it’s an easy way to get extra veg in him

The end result - pizza loaded with vegetables plus finger food veg

pizza loaded with vegetables plus finger food veg

I don’t imagine it’ll be easy as he really has become a fussy so and so. There will be times when we’re out for a meal and I’ll order him chicken goujons and chips, or he’ll eat some of my fish fingers or whatever and that’s fine, I’m not some organic super mum and I won’t pretend to be. But at his meal times day-to-day unless he is poorly, we’re in a serious rush or for a treat, he’ll get proper food with fruit and veg. He can cry and refuse all he likes, I certainly won’t be giving him another option. In the mean time though I’ve been giving him a large pouch of Ella’s vegetables mid-morning just to make sure while he’s refusing most veggies, he’s still getting what he needs each day. I’ll phase those out at some point, but one thing at a time, eh?!

I don’t even need to ask how many of you have been through this before or are going through it right now – I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about!

This is just my way though, I think it’s up to each mum to decide how to approach the situation and good luck to any of you that tries! I have gone from the best eater (by spoon) in the world to the absolute worst, but it’s not going to become a big deal for me. He’s not going to starve himself after all. I’ll be sure to update you all soon – wish us luck!

Thanks for reading
hannah

 

 

 

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The Weaning Diaries | Organix red pepper hearts review

As Valentine’s Day is right around the corner I thought it would be a perfect time to review this cute new snack. Organix have brought out this new finger food – let’s see what Austin made of them….imgresWe gave him a few of these to play with after his lunch – you’d think he would have already been full but nooo! He really seemed to love the taste as he ended up eating 3 of them! They were very easy for him to pick up himself and he was able to keep hold of them without dropping too. Perfect snack for his age.

First job is to assess...

First job is to assess…

These melt in the mouth hearts are in the stage 2 range which is for babies that are feeding themselves. They are great for helping your baby discover new textures, shapes and tastes. Picking them up also encourages developlment of hand-eye co-ordination too. Austin loves red pepper as a snack with houmous so I already knew these would be a hit!

Organix are already one of our favourite baby brands. The no junk promise is the main reason for this – there is no added sugar, salt, or artificial colours or flavours, just honest organic ingredients. Yum!

 

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Very excited to get hold of one!

 

 

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The Organix red pepper hearts have an RRP of 75p for a 20g bag and are available in Asda, Sainsbury’s or online at Ocado NOW!

Have you tried them yet?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

hannah

 

 

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*This product was sent to me for review purposes, however all views are my own

The Weaning Diaries | 7 month old daily menu and portion sizes

It’s always interesting to see how much all of your little one’s eat as every baby is so different! I know some mums really worry about how much to offer or let their baby eat. I tend not to be a worrier with food and know that he won’t starve himself. If some days he doesn’t eat much, I don’t panic as he’ll probably eat more the day after – or maybe he’s just not that hungry! For those that are having any feeding issues or worries here is our 7 month feeding routine if you fancy having a nosey…

At the moment Austin’s day goes a little like this:

Example given for a day when waking at 7.45am

8am: He’ll drink anywhere between 3 and 6oz formula (he’s never been a big drinker)

9am: Porridge – maybe about 3tbsp of powder plus 2 or 3oz formula. This is mixed with 1 tbsp of fruit puree.  I also mix in 5ml multivitamin liquid – this makes sure he gets everything he needs even if he doesn’t drink much milk in a day. A few times a week I’ll also give him some toast with cream cheese so that he gets used to eating finger foods.

imgres-212-1pm (depending when he wakes from his long morning nap) Half to Three quarters of a stage 2 Ella’s Kitchen pouch. He will happily eat any of these flavours. Sausage and mash, fish pie, chicken casserole etc. Sometimes he will eat the whole bowl. Other day he plays up and spits it out but generally he eats very well. Sometimes I’ll give him a little ham sandwich or some of my omelette as well. This is followed by custard, yoghurt, rice pudding or any other milky dessert.

images-13-3.30 pm He’ll drink anywhere between 2 and 5oz depending on how much he ate for lunch

5pm Half to three quarters of a stage 2 Ella’s Kitchen pouch – again any flavour. I’ll usually add cheese to this meal for extra calcium. Followed by fruit puree. We use the Organix fruit pots with pieces in. I want to avoid Austin being fussy with lumps so have always included them wherever possible!

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imgres-36-7pm (depending on when he woke from PM nap) Bedtime bottle – usually about 5 or 6oz but the last few night has only taken an oz or two. Not sure what that is about but it hasn’t interrupted his sleep so I’m not too worried. He definitely eats enough solids and because he gets multivitamins I don’t think he’s missing out. Will mention to Health Visitor next time though if he carries it on.

Bed – Austin has never had a DF and unless he’s very ill he’ll always sleep right through until anywhere between 7:30am – 9am.

I think Austin does generally eat quite a lot. His portions seem to be quite big, but then again he doesn’t drink much milk so maybe that’s why. Also he did wean at 4 months old due to bad reflux so he’s had a long time to build up portion sizes.

I haven’t really started with snacks in between yet due to the fact he wakes up quite late in the morning. Waking up late means there is just enough time to space out 3 meals and 3 bottles, but if I tried to add snack in I think it would probably leave him too full for his next meal. Some days are different, like today for example. I was eating brunch and he couldn’t stop staring! I pulled him up into his highchair and gave him a rice cake to eat so that he felt he was part of my meal time.

imgres-4I’m pretty relaxed with food – if we’re out at a restaurant he can eat whatever he likes even if it isn’t the right time. Most of the time we’re eating at home at around the same times, so if we’re not in the house the ‘routine’ vanishes a bit. Fortunately Austin is pretty flexible with food and wouldn’t scream with hunger if he goes an hour later than usual.

He has started to play up a bit lately though! Just the usual baby tricks – blowing raspberries with a mouthful of food, whinging on the savoury food yet eating his entire pudding (Come on mum’s, show of hands for every time your baby has pulled that one?!) The nanny in me is determined not to let him win – we’ll see how that goes….

How is your little one eating and how do their meals/portion sizes differ from Austin’s?

Thanks for reading! 🙂
hannah

The Weaning Diaries | Tuna and vegetable quiche recipe

This week we’ve been cooking and today’s choice was quiche. I was at my friend’s house earlier in the week and she was saying how much her baby loves quiche, so decided I’d let Austin have a go. We normally spoon feed and I generally give him just finger food like toast and sandwiches alongside, but thought he’d really love this – and he did!

We decided to make tuna and vegetable quiche and it was honestly one of the quickest and easiest things I’ve ever whipped up. I made enough mixture for two quiches and I froze half of the mixture. Here’s how we did it: Continue reading

The Weaning Diaries | What to feed your baby when they’re ill

The last few months have brought a lot of coughs and colds our way. This week Austin had just got rid of a cough and two days later a new one arrived – boo! Illnesses are annoying as it is, but of course they affect appetite too and so start the weaning wars….

That’s probably a little harsh to be fair as it isn’t a war – maybe a slight battle. Austin is normally great with food and will eat absolutely anything (although he’s started to learn to blow rasperries after receiving a spoonfull of food, which he thinks is highly amusing – more on that soon!) It’s a real shame to see him refuse his meals as I know he must feel really rotten 😦 But he’s only human and I know when I’ve got a horrible cold I go off my food too.

So, what have I done this week to try and trick him into eating?! Well, as he’s usually spoon fed, I’ve been giving him lots of finger foods. He’s good with his hands and does usually have toast or little sandwiches, rice cakes etc so I was hoping that by sucking and playing with the food he might actually get some in him since he was refusing the spoon.

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Puree, philadelphia sandwiches, breadsticks and houmous and ham

It kind of worked. He normally eats well with finger food but this week it’s been more of a distraction than actually managing to swallow anything I think. I made a bowl of puree anyway so I could be sly and sneak in a few mouthfulls which did seem to work. I’m not too bothered though, as like I said we all lose our appetite when ill. I just made sure he drank lots of milk and water instead.

This morning he did eat well – we both had eggy bread and grilled asparagus and green beans. It was so yummy!

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Overall he’s probably eaten fine and if he hasn’t, he’s made up for it by taking extra bottles. I’m not a worrier when it comes to babies and their food – after all he’s hardly going to starve! He’ll tell me when he’s hungry which I know will be as soon as he’s better.

Another important tip is to buy some multi vitamins. We use the WellBaby liquid every day because Austin has always drunk below the recommended daily amount of milk for his age. We have spoken to health visitors and they advised that if children drink less than the daily guidline, we should give them these vitamins. It means that even though he doesn’t get enough formula, he will still get all the vitamins he needs which is very important. Even if your baby drinks enough, it’s always good to have a bottle of this at home for days when they are poorly and don’t take in enough food or drink.Vitabiotics_Wellkid_Baby__amp__Infant_Vitamin__amp__Mineral_Liquid_150ml_1414512724

Has your baby had the same problem when poorly?

Thanks for reading! 🙂
hannah

The Weaning Diaries | Finger foods

Although we are spoon feeding Austin rather than BLW he’s still enjoying lots of tasty finger foods. He usually has porridge for breakfast but recently we’ve added toast into the equation too! This is his first ever taste of it. Get ready for a very short video with a lot of confused faces and plenty of air grabbing!

 

Other than toast, Austin has been trying some Organix snacks, breadsticks, baby biscuits, grated cheese and he loves them all! I really enjoy spoon feeding Austin but it’s lovely to see him go for it himself with finger foods too.

We are going on holiday in the morning and as a little treat I’ve packed a small jar of cocoa and banana porridge for him. Can’t wait to see his face when he tries that one!

Thanks for reading 🙂
hannah

The weaning diaries | New tastes

Austin has tried some really yummy new flavours this week – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, roast pork and even an Organix cheese puff! I’m very fortunate with him that so far he will eat absolutely anything I feed him.
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Austin is a lazy as babies come – usually sleeping in until 10am! Amazing I hear you cry? Why am I complaining? Well, it’s all good having a baby that loves to sleep but when he’s in bed from 6.30pm the night before (with no dream or night feed), you struggle to fit all meals and bottles into the time he’s awake during the day! He’s been having his first bottle around 10am, so has not been ready for breakfast until 11.30am and so on. Lunch ends up being about 3pm which would leave no time to ever introduce a third meal at the end of the day.

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You can see how it’s hard to make sure he is taking the right amount of formula each day as we simply run out of hours! I’ve actually started to set my alarm for 8am (sad times) so that I can wake him up for his first bottle, otherwise it would be impossible to make sure he was getting everything he needs. Still, some of my friend’s babies are up all through the night so I understand that I am one lucky mother!

Anyway – food!

This weekend Austin had his first ever Sunday roast. We weren’t eating that ourselves so he had a really yummy one from Ella’s. It’s a 7 month/stage 2 pouch, but as I’ve said in previous posts I don’t really pay much attention to what’s on the pouches age/stage-wise. When nannying I encountered lots of children that really struggled moving onto texture after having runny stage 1 food for so long and feeding became tricky as all texture and lumps were spat out. To try and avoid that I’ve introduced texture right from the start with Austin. Most of the time I mix some stage 2 into stage 1 so it’s half and half. That way there is some texture there but I’m also giving him a chance to get used to it. Other times though he has just stage 2 and is absolutely fine. If he started to gag or choke obviously I’d know he wasn’t ready for it but for now he’s loving it!

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This morning was his first ever snack – a little Organix cheese puff. I’m not going to be making a habit of giving these as he’s only on 2 meals a day, so he definitely doesn’t need to start having crisps and snacks inbetween just yet. I wanted to see how he coped with it though and he loved it! He sucked it until it was mush and a couple of confused faces later it was all gone!

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Austin is really loving his food and it’s exciting to see him trying new things!

How did your little one find weaning?

Thanks for reading!

hannah

The weaning diaries | Why I won’t be doing Baby led Weaning

I have always said that once Austin starts eating a reasonable amount at each meal time, I would start to make my own food for him. Pouches can be so expensive to use full time, plus your baby will be stuck with your home cooking all their life so it’s nice to get them used to the taste of your own personal style early on. Nearly a month after we started weaning, that time has come! Austin was busy this morning in his Jumperoo so I got cooking. Today’s choice for the freezer was a tomato and cheese pasta bake with onions, garlic, sweetcorn, peas, leeks and green beans. I made enough to feed around 5 adults and spooned it into lots of baby sized tupperware before cooling and popping into the freezer.

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The texture of my puree is very rustic – we don’t do food that looks as though you should be drinking it in this house! I’m also not interested in full on baby led weaning either – Continue reading

The weaning diaries ~ Bowls, cups and spoons ~ In association with Oxo Tot

It’s time to find some real favourite utensils I’ve decided. Austin will be eating from plastic bowls and spoons for at least another year so I’d like to have some decent all rounders – ones that last, ones that fit in his lunchbox, ones that are easy to use and so on.

Oxo have always been a brand I’ve bought into – our household has many of their spatulas for example. I was asked if I’d like to try some products from the Oxo Tot baby range and I was very happy to say yes! I’ve been trying them out this week and I am really pleased to say that they are now a firm favourite when feeding Austin.

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I spent nearly a decade as a professional nanny weaning baby after baby so I feel like I know almost every bowl, spoon and cup ever invented. There are certain types you want, and certain ones you don’t. Continue reading