Posted on 01. September 2017
We’re excited to share a guest blog from mummy blogger Harriet, also known as Toby & Roo, who has three little ones so is no stranger to weaning! Harriet has shared her own experiences and tips when it comes to weaning with fruit & veg, we’d love to hear your experiences too.
I remember when I first started weaning Reuben I was so excited about this next chapter in our lives together. I read up on baby nutrition, and how to introduce one fruit or veg first and keep on with that taste until they started to accept it, slowly and gradually introducing new flavours as time went on. But the truth is, I found that Reuben was a really receptive baby and never a fussy eater. He loved carrot. He loved broccoli and within weeks he was eating sweet potato and broccoli puree with cream cheese, Quinoa, apple and blueberry puree, and banana and porridge breakfast food.
When I look back, I think a lot of my weaning recipes were really well mixed with fruit and veg, I would always try to do something fruity for breakfast and puddings, but packed with veggies to give him a range of different flavours and nutrients for lunch and dinner.
Here are a few of my top tips for weaning with fruit and veg:
- Great for the main bulk of the meal.
- Potato doesn’t freeze well, butI found that if I mashed the potato with a cheese sauce it was much easier to freeze and then I could add any veggie I wanted, especially broccoli.
- If anything, veg is even better than fruit for finger food. Steamed carrot, potato and broccoli are lovely for finger food and broccoli/cauliflower are wonderful for introducing that different texture.
- What kind of veggie blends do you like? Then try them!
- Sweet potato is often a favourite with babies as it’s sweet and yummy. With the milk your baby is used to, it’s almost always a winner!
- Veggies are a really nice addition to baby’s first taste of meat or fish. Try potato and cheese sauce with cod or sweet potato, carrot and chicken with some apricots – both pureed and build up to chunks.
- Think outside the box. It’s often thought that children and babies don’t like strong flavours, but that isn’t true! I remember Reuben absolutely adoring Green thai chicken curry with rice, mashed up, from around 7 months. Try fennel, different squashes and anything else.
- Fruit makes a really good part of pudding and breakfast.
- Start off by using one fruit (apple perhaps) and adding a touch of baby’s usual milk to it. For Reuben I made a bottle of formula and added some milk to the puree, for Edith and Toby I added some expressed breastmilk.
- For finger foods, try steaming apple or pear, Reuben used to love that!
- Little berries like blueberries and even raisins are fantastic for toddlers who have progressed in their weaning, it’s great for them to pick them up and use their fingers, it really helps with dexterity.
- Fruits can actually be really high in acid content, so too much can give your little one tummy ache and even a sore bottom.
- Fruit mixes so well with quinoa, porridge oats and semolina. One of Reuben’s favourite blends was blueberry, apple and quinoa. Right from an early age he loved it! By contrast, Toby preferred the simpler banana and porridge.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box – fruit like passionfruit (remove the seeds), pineapple and mango can all be used. Try purees first for younger children and build up to chunks.
- Fruit and veg together can be awesome! Sweet potato is a lush mix for fruits and can help to neutralise some of the acidity of the fruit.
- Don’t discount dried fruits for gnawing on. Roo LOVED apricots and dried pineapple slices.
I also think that it shouldn’t be overlooked how different veggies and fruits have different nutritional values. One of the reasons that I saved a lot of fruits for one meal and post meal treats is because fruit is quite high in natural sugars, so a balance of both is important but I felt that veggies probably needed to form the bulk over fruit. Interestingly some of the things that actually are fruit (like peppers, tomatoes) are often thought of as veggies. All fruit and veg is low in salt and high in fibre so it’s a really great way to ensure that your baby’s getting the very best they can.
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