An area that kept coming up when we were researching what you wanted to hear about on our blog was weaning. Ella’s kitchen has many similarities to Mamas & Papas and we thought there was no one better to ask for some expert advice than the founders themselves.
Hi! I’m Paul, Ella’s dad. I set up Ella’s Kitchen because I passionately believe that she, along with her generation, should have the opportunity to eat better food and also to discover that healthy food can be fun, tasty and cool.
I know from my own experience of helping to wean Ella and her brother Paddy that this can be a bit of a confusing and often stressful time. There are loads of different sources of information available and advice doesn’t always seem to be easy to put into practice. Our guide to mealtime fun is designed to take the stress out of weaning, with practical information and advice from Ella’s Kitchen’s expert friends Sam Fuller (our nutritional therapist), Dr Sarah Schenker (a dietician), Liz Costagliola and Chamaine Lovett (our health visitors). Here’s a little extract to help your little one along their tiny taste bud journey!
What is weaning?
Weaning is the exciting time when babies stop being wholly reliant on their mum’s milk or formula and when solid foods, initially usually pureed food, are introduced into their diets.
When is the right time to start weaning?
All babies are different. Some may start solid foods earlier and take to it quickly; some start later and take longer.
Your baby is ready to take the big step onto solid foods when they:
Can sit up all grown-up on their own
Reach for food that others are munching on
Want to chew and put their favourite toys – or anything they can get hold of – in their mouth!
Stage 1: Taking baby steps, with one deeelicious taste at a time… Our expert friends’ starter tips:
No-fuss feeds. If your baby says no, don’t worry. Missing the odd meal doesn’t matter.
Give praise and attention for anything eaten and quietly take away any leftovers.
Yummy fun. The more fun the mealtime, the more food your baby is likely to eat. Why not try some messy mealtime games?
Be bold. Research shows that offering your baby a wide mix of flavours from the start can help avoid fussiness later on.
Try, try again. Babies naturally don’t like the unfamiliar. So if they turn their nose up at something, keep trying. Sometimes it can take up to 10 goes before your baby will accept a new flavour.
Savoury tooth. Try offering sweet food before savoury. That way baby won’t get into the habit of expecting something sweet at the end of every meal.
To read more tips and advice about weaning from our experts and other mums + dads, along with stickers, fun games and lots of other exciting stuff, pop along to Ella’s website and become a friend to grab your free copy of Ella’s yummy guide to meal time fun!
You’ll also get your hands on pennies-off coupons and be in with a chance of getting 1 of 500 upcycled Ella’s lunchbags!
Paul, Ella’s Dad x