Friday, 1 June 2012

Plum Cookery School and Weaning

How many mums find weaning a real headache I wonder? I know first time round I found it quite hard to follow all the different advice that was flying at me from all directions. Obviously I managed as Isla is now chomping her way through lots of different food (although fish fingers remain her favourite!!) and we eat the same meals together as a family. She is a bit of a fuss pot though, and from one day to the next she changes her mind about liking things. One day she likes pasta, the next she doesn't. I *know* that this is all about her having control but it's still frustrating. We've actually come a long way since I wrote this post about her eating habits - as you can see the list of food she ate back then was quite limited and I worried a lot. I think we all put too much emphasis on how quickly children should be eating what we eat, they will get there in their own time.

We're now weaning Noah, who is 10 months old and I was really happy to hear that the people behind Plum Baby have set up a cookery school specifically to help mums, offering exciting recipe development classes and the opportunity to talk to child food experts.

One of my favourite TV chefs Rachel Allen is working in conjunction with Plum Baby to create some tasty new recipes. Isla and I recently baked some biscuits together following a recipe from Bake and I personally think as soon as children are old enough they should get involved in the preparing and cooking of food. It gives them more of an interest in the food they eat and stimulates their curiosity about how things taste. I can't think of anyone better for Plum to partner up with as Rachel is a mum and her food is top notch - not too complicated but oh so tasty!
I haven't got an obsession with Rachel's cookbooks....honest!
I would say from my experience first time mums are a lot more nervous - I was! Second time round I'm so much more relaxed. My biggest tip to anyone starting weaning is to keep the mantra "food before 1 is just for fun" in mind and try not to get too uptight. Before 1 a baby's main source of nutrition is milk so don't get too down hearted if they're not eating roast dinners and chilli con carne. Food is strange and exciting at the same time for them, they are mini explorers getting to know different tastes and textures! They can refuse food many times before they finally find it acceptable.

My other top tip is to try and relax about the mess and this means the mess your baby will get into, the mess you will get into and the mess on the floor! If you own a dog, he's going to LOVE weaning!
This muckiness used to annoy me a lot (even though Isla looks cute!)
Now I just embrace the muckiness with Noah - it's all part of the fun! (this was extreme I have to add!)

I would also say don't beat yourself up if you can't make your own fresh food all the time. Buying pre made baby food isn't a failure, it's a real saviour! I actually don't know where I'd be if there wasn't Plum Minted Pea and Lamb on the shelves! It was Noah's absolute favourite meal over anything I make (hmmm perhaps I should feel cross about this!?).

So weaning may feel a bit mind blowing at times but if you keep calm about it then so will your baby. Here's us having a bit of fun at dinner time - food must be fun....

This post is an entry into the Tots100 competition to win a super dooper all expenses paid two day cooking experience with Rachel Allen at the Plum Cookery School - I would love this prize as I think I definitely need to get my cooking mojo back and my husband can vouch for that! It also includes a stay in a swish hotel, a video camera and £500. It's worth saying that I LOVE Rachel Allen and the OH can also vouch for the fact that I drove him mad watching her on UK Food the whole time I was pregnant - I love her food!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed weaning my son. It was an exciting time introducing him to different flavours and textures. I love Rachel! Admittedly I've never tried anything she's done but I adore her programme and her way of doing things. Goodluck!