I hope you have been enjoying this series on weaning and that your babies have enjoyed the purees I have shared with you in my last few posts The First Phase, Three Easy Purees and Introducing meat. I’d love to hear how your baby is getting on with solids and see pictures of their messy faces! You can post them on my Freddie’s Food facebook page, don’t forget to ‘like’ us while you are there!
Around 7 months your baby will be ready for stage two of weaning, when you introduce lumpier food. This might be sooner especially if you started solids before 6 months. There are a few signs that your baby is ready that you can look out for:
- Has started happily moving food to the back of their mouth and making chewing movements.
- Can sit up
- Has started to bite (they may or may not have teeth yet)
- Is having more than one meal a day.
The puree you will give your baby now will be thicker, similar to cottage cheese, with small soft lumps. Rice, cous cous and small pasta such as orzo can be mixed directly into the puree as can small vegetables such as peas and sweetcorn. I have found from this stage on weaning becomes much simpler and faster. You no longer need to use a stick blender you can mash up the food everyone else is eating with a fork and meat can just be cut up with a knife to the desired size. If you are making large batches of food then you might want to use the blender but you could use a potato masher instead. You could also start giving your baby finger foods. This will help them learn how to chew and it also helps develop hand eye co-ordination and their pincer grip.
If you haven’t thought about it already I would really recommend starting good safety habits around feeding your baby at this stage. As they start to eat ‘real’ foods and to move the risk of choking becomes very real as does falling/climbing out of their highchair. So to help avoid any disasters:
- Always strap your baby into their highchair to avoid falls – Lottie given half a chance will stand up in her highchair!
- Always make your baby sit down when they are eating. I know this can be very challenging with older babies and toddlers.
- Never leave you baby unattended when they are eating.
Here are two meals Lottie really enjoyed at this stage. The best thing about them is that they were all Freddie’s meals
Egg, Pumpkin and Broccoli
This may sound like an odd combination but the pumpkin seems to make the egg more of a tolerable texture for baby’s first experience of it. As I use pumpkin or butternut squash as a base for quite a lot of purees I roast a quarter of a pumpkin and then freeze it into portions for easy use.
1 hard boiled egg
2 florets of steamed broccoli
2-3 tbsps roast pumpkin
Mash the egg and broccoli into the roasted pumpkin.
Salmon, Carrot, Pea and Rice
Freddie is a big fan of salmon so Lottie was introduced to it at an early stage. It is great brain food so hopefully your baby will enjoy it too! You could season you salmon with a thin crust of cumin and some fresh lemon juice once they have accepted the initial taste of the salmon.
1/4 medium carrot
1 tbsp peas
2 tbsp rice
Put the rice onto boil.
Bake a salmon fillet in the oven at 180’C for around 15 minutes, you want the salmon cooked through rather than opaque in the middle.
Meanwhile cook the vegetables.
Mash the carrots with a fork, flake the salmon and stir through the vegetables along with the rice and peas.