My philosophy on feeding children is simple; at the weaning stages and as early as six months of age you can ‘Cook for Family, Adapt for Baby’. The exposure to more savoury, spicy foods early in the weaning stages will ultimately lead to more adventurous eaters as they reach the toddler stages and beyond.
1. Variety – Think about offering a different taste and texture at each meal so that your baby accepts most foods when they get to the toddler stage.
2. Eat in season – As well as being fresh and better tasting, seasonal produce is higher in nutritional value.
3. Control – Offering your baby control while eating will make the experience more enjoyable. Finger food from six months is a great way of offering control.
4. Eat together as a family – Children learn by example so it’s important to sit down with your baby as early as six months and eat with them.
5. Batch cook – Your baby only requires a small portion of food so batch cooking is key.
6. Plan ahead and have your pots ready – Try not to shop and batch cook on the same day or you will never cook again! Have your pots on hand to store and portion your batch cook meals.
7. Have a comfortable highchair – It’s important to prop your baby up with cushions and rolled towel from six months so that they feel stable.
8. Limit the length of meals times – If your baby is sitting too long in their highchair they will end up having a negative experience and will dread going back in. Limit meals to say 15-20 minutes so that they don’t get restless.
9. Read your baby's cues – There may be times due to a growth spurt where your baby won’t want to stop eating and then other times where they are just not as interested.
10. Get messy and enjoy! - Hold off on cleaning baby until the end of the meal, let them get messy so that they enjoy the experience.