PLEASE NOTE: This is not a weaning guide. To START weaning your baby please follow a proper weaning guide and the instruction of your baby’s doctor.
When I was weaning my first baby, I was completely lost. Being the foodie that I am you would think something like that would come naturally to me, but no. When I think back it’s such a haze, I can’t even tell you what I fed my baby.
For the second one though, it went much more smoothly, and I was a happier mama. I used to wonder why parents would force their kids to eat, now I know. As a parent, a child that is not eating builds a ball of heartbreak, frustration and worry that sits at the bottom of your lungs just above all the other organs, right in the middle — you can’t drink to wash it down, you can’t massage it to make it feel better, you can’t jump twist and wiggle it out — it just sits there (-_-)
Round two went better mostly because I had time to process what went wrong the first time. What was it? Three words: too many voices! The paediatrician, the friends with babies, the books, the internet new mom forums. By the time I was done, all I could remember was everything my baby could not eat first. Then by the time it was OK to eat everything, my baby didn’t want anything cause their palette just hadn’t had enough variety.
For the second baby, I was more confident, I remembered that I loved food. I remembered how eager I was to share my love of food with my baby, and stayed there. I was able to quiet all the voices. I listened to the time tested principals and ignored the rest. So I cooked for my baby.
Off-cause I didn’t start with regular food right away, even this recipe is pretty complex. What I did do was to think about what I feed my family, then break it down to a list of ingredients. Then I compared that list with a popular recommended schedule of foods and when to introduce them. I looked for what was similar and used it as a guide to create my own schedule with my food list.
This recipe happened when I was really getting into it. I had already introduced all these items and more to the baby, so I could now mix them to create more complex flavours. I also started to introduce herbs.
So this is 1/4 kilo of minced Chicken, with half a medium sized onion and a handful of chopped dhania.
Add them all to the pot with water for cooking. I did not use any salt or oil in the baby’s food till they were 9 months, at 10 months they transitioned to eating from the family pot.
once the chicken is cooked you can let the water dry out. By the way this smells awesome! I actually think it would make great filling for samosas, just need to add some salt and spices.
The butternut is roasted in the oven, just like in the previous baby recipe but without a herb. The spinach is steamed.
Once everything is prepared then you are ready to blend.
I blended all the ingredients separately, then mixed them later when serving the baby. Alternatively, I would also mix them into small storage containers in the exact portions for a single meal, then freeze and pull out to defrost as needed.
When mixing the food think about what you would like, what does your palette like? You’ve got sweet notes in the roasted butternut, savoury in the chicken and green goo! He he he! I don’t remember the exact ratio I used but my point is, let it be tasty.
If I were to guess the ratios I’d say 3 parts butternut, 2 parts chicken and 1 or 1/2 spinach. This batch was packed into 6 meals with some butternut and spinach leftover for later use.
What I do remember is that it was tasty, and it smelled great. Baby loved it, I made this one several times.
Weaning is a journey. A brisk afternoon walk at the park for some, and for others it’s the trail of a thousand mountains! The rest of us fall at different spots between those two. Don’t judge. If you get judged, let it roll off your shoulders.
The most important thing is for your baby to be healthy. Not giving them that traditional uji (porridge) is not the end of the world. They will get that nutrition in other foods. I had someone tell me once “a baby at that age in our village is already eating ugali! They should eat ugali so they can grow properly.” Such undue pressure, and misguided advice.
Ladies, let’s encourage each other. Babies are not close to our hearts, not like that iPhone. They are right inside our hearts, in the centre. Lets be sensitive to what we say to each other. I’m not saying walk on eggshells, just be considerate, speak with a lot of love.
What say you? Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments…
PS: Enjoy the long weekend and the celebrations!! Happy Resurrection Weekend!