Every Monday morning, I stand up in front of a group of amazing mummies and for two hours, we discuss all aspects of weaning – and I love it!
I have a son who is now 2.5 years old and so, I have been there and done that in terms of introducing him to solid foods. Being a mum and having worked in nutrition and the food industry for many years, I am confident in my knowledge around weaning. So, when it came to my little girl approaching her 6 month “birthday” I had no qualms about starting her on her weaning journey.
It wasn’t that I was over-confident about her ability to take to eating solids; it was more that I was slightly blasé about it all. I read about weaning, I talk about weaning, I attend conferences on weaning – I knew what it all involved. What I didn’t bank on were the emotions attached to starting this incredible journey – and not just my emotions, Francesca’s also.
I had decided with Francesca that I was going to do BLW as I knew so much more about it this time around and I was confident in this approach.
With my son Jack, I weaned him using purees predominantly. I decided to do it this way as I was scared about choking, my mum told me to and all my friends were going down this route. And so (probably because of this decision to puree) I didn’t seem to experience his emotional reaction to his first taste of solid food in the same way as I was lucky enough to witness my daughters’.
On Sunday, I gave my gorgeous little lady, her first piece of solid food – a hunk of cool, unpeeled cucumber. I placed it in front of her and watched as she picked it up and simply stared at it. She then turned it over and over in her chubby little hands and just examined it with eyes wide open. It was almost as though she was transfixed. Then, she picked it up (after many attempts as it kept slipping away) and she put it to her mouth.
Now, my daughter has lovely big eyes already but if it was possible, they grew bigger and bigger as she tasted the cucumber and she just stared at me in wonder (by this time, I was getting a bit emotional as it was such a joy!) and she began to suck at it. Using her gums, she was able to “chew” bits of the cucumber and I could see the remnants on her tongue as she moved them around her mouth. I know that she also managed to swallow and digest some as her nappy this morning told me so!
After a few attempts at holding onto the cucumber with one hand, and then watching it slip away, she realised that two hands made life so much easier and using both her hands to bring the food to her mouth was much more successful!
Watching Francesca have her first taste of something other than milk was an image I will always hold and think about with such happiness! It is incredible to think that this is the start of an amazing world of taste, textures, colours and shapes.
Food is our life sustenance, we can’t survive without it and so, I will endeavour to ensure that my little lady continues to eat well and encourage her to form a fantastic relationship with food. As one of my favourite authors Virginia Wolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” - I intend to ensure my children always “dine well”.