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Fairy Non Bio wants to hear your thoughts about feeding and weaning - £300 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(200 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Nov-16 10:00:12

As part of our new partnership with Fairy Non Bio, we’ve produced our first ever Mumsnet Babies Podcast. There are ten episodes in the series and so far we’ve released five. Episode one is about feeding and weaning, and you can listen to it here. Fairy Non Bio would like you to listen to the podcast whenever you can, and then discuss your experiences of weaning and feeding your child.

Feeding your child is one of the joys of parenthood but it can also be an uphill struggle. We imagine ourselves watching our little ones devouring something delicious and home-cooked, into which we’ve poured both love and superfoods - but the reality is usually rather different. Fairy Non Bio would love to hear your stories about feeding and weaning. When did you start weaning? What process did you use and what worked well for you and your child? Do mealtimes often become a battleground or are they mainly about having fun? Is your child a fussy eater? How do you deal with that - do you ignore it and let them eat nothing but yoghurt and toast if they want, or do you try to sneak veggies into their meals? Have you experienced interference from family members, friends etc who have different ideas about feeding children? Whatever your story, please share it with Fairy Non Bio by posting on the thread below.

Everyone who posts below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher.

If you want to rate the Mumsnet Babies Podcast, please go to the iTunes store and add a review!

Thank you and good luck!


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roselover Thu 17-Nov-16 11:44:16

ok so - I have twins....and they are famously good eater - I kind of didn't know what to do ...I mean "weaning" sounded like something they do in Victorian England ...what does it mean? I have to be honest - from 6 months I stuck to Ella's foods ...for quite a while - pre - prepared organic stuff - I used to buy about 100 quids worth when its was on offer at Waitrose - then I started cooking stuff for the kids - and the best bit of advice I got (from Mumsnet I think) was let the kids play with their food - don't expect tidy eating ...and the child will only "like" different tastes ..after 5 or 6 times of I stuck to the same things ...and three food groups - protein - carbs ..veg ...and its all going well so far..the floor was a mess when they were staring to feed themselves....and that was the biggest downer in all of this ....I just felt like cinderella with her broom ...constantly cleaning up bits of chewed bread....oh and they still had milk at bedtime for probably far too long - that one is a hard habit to break....

asuwere Thu 17-Nov-16 11:59:11

I started weaning mine about 6-7months; they have each been slightly different, some preferred being spoon fed and took to it really well, others preferred more finger food and just working it out themselves. I've not really stressed about it at all. It can be messy but to be fair, DH is pretty messy too and he's 35! I think the 'food for fun until they're one' phrase is good to remember so you don't need to stress too much about how much they are eating, so long as they are getting a good chance to try lots of different things.

tooneedyme Thu 17-Nov-16 12:46:52

Neither of my two took to baby led weaning very well and I ended up spoon feeding alot of the time. They both had bad reflux and have struggled with lumps and texture. My dd has a dairy allergy which has made weaning more challenging. My ds is 4 and phobic of fruit and vegetables and so still gets a homemade pureed vegetable soup every day. I believe you need to do what suits the child and family as long as it's relatively healthy and relaxed.

Loosechange1 Thu 17-Nov-16 13:01:44

I weaned one at 4 1/2 months on HV advice (and was shot down on flames for it here when I naively posted on a Why did you wean early?" thread.

The others were weaned at six months with a combination of finger food and spoon feeding cereal. I am all for giving the baby control, but small baby + bowl of Weetabix = bad ending as far as I can see.

I've introduced solid food to all my 3 at 6 months. I'll probably do roughly the same with number 4. I've never bought specific baby food or mushed anything up, I wouldn't know where to start to be honest. The whole thing seems too complicated and expensive and time consuming for me. I've always just dished up whatever we've been eating as a family (perhaps cutting it differently to allow for grip) and let them get on with it. I'm not worried how much gets swallowed until they're at least a year old and I've relaxed a bit more with what I 'allow' -DC1 didn't have any junk for a very long time, his first taste of chocolate biscuit was stolen at 15 months. DC3 has had far more sugar/treats than either of her siblings did at her age but my thinking now is that if it's part of a balanced diet what the hey

I've had comment and criticism from family members but I soon made it clear advice wasn't needed. They leave me to it now! My bug bears are the constant questions about whether they're drinking tea 'yet' from MIL like it's something they have to do, anyone who tells my DC to 'eat it all up' or what order they must eat their food in. And if anyone tries to feed any of my children I get a bit cross, they've always helped themselves to as much or as little as they'd like. They know how to feed themselves and I want them to feel confident when their body tells them they've had enough. It's not up to me to decide how much they need

I thought I wasn't bothered about mess with food until DC2 came along. She is something else, the messiest person I've ever met. It's the only thing I don't like about baby led weaning...she always liked to cover herself, the walls, the floor etc

My older 2 have sensory issues along with ASD so they are both extremely fussy with food. This upsets me because I would love for them to have balanced healthy diets of home cooked foods. The reality is they just can't stomach a lot of variation or flavour so I am trying to learn to relax about the fact that DS lives on carbs, fruit and junk and DD will complain about all but 2 meals that end up on her plate. I will continue to pretend I'm breezy about the whole thing but also continue to involve them in growing, shopping and cooking the family's food and will keep offering little tastes just so they know there's other foods out there!

Weaning is yet another issue that is different for each child and family. So what works for us won't work for everyone else. I do feel it's important not to have power struggles over food or too many rules though. It's there to be fuel and to be enjoyed, not stressed over.

miahighland Thu 17-Nov-16 14:34:29

I weaned both my children at around 6 months. For both a combination of baby led feeding and spoon feeding. Started with vegetable thick soups and slowly added more vegetable, pulses, meat and fish. At the same time giving them dry bread, pieces of hard fruit and water. Both good eaters, not very picky. I think the most flavors they are exposed when young the better.

Strawclutching Thu 17-Nov-16 14:34:37

Dd1 weaned brilliantly. She ate everything! Tried not to be smug but failed. By 3 she now eats bread and pasta (any anything sweet). I'm now weaning dd2 who also eats everything but I'm less smug this time around as it probably won't last. I'm just trying to be relaxed and figure they'll eventually try more things.

Anononoo Thu 17-Nov-16 14:43:00

It had to be fun fun fun. Worst thing s to produce anxiety around food. I kept breastfeeding for years, so did not feel a great pressure to wean - And once she tasted baby mush pear william, she couldn't get enough. We found one pre-made food - organic but probably not that great - she loved it and did not look back. She also loved to wield food - a drumstick, a carrot. Always fun at meal times.

MakeTeaNotWar Thu 17-Nov-16 15:12:38

I weaned my first at 23 weeks. She loved food from the off and now at 6, continues to be a great eater, eager to try new foods and enjoys meal times. My second was the complete opposite - didn't really show interest in food at all so I started trying to spoon purees into him. He spat them out until he was about 9 months old and even now at 4, is still a fussy eater. He can make mealtimes very long and very painful.

NickyEds Thu 17-Nov-16 16:19:44

I weaned both of my children at 6 months and from the word go they had more or less normal family food. I mushed up some bits and left other whole for them to chew on, spoon fedsomethings and let them feed themselves others. They both have fussy periods and definitely have favourite foods but I cook them something nice and leave them to get on with it- it's largely up to them if they eat it or not! I sometimes give them pudding, but mostly not and they don't have to eat all of their mains to get it. I would hate for food to be a battle ground!

CMOTDibbler Thu 17-Nov-16 16:33:45

DS just had the food we were eating once he was 6 months, a lot of the time dh or I would take the bits off our plate and hand them over as he ate. He's always been a great eater, and never went through a fussy stage.
We don't do pudding (apart from special occasions), even yogurt/fruit, and no options on the meals on offer or 'childrens' food.

soph0077 Thu 17-Nov-16 16:34:16

Weaned mine at 6-7 months and we just gave them (for the most part) food we ate but all mushed up.

Flanderspigeonmurderer Thu 17-Nov-16 18:27:01

I was quite daunted by weaning and I hoped to do baby led but my son couldn't sit up at six months so we did a combination of spoon feeding and finger foods. The mantra "food before one is just for fun" really applied with him. He put a lot in his mouth to test but ate very little of it. This worried me as I thought he wasn't eating enough but his intake slowly increased.
He was a good eater until about 18 months when he started to refuse a lot. His diet now is ok, not hugely varied but he loves every kind of fruit going so that's one positive. I just wish I could get him to try a few more savoury dishes.

GruffaloPants Thu 17-Nov-16 19:05:46

I weaned my first at 6 months, plan to do the same with my second, who is currently 4 months.

I've never been in a hurry to introduce solids - breastfeeding seems easier and cheaper. I just try to give some element of what we are having anyway, but mashed down. DD1 isn't too fussy an eater so hoping for the same second time round!

LifeIsGhoulish Thu 17-Nov-16 19:21:02

I've done purées and I've done BLW, and far prefer BLW. Life is sooo much easier. Nonetheless, it's useful to have some cubes of purées in the freezer.

I loved sharing my food with my dc, it continued the intimacy of milk-feeding.

SaladDressing Thu 17-Nov-16 21:04:46

Plan A (when I was on maternity leave and everything was going to be perfect and text book) was to follow Annabel Karmel and fill the freezer with delicious, organic, home-made food that DS would love. Anything else would be a failure.

Plan B (the reality) was that DS ate all sorts of things - more jars/pouches/ready-made food than I would like to admit to, bits from whatever we were eating, some AK meals and quite a lot a mushing up whatever happened to be handy after a long day at work.

And now? DS eats really well, will try anything, hasn't developed two heads from eating jars of turkey dinner and enjoys eating out. It was more luck than judgement but worked out fine in the end.

puglife Fri 18-Nov-16 07:17:53

I weaned my DD at 6 months. I had good intentions to cook health meals and food for her and that we would try BLW. The reality is that we spend a fortune on the pouches of food and she's spoon fed mostly.
It works for us though. I found I would get very anxious at BLW and worry about choking. I felt much more in control with spoon feeding and enjoy mealtimes with her. We giver her bits of food which she mostly plays with but will occasionally manage to get it in her mouth!
Food goes everywhere (our dogs love it). I tried so hard at the beginning to keep clothes and the chair clean but now I just accept that we might have a few outfit changes in a day and our washing machine is constantly on!

foxessocks Fri 18-Nov-16 07:46:04

I weaned dd at six months and just gave her whatever we were having , I don't use salt in cooking anyway and don't often use packet or jar mixes. We mostly let her get on with it but sometimes we spoon fed bits and pieces. She is 2.5 now and going through a bit of a fussy stage being suspicious of new foods but generally she is a good eater.

hungryhungryhippos Fri 18-Nov-16 09:47:06

I found weaning quite stressful as everyone you speak to has different ideas on how it's done. I decided to go down the purée route but baby quickly decided he much preferred the baby led weaning approach so we mostly went with that!

PorridgeAgainAbney Fri 18-Nov-16 11:29:33

Started at six months and as my son had been diagnosed with some food allergies we had to introduce just one new food for 5 days in a row before moving onto the next one. It took a few months before he ended up with something resembling a proper 'meal' with lots of different flavours grin

We've never made a fuss about food. It's just something that is (sometimes) fun to prepare and wait for, then even more fun to eat while chatting about the day. My own parents gave me a really healthy relationship with food - I never heard about diets, calories, "good" or "bad" foods, and hopefully he will also grow up having a healthy relationship with food.

I am thankful everyday that he is not a fussy eater; whatever he is able to eat gets eaten but he is comfortable leaving food if full up. If I had to deal with fussiness AND a restricted diet I'd probably just want to curl up and go to bed forever!

welshmardymum Fri 18-Nov-16 11:36:13

I started just before 6 months and I think I did baby led weaning although I didn't know that's what it was called! I can remember being very excited and taking lots of photos of those first tries of food - but mostly I as relaxed about it - I was lucky I had no pressure or interference from relatives or friends and also as an older mum maybe I was more confidant about what I wanted to do.
Both my children were good eaters liking much more things than they didn't, my youngest was and still is intolerant of dairy which made things slightly more tricky but then substituting with soya substitutes worked for most thing and in some areas I think it was nicer eg rice pudding.

The best thing I did was being more prepared for my second child and freezing left over veg and fruit in ice cube containers before we were even ready to start weaning - that really helped when it actually got down to it!

ButterflyOfFreedom Fri 18-Nov-16 12:58:09

I weaned both of my DC when they were about 5 & 1/2 months old - at that stage they were eyeing food up and trying to grab what was on our plates!

I did a mixture of baby led and spoon fed - lots of purees, rice cakes, yogurt, breadsticks, cooked carrot sticks etc. and found it worked well.
Though I did resort to quite a few shop bought / ready made pouches and jars - partly for convenience; partly because the DC seemed to prefer them to mine!?!

Now aged 2 & 4 they both eat reasonably well. Lots of fruit, a fair amount of veg, and a good varied diet including meat, fish, pasta, rice, bread, cheese etc.

mouldycheesefan Fri 18-Nov-16 13:48:50

Weaned using the traditional puree method, then when they got the hang of puree, which took three weeks, moved to mashed and then chopped.
I had twins and feeding time was hard work. Cleaning the high chairs several times a day was my most hated parental chore at that time and I had plastic on the floor underneath. I sterilised bowls, spoons and even ice tray cubes using Milton cold water steriliser.
One didn't each much and I asked the health visitor to observe a meal, this was reassuring as the HV said that although she wasn't eating large quantities she was eating a good range of food. Had to add extra calories to everything, butter, cream cheese etc. They ate a wider range of veg then than they do now though!
Yes had fsmily interference such as hurtful comments on the possible impact of them only eating small amounts and those issues still,linger several years later in terms of some of the things that were said.
Generally weaning is messy, involves a lot of food prep and with premiee twins getting as much food into them as possible.
Good luck to all with weaning!

Belmo Fri 18-Nov-16 15:16:34

I've just started weaning my 6 month old -
so far I've discovered that porridge turns to cement by the time you start trying to clean it off the higchair. The waste, too! I need a dog...

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