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Weaning the Gina Ford way.... and this is not to start a debate on GF's methods.... AGAIN!

(30 Posts)
pupuce Fri 13-Sep-02 22:13:56

For those mums who are interested in GF's stuff... here is a review of her latest book in the Daily Telegraph :

I am only sharing this for interest... naively hoping there won't be a row over this one....

susanmt Sat 14-Sep-02 09:36:57

I'd be interested to now what you thought of it, pupuce, as you are pretty balanced about GF?

bossykate Sat 14-Sep-02 09:46:00

yes, pupuce, does it fit it with the idea of exclusive bf till 6m? i suppose you could just delay starting the plan till 6m if you wanted.

Enid Sat 14-Sep-02 09:49:27

sounds good pupuce, although I'm sure there are a few things in the article that will provoke comment!

SueDonim Sat 14-Sep-02 16:50:44

I understand from friends that part of the benefit of delayed weaning is that you can avoid the pureed gloop stage and instead go straight onto finger foods and mashed stuff, so saving some work. Although I didn't have a puree-ing gadget so just mashed things anyway!

One thing not mentioned in the article is whether GF's scheme is for breast and/or formula fed babies. WRT to b-fed babies then I'm not sure GF's assumption about them not sleeping because they are not on enough solids is correct, as breast milk has more calories than solids. Thus it would be better to give extra breastfeeds than give baby rice. I wouldn't have thought there were many calories in pears, for instance?

I think she is correct in her assertions about homemade v commercial foods and it probably applies to adult foods as well!

It would be interesting to know whether the book mentions the current WHO guidelines, which recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6mths.

susanmt Sat 14-Sep-02 19:39:15

I dont think the woman reviewing it came over very well, to tell you the truth. Should maybe not comment until the book itself is available to read. She said one of the best things was that she just didn't have to think! Well, I have a brain and I like to use it!
I would be interested to know if GF mums actually think this book is worthwhile. There was some negative comment about her toddler book on mumsnet a while back, which seemed to say a lot of the same stuff as the first one. So I would be interested to know if this feeding information is also regurgitated and padded out from the CLBB. Genuinely - I am still recommending books for our HV's library and would be interested in your POV on this.
By the way, am I the only one who thinks Gina Ford looks uncannily like Anne Widdecombe?

susanmt Sat 14-Sep-02 19:40:11

And also interested in Suedonims questions about breastfeeding with regard to this scheme of weaning.

ionesmum Sat 14-Sep-02 21:16:27

I didn' get a lot from the Contented Baby to Confident Child book but I'm interested to see what her weaning book is like, mostly for recipe ideas as that is where I have the most problems.

Susanmt, have I already said about the No Cry Sleep Solution?

pupuce Sat 14-Sep-02 22:06:49

Obviously I haven't read the book and have no "real" reason to as both mine are onto solids.
I am more balanced than I use to be on GF (I think). I didn't like her toddler book because a lot was a repeat of CLBB but I still think she has got some good insight and ideas.
Suedonim - you and I have debated this before as you know... IMO she is pro BF and YES she does write her books with starting solids between the ages of 4 to 6 months.... but that's what most HV say as well ..... not saying it is right... I believe 6 months myself but I am just pointing out that she is reflecting common views.
I can tell you that I used GF's methods and started solids at 5 and 5 1/2 months with my babies.... I didn't feel the book was pressuring me to start at 4 months old.
Both babies were breastfed onto toddlerhood... DD still being breastfed.

ellasmum Mon 16-Sep-02 19:26:19

Susanmt, I agree with you re. the writer of the article. I actually enjoy thinking abou DD's food, although a few slightly more exciting receipes would be good.

I was most distressed to hear that GF doesn't recommend banana until '5 months and 25 days' as DD is 5 months and loves it - then thought to myself - get a grip if she likes it go with it!!

Also - how do you work out that it has to be 5 months and 25 days?? This is not an anti GF comment by the way as I think she has some good ideas.

Demented Mon 16-Sep-02 22:02:58

ellasmum, I think if you give banana at 5 months, 24 days there is a chance she will blow up!

ellasmum Tue 17-Sep-02 08:17:02

Demented - LOL. Means I must be living with a human timebomb then!!

pena Sat 05-Oct-02 17:09:49

I followed her weaning advice in book 1 & other than broccoli, ds appears to be a good eater but I'm mentally preparing myself for the supposed fussiness at year 1. Agree that book 2 seemed a bit of a con i.e. her publisher forecasted incremental revenues to be got from sequel.

I've been giving ds a taste of everything off my plate so that he discovers a whole range of tastes, and supposedly weird tastes never become weird e.g. spicy, sour, vinegary. Which brings up a question - don't want to hi-jack this thread, but as it is on food, n some of u complained about not knowing what to cook.

1) Have you come across any book on introducing Asian/non-western foods for children? i.e. premise is introducing wide range of flavours & foods to kids so they grow up to be good open-minded eaters (or am I really deluded & showing my inexperience since I only have 10 mo ds??)

2) If there was such a book - let's call it the Asian Annabel Carmel - would that be of interest to you?

Reason I ask is this is the project I have been thinking of doing now that I am liberated from shackles of work & now a stay-at-home mum.

Tinker Sat 05-Oct-02 17:26:23

pena - I would certainly be interested in such a book. Hate having to make food unspicy just so my daughter will eat it.

How DO you do it once they get to 5 and tastes quite established (and I DID try, honest, when she was younger!)? She will eat garlicky food and my friend's chilli (but not mine, despite being virtually identical in heat)but would like to venture beyond korma really!!

reager Sat 05-Oct-02 20:11:58

Pena, Definately would be interested in something like that. Haven't seen anything like it. It would be interesting to find out what Asian babies eat and at what age?

pupuce Sat 05-Oct-02 21:02:31

So would I Pena.... great idea

Demented Sat 05-Oct-02 22:51:48

Some time between 6 months and 9 months (can't remember exactly when but it was when I introduced DS1 to many of the foods we were having) I started to give him spicy foods, sometimes with some extra fruit, banana or some mango chutney mixed through it or some yoghurt to make it milder. It would be interesting to find out the difference in the weaning patterns with babies of other cultures mind you but I would be worried about trying spicy things, IME with DS1 they went down just as well as any other food.

Demented Sat 05-Oct-02 22:52:41

Sorry that should say I wouldn't be worried.

pena Thu 17-Oct-02 14:44:46

Hi demented, the interesting thing I've discovered in my initial research on the book, is that most cultures use the same types of first foods e.g. puree carrots, apples etc.

There are differences but a lot is a mix of old wives tales and/or just the norm or what produce is locally available e.g. Chinese give babies lots of barley water (based on Chinese theory of balancing "heaty" vs. "cooling" foods).

However I am starting to believe that what makes a child a good/varied eater is the early introduction of a wide variety of tastes & textures (within reason obviously), & to make it a normal part of one's diet (not easy obviously if u r not in habit of cooking ethnic). For e.g. much of western baby food is on the sweet/bland side e.g. carrots, potatoes. So I experimented introducing range of tastes like sour, vinegary, spicy (yes he actually liked it methinks bec spice stimulates the saliva & taste buds).

I am also trying to cook w/ variety of spices e.g. ginger, which is commonly used in Chinese cooking. I do find that it actually makes food that contains meat smell better. If u hav ever boiled chicken w/ no spices, u'll know what I mean about skanky smell.

Congee (boiled soupy rice) with Chicken or pork is a Chinese baby classic. A bit of ginger somehow makes it more than just boilde rice & meat.

Try this classic Chinese baby congee recipe n let me know (suitable from 6 mos onwards & for ill toddlers & even grown ups )

Hope this is of interest.

1 cup rice (thai is best, basmati ok, rinse well)
1 small piece (50 p coin size) of ginger
Small amount of chicken breat (boneless, no skin, cut into small pieces. When they're small, the meat is more for flavouring, but when they're bigger, you can cut into small pieces, & eventually graduate to adding entire pieces of chicken with skin & bones - my old aunt says the taste is better. You can also substitute with minced pork).

Boil rice in water (about 4 to 1 ratio) until very soft. There should still be lots of water, almost thick soup like consistency.

When boiling, add ginger & meat. Simmer till rice is soft. Again u can vary the consistency based on age, e.g. for weaning, my old aunt advises to keep simmering until its almost pastelike.
Cool down. Remove ginger.

For grown ups & bigger kids, I like to add some white pepper (tastes diff from black pepper) and soy sauce (ok, this is not healthy but as a kid, this was a special treat when I was ill).

Let me know whether it goes down well or not.

susanmt Thu 17-Oct-02 14:53:13

I would love to have such a book. I've just come back from Italy where kids are given ar more varied foods at a young age and it was impossible to buy baby foods for older than the first age (well, in the shops we were in, anyway!!)
My kids eat curry, chill, garlic (LOVE garlic) and seafood (the Italian deep fried mini octopus went down a storm with 2yr+8month dd!!) and I am always looking for ways to vary the diet. Going to try the above recipie, although it sounds a bit like my Gingery Chicken Casserole (which has more veggies)!!
Get writing, Pena!!

Girly Thu 17-Oct-02 15:18:21

I think it would be a great idea for a book. We have always eaten spicy food, (having been born in India). Apparently I was brought up on Dhal and rice (called Kitchoree). It is yummy and my dd adores it. It is also very good and you can add veg to it without them realising. I think its suitable from about 9 months (or when they can eat lumpy stuff). Its basically Basmati rice, orange lentils, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, turmeric and a little butter all boiled in one pot (wash the rice and lentils thoroughly first) for about 20-25 mins, add water gradually as the mix absorbs it very quickly, once they have got used to the taste of it you can add pepper or chillies depending. When I make it for dd i end up eating the leftovers! Hope you like it.

Bozza Thu 17-Oct-02 15:39:05

Sounds great Pena. Go for it.

florenceuk Thu 17-Oct-02 15:51:53

I had a good look at GF's weaning book. A couple of comments:

- she doesn't recommend banana or avocado at first because they can cause constipation (something covered in Mumsnet as well)
- the weaning advice is slightly rehashed from her first book but with recipes and personal examples from her consultations - I have morbid fascination with these eg Little Theo at 18mths was a little S**T but after we gave him organic chicken vege casserole was much better behaved....
- meal planners given in quite a lot of detail, with the aim being to introduce different tastes over a period of time
- advice is pretty consistent with what you will get from average HV ie introduce solids at 4-6mths. Not sure if it mentioned the WHO recommendations, but something called the COMA report. She also gives an example where she says a baby was weaned too early so she is not just pushing food - and the quantities she recommends to start with are very small. I also think her link between solids and sleep is weak, but this is a rather common assumption. So not up-to-date with latest findings on BF but not horribly out of step.
- very anti jars - interesting to compare PL on this (yes I'm a baby book junkie). Also very pro organic food (although I think the mucus thing in non-organic milk is a myth)?
- some of the recipes looked a wee bit weird eg tuna pasta with 200g of tuna and 50g of pasta!!!
- layout of book is not the most attractive - no nice pictures, cheap paper. Compare the Planet Organic book which is much more attractive (although some of their recipes are useless).
- not for you if you don't like that special GF style of writing - the audience is very much those who find weaning a mystery and want detailed guidance.

Generally if you have a copy of AK there won't necessarily be anything new on the recipe front here but I was depressed because of some of the things she thought a 11mth old could eat - DS seems a long way off! I wish it were true that introducing lots of variety helps prevent fussiness - I think DS was born fussy and has a very sweet tooth despite all my efforts.

Pena I would like to see your book as well - but I also think the Asian style of eating is different eg lots of bowls of things which you can pick from rather than it all on one plate, much less meat, more veggies and rice. When do you introduce chopsticks? I am fascinated by my friend's Japanese weaning guides (I just look at the pictures), if you can get hold of these I think they would be v. interesting for you. I think lots of pictures are essential for any recipe book, I am very bad at visualising things. What do you feed your DS now?

Demented Thu 17-Oct-02 16:54:34

Sounds quite tasty Pena, I will try it out on DS2 in a few weeks, he is still getting to grips with single veg/fruit purees just now. He is only having a lunch, we tried a tiny breakfast for a few days but it seemed to upset him and I have turned kind of lazy just now and can't be bothered trying to re-introduce it. Let us know how you get on with the book sounds really interesting! Thanks!

Girly your recipie sounds great as well, I'll give it a go as well when the time comes.

bossykate Thu 17-Oct-02 19:27:11

Florenceuk - "I wish it were true that introducing lots of variety helps prevent fussiness - I think DS was born fussy and has a very sweet tooth despite all my efforts."

*heartfelt* agreement from me on the point above. i gnash my teeth when i hear the lots of variety early on = unfussy eater comment - especially when i remember how hard i worked to provide it!

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