Cooking for Cara
When Cara was 17 weeks we were urged to start weaning her onto solid foods. Myself and Phil are first time parents so like everything else up to this point we literally had no idea where to start. A deer in headlights springs to mind! I had been doing some online research and joined some weaning groups on Facebook but reading the posts actually made me feel a bit overwhelmed.
Cara was a very hungry baby and we rarely got much sleep at night so I was looking forward to giving her a spoon feed in the hopes of having a few glorious extra hours of sleep! I knew I wanted to cook all of her food fresh, as much as possible. It was a decision we made together to cook all of her food ourselves so we knew exactly what she was eating.
We were given an Annabelle Carmel Baby Cook Book which turned out to be the biggest Godsend. I can’t recommend it enough.
I sat and read through the stages which were broken down by the months and the meal planners seemed straight forward and easy to follow. I felt a little bit more confident and was excited about starting to cook for Cara.
I bought the aptamil first weaning baby rice and for the first couple of weeks it was just one to two spoons of this along with her regular bottle feeds.
I was so excited to see my baby eating. It was a moment I will never forget sitting her in her seat and spoon feeding her for the first time. It might sound like a silly thing, but to me it was such a big deal and I was bursting with pride.
I purchased the small puree blender pictured below which I didn’t find great at all. It wasn’t great for doing bigger batches to freeze. The lid and blade were tricky to manage and a bit finicky. It was quite inexpensive though and I did use it for fruit at times.
We ended up using a hand blender and tall container. It is much quicker, easier to clean and also great for doing batches of food.
We bought heat activated spoons which changed colour if the food was too hot! Great invention and we still use these.
I also bought a few different types of containers and found these ones the best.
They are in a pack of about 6 and from McCabes Pharmacy. The ridge on the edge is great for taking out of the microwave, they are designed especially for babies (BPA Free) and suitable for freezing.
I started to introduce pureed vegetables starting with carrot when Cara was about 20 weeks. I had read it was better to introduce one vegetable at a time to make sure they don’t have an allergic reaction and to scope if they enjoy the taste. I slowly introduced a different veg each day and then began mixing them together. Luckily Cara loved everything else she really enjoyed.
I also introduced pureed fruit like apple, pear and mashed up banana. Before I knew it Cara was loving all her new tastes and textures! She loved finger food (miss independant) like baked sweet potatoes and I put peas, cooked veg on her highchair tray and she was fascinated by all of the textures and tastes. She loved squishing the food and would spend ages trying to pick up the peas. (apparently also great for pincer grip) From 6 months she started eating the glenisk baby yogurts which she also loves.
I picked up this lunch bag in Avoka store Malahide which is great for on the go! My friend is a nanny and she recommend them! It was €6 as far as I can remember! We use it all the time.
So thats it. A small bit about our experience with feeding Cara so far. The best thing is definetely the Annabelle Carmel cookbook and meal planner! We both have the app for the Iphone too which is great!
Caras all time fav reciepies are:
Leek and Potatoe Puree
Braised Beef Stew
One Pot Chicken
Butternut squash Risotto
If you want me to do more detailed seperate posts on how I prepare the above recipes then send me a message or leave a comment below. I hope this post was of some help. The biggest thing we have learned so far would be to prepare in advance and spend a few hours in the kitchen every couple of weeks and do bathches of food suitable for freezing. If you have any tips to share with me I would love to read them!
Have a great day and thanks for reading