Weaning can be an *interesting* process. I personally found it a little confusing when I was trying to transition my daughter from from milk to solids. There is so much information out there. And there are lots of conflicting opinions. A friend recently told me that she attended a class where the advice was that babies need to be on three meals a day two weeks after starting solids! This might work for some babies, but my gut instinct (and certainly evident in my daughter) is it takes time to build up to three meals.
As my return to work approached and I wanted to gradually reduce breastfeeding so I was only doing a feed before bed, I found that it worked well to replace her mid-morning and mid-afternoon feeds with healthy snacks. I appreciate that extended breastfeeding works for some families, but for us my return to work was the right time to finish breastfeeding. So at 9 months I worked on dropping the mid-morning feed, and at 10 months I replaced the mid-afternoon feed. It helped me to pre-plan Phoebe’s snacks so that I knew she would have something she enjoyed, and help to make the transition to no daytime feeds easier.
We were pretty lucky that she adapted quickly to the change in routine, and I feel that choosing snacks wisely helped this process. I wanted to share some of the snacks that worked for us, hoping that they may be helpful for other parents undertaking weaning and looking for ideas to help the process. This post focuses on my favourite shop-bought snacks, which certainly helped us through this crazy journey called parenthood when there just seem to be a million and one pressures on your time.
I appreciate plenty of parents out there prefer to stick to homemade food, and I will be adding some posts on homemade snacks over the next few weeks, so watch this space…
Kiddylicious wafers, veggie and cheesy straws
Definitely one of Phoebe’s favourite brands, there are plenty of healthy options within the Kiddylicious range. Just make sure you check the age recommendations on them, as they vary from product to product. Phoebe started out on the wafers when she was about six months, she enjoyed both the blueberry flavour and the carrot and apple ones.
We still offer the wafers to Phoebe from time to time, but generally she wants something more substantial. She now really enjoys the veggie and cheese straws, which are truly yummy (occasionally mummy pinches some for herself!) and she likes being all grown up and helping herself from the packet. You can buy them in packs of four for £2, which isn’t bad value at all as one packet can last 2-3 snack times for her.
When Phoebe was younger she used to like the Organix carrot sticks and sweetcorn rings, in fact some meals they were all she would eat (the source of much angst for this mama). Now she’s a bit older she seems less fussed by these but it still a huge fan of lots of the Organix range (we have their porridge and cereal).
When it comes to snacks, one of her favourites is the Organix Oaty Bar. She particularly loves the strawberry and apple, and also tucks into the carrot cake ones. I’ve also recently been buying the mini oaty bites, which are a great size if she only needs something small (either she had a later lunch or we are having tea a bit earlier).
Also in the Organix range are apple and date bars, which again are a big hit with Phoebe.
Collective Dairy Suckies
I’m a big fan of these yoghurts as they don’t contain any added sugar, the sweetness comes from fruit puree and juice. Phoebe’s favourite flavours are blueberry and strawberry, but they also come in peach, raspberry and banana.
The other benefit of these yoghurts is that they’re made with whole milk, so they contain the important fats that Phoebe needs at this age. They were also a great alternative to breastmilk when I was weaning her, as they seemed to be more filling for her than some other yoghurts. We tend to use these for desserts now instead of snacks, primarily because she likes to feed herself and it gets very messy if she is having a snack in the living room!
For several months Phoebe adored Ella’s Kitchen melty puffs, in all flavours. As she got older she moved onto the melty hoops, which are suitable from 10 months upward. I think she liked the challenge of picking up something smaller and trying out her fine motor skills. I used to put a handful in a bowl for her and she would eat them very earnestly :o).
I haven’t bought anything from the brand lately but I’ve seen they offer plenty for older tots, and given how much Phoebe liked their snacks before I would definitely give them a try.
And some other ideas:
Crumpet with butter
Toast fingers with peanut butter or marmite (but only a small smattering as marmite is quite salty)
Fruit – Phoebe particularly likes blueberries; we cut them into quarters or halves
Cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
Cow and Gate banana yoghurt; again this does not contain any added sugar only fruit and yoghurt
Mini bagels lightly toasted with butter or jam (I only use St Dalfour as it doesn’t have any added sugar, it’s made purely from fruit. This doesn’t mean it’s not sugary – it is as fruit is naturally quite high in sugar – so we only have this very occasionally as a treat).
Every baby is of course different, so what works for one won’t for another. But hopefully this post provides some tried and tested ideas, to help you navigate the weaning process. Best of luck and remember, there will be ups and downs but surely all of us get there in the end :o)