Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Weaning Diaries #1

Babymoov light wood high chair
Squidge in his Babymoov light wood high chair

When Squidge was 17 weeks old, we very slowly and tentatively started weaning him.  It's not a decision we took lightly, but we felt he was ready.  He was bored and frustrated with his bottles, leaving lots, and really interested in what we were eating (not to the degree he is now!).  We only fed him baby rice for the first 3 weeks, and it was literally just a couple spoonfuls a day.  Then, when he was 5 months old he was being weighed at the HV and she said to progress his weaning onto flavours, purees etc, so off we went :)

He's fed a mixture of food I've cooked, and pouches/jars - either Ella's Kitchen or HiPP Organic - I'm quite choosy over the pouches I buy for him and I make sure they're one fruit-based ones, so that they're low in sugar (I always check).  I made the mistake of buying him a vegetable pouch from Ella's Kitchen - and under neath it said 'with Apple' - but on checking, it was over 50% apple, so very sweet and high in sugar.

Babymoov silicone collapsible storage
Mummy's homemade puree - cauliflour, potato, cod and garlic with a little cow's milk

Obviously I prefer him to eat food I've cooked as I know exactly what's gone into it, and he really likes it (yay), but it's not always possible.  If we've had a suitable meal in the evening (not something spicy etc) then I'll put a little pot of it to one side, and blend it up for him to have for lunch the next day - he really loves the quorn biryani I cook and my cauliflower puree with cows milk :)  It's so cute seeing him try something for the first time, and seeing whether he likes it or not - if he doesn't like it, he immediately gags, pushes it out with his tongue and blows raspberries - if he likes it, he pretty much swallows it, and immediately opens his mouth for the next mouthful. The Babymoov silicone collapsable pots (£13.99) are amazing - the collapse really well, and the lids click on really easily - perfect for travelling, but personally we use them for all sorts, including as a bowl for our own breakfast (overnight oats) :)

We also give him finger food to hold and explore, like cucumber, carrot, celery, spring onions, cooked broccoli spears, wholemeal toast, pineapple etc.

Babymoov Nutribaby
Lunch steaming away in the Nutribaby

If I do cook him food, I steam it for him (I have the Babymoov Nutribaby), it's pretty easy to use and also has a blender attached so you can puree the food you've just steamed - or you could use the steamer to warm up a jar :)  It has two tiers so you could put meat or fish on one, and veg on the other, you just need to dice things up so they're pretty small and don't take too long to cook.  A typical meal that I cook for him takes about 20 mins :)

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Baby Show

I’m sat here on the train, on my way home from not only my first time in Birmingham, but my first Baby Show.  Before going, I really had no idea what to expect.  I’d decided to leave Squidge at home with his daddy as I didn’t fancy being a single mummy for the day, and I didn’t think daddy would want to come along too J  Plus, it gave them some nice baby/daddy time which they don’t often get.

What I didn’t expect was to feel really quite lonely there.  Don’t get me wrong, the show was fab with loads to see (more on that in a bit), but almost everyone there was either pregnant, or had their baby with them either in a pushchair or sling.  And there I was, with my baby and hubby at home, 2 hours away.  This is why I’m now heading home, 2 hrs earlier than planned – I’d covered the show quicker than expected and didn’t want to sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for my train.

So – the show itself! There were SO many different brands there, ones I wanted to see, ones I hadn’t heard of and of course, big names like Maxi Cosi, Mothercare, Stokke etc.  While wandering around, I actually avoided a lot of the bigger brands, and sought out some of the smaller ones I hadn’t heard of.

The Fill n Squeeze

One great product I found was the Fill n Squeeze.  I very nearly bought one, but without anyone to help carry stuff, and having my laptop in my backpack, I didn’t want to carry anything unnecessary.  What I loved about this (I still might buy it!) is that you make up a wholesome meal as usual, put it in the little tub with the plunger, and squeeze it straight into an empty pouch!  That way you don’t have to faff about with Tupperware etc.  They also have an attachment where you fit a spoon straight to the pouch and the food squeezes straight onto the spoon.  Each pouch is reusable and washable and can be reused up to about 50 times.

Zippy bibs

Another interesting brand was called Zippy, they made bibs.  But not just any bibs – they were the dribble bib style, which you can also use if bottle feeding, but they’re ultra absorbant, and even when soaking wet on top, the underneath remains dry.  Again, I was very close to buying some of these, but Squidge has SO many bibs, I didn’t feel I needed to pick up any more. 

I didn’t find much in the way of freebies, MAM and another brand were there giving out free baby bottles (but level 1 teets, no good for us).  I must admit, I did expect to see a massive Tommee Tippee stand, and unless I missed them completely I don’t think they had any stand other than one to promote milk drinking (not really featuring any of their products).  Cow & Gate were also there giving away little pouches of puree’d broccoli – at Squidge’s stage, we’d add this to other food he’s having, and not give it alone as he’s all about flavour!

Water Wipes

One other stand that was great to see, albeit a very basic stand, was Water Wipes.  I’ve seen loads of people talking about these, and since discovering the Huggies ‘Pure’ wipes we’ve been using contain Phenoxyethanol (a faux paraben) I’ve been on the lookout for new wipes free from such preservatives.  While there, I bought a single pack of their wipes, and a pack of their makeup remover wipes to try (didn’t even know they did these!?).  If they’re good (the water wipes) I may well buy a box on Amazon – if I had hubby and baby with pram with me, I’d have bought a box J

Nappy tree by Aldi

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on about The Baby Show enough now – a big thank you to the lovely people over at Aldi Mamia for sponsoring me to go – they also had a great stand with a big Mamia tree of nappies and products to be won :)

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Creating my Perfect Porridge

Oats in the negative space of a spoon

A couple weeks ago, the lovely people over at Flahavan's sent me a bit of a porridge survival kit to create my #PerfectPorridge with.  If you follow me on Instagram you might well have seen lots of pictures of my porridge in the morning.

For years porridge has been my go-to favourite breakfast, it's healthy and filling.  But it wasn't until Flahavan's sent me their parcel that I tried 'jumbo' oats, or chia seeds, or goji berries and an assortment of other tasty treats to adorn your porridge with.

Over the next couple of weeks I will share a couple of recipes with you on how I make my #PerfectPorridge - I'll give you a hint - both recipes will be super-duper easy :)

Excuse the blurry picture, but here's a picture of the lovely kit that Flahavan's sent to me - I adore the bowl and spoon! I don't mind admitting, even if I haven't had porridge and I've had cereal, it's been out of that bowl since (it's an M&S Truro bowl)

Flahavan's Irish Jumbo Porridge Oats to create my #PerfectPorridge

Here's some of my creations so far - the top two were overnight oats which is why they look so milky - I'd never tried overnight oats with milk before, and now I know why! Much better with yoghurt. The top left one has goji berries, chia seeds and fresh blueberries.  Top right is goji berries, coconut flakes, and cocoa nibs. Bottom left is goji berries, chia seeds, coconut flakes and a big teaspoon of seedless raspberry jam, and bottom right is just the raspberry jam (with the porridge ofc!).

To make these, I used:

40g Flahavan's Jumbo Porridge Oats
250ml milk

I tend to let it very gently simmer on a very low heat, giving it only the occasional stir.  Then I add in the toppings at the end, depending on what mood I'm in, depends on what I'll add.  I'm loving it with fresh fruit - I did buy some pineberries the other day, they would have been amazing in this!

Porridge

How do you make your perfect porridge?

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