When my baby crossed the 7 months mark it was time to start weaning him and I began stressing out big time. With all the struggles and time constraints, I had found breastfeeding hassle-free. No bottles to sterilise. No formula to prepare. Barely any burping required but this all changed almost overnight when our baby was ready to be spoon-fed.
For those of you who have recently gone through this phase, I am sure you will remember how overwhelming and at the same exciting it initially was. I began trawling through baby recipe books a month before it was actually time to start feeding my little mister. My husband and I made a big deal out of his first meal by putting up a few balloons and taking loads of selfies of us feeding him his first bite. I even brushed my hair and put on a hint of gloss, a major achievement for any breastfeeding mummy.
Once we had spooned the first bite of mashed banana into his cherubic little mouth, the struggle began. What in the world was I going to feed the apple of my eye? Apple, said my husband and I rolled my eyes at him.
While I wasn’t sure of exactly what I would be feeding my baby, I knew for sure that I would not be using any store-bought baby foods and purees. It was going to be home-made all the way but since I was returning to work full time, I needed all the helpful and speedy tools I could think of.
The first item I came across turned out to be indispensable and my all-time favourite. It’s called the Baby Food Feeder and is basically a handy teething feeder. The nipple is made from the softest ever silicone and every time my baby was fussy or irritable I would pop a piece of peach or carrot into his baby food feeder and give it to him to gnaw on. It was also a godsend during teething days.
But I think the entire credit for me being able to feed my baby home-made and almost always mummy-made recipes go to none other than the Baby Food Squeeze Station. I thank my lucky stars that I splurged on this.
So my feeding baby adventures went something like this. I would do all the cooking for the baby and ourselves on the weekends. Usually, on Friday evenings I would make all the fruit purees, the apple sauce, the stewed peaches, the cooked pears, and whatever else I could find. Saturdays were vegetables and meat and Sundays I would do soups. Since I was cooking for the entire week, storing all this stuff was essential and thanks to the baby food squeeze station all I had to do was push the purees down and voila! I had puree filled pouches that were super easy and convenient to stack up in the freezer or refrigerator.
With the Baby Food Squeeze Station filling the pouches was so much fun that even hubby dearest didn’t mind this task, though he was sure as hell would make a face when it came to peeling vegetables. Remember to thank me when you see a pile of beautifully filled pouches stacked up in the fridge.
The third staple that helped me achieve my resolution of only homemade food for my baby were recipe books. I loved poring through books for ideas on how to mix up fruits to make interesting purees or how to make spinach sauces and blend apple crumble. I probably made more soups in the months I was weaning my baby than I have made in the years that followed.
But it was all worth it. To see my baby thrive physically and develop so rapidly in his weaning months made me realize all the effort that goes into cooking for babies at home is so worth it. Highly recommended, and it works out cheaper in the long run. A win-win for both.
Contributor: Ayesha Nasir is The Original Scaryammi. She’s a mum of 4 and runs the Scaryammi blog, a support group for mothers, and a platform for sharing parenting stories.