Tuesday 4 November 2014

Mum's meals

Every since we started our weaning journey a year ago, I've been waiting for the day when Ethan refuses to eat what we make for him. He's had occasions where his appetite hasn't been great but generally, whatever we give him for breakfast, lunch or dinner, he will eat.


I realise that this makes us really lucky and, touch wood, it will stay that way. He's still getting to grips with chunkier food, particularly chicken, but we'll gradually introduce bigger lumps as time goes on and I'm sure he will take to things well.

Ethan likes anything from cottage pie to bolognese, lamb hot pot to fish fingers or salmon, macaroni cheese to risotto. Some days, I swear he eats better than I do! There's no worry about him eating his vegetables too - I often have to fight him off when he tries to steal broccoli or carrots from my dinner plate after he's already had his meal.

I try to make as much fresh food as I can for him but some days, it's just not practical or possible. At the moment, with my work and his nursery times, four days a week he eats meals out of home and on the other three days, we try to eat the same thing when possible but our mealtimes rarely match. He eats earlier than us usually and will then have a snack (or some of our dinner) when it comes to our meal time.

What I try to do at weekends is make a meal or two from scratch that can be frozen for future use. I also add as many veggies as I can to the dishes I make, to pack them full of good things. Take my bolognese - it's often crammed full of mushrooms, onions, peppers, courgette and carrot, all diced and blended into the mince and sauce.

That's what mum's cooking should be all about; tasty food full of good things.

Having said that, from day one of our weaning journey, I have never shied away from prepared foods. I think being a mum, you have to make decisions that are best for you. As long as you know the options, you can only do the best you can and you shouldn't be judged for what you decide - unless it's wildly inappropriate. I used a mix of fresh food and bought meals for Ethan and still do today. I know that at nursery, Ethan gets a good balance of freshly made meals and when he's at home, I do my utmost to give him variety.

Whatever you choose to feed your child, you want to know it's full of good things and that's why I'm a bit of a fan of the Heinz Mum's Own range. Ethan is too. Convenient and with a broad variety of meals to suit four month olds to toddlers, Mum's Own has been developed by mums and contains lots of nutrients and up to two or three portions of fruit or vegetables per serving. It's reassuring to know this and as I try all of Ethan's food first (mainly to check temperature, I'm not on some strange diet!), I can confirm they taste good too.

I've used a selection of these products over the past year and Ethan was kindly sent a few jars to try recently. If I'm in a hurry or I don't know what to make, these are great to have on standby and nowadays, I may use these as a base for a bigger meal. Even though they're meals in the own right, I sometimes add some steamed veg or fresh fish to 'bulk up' the meal, using the Heinz Mum's Own products as the base.

I think that this would be a particularly helpful idea when introducing new flavours, textures or lumps for the first time, by adding them to something familiar.

Now that Ethan is full weaned and ready to experiment a bit more with a broader range of foods, I'll certainly consider the products specifically designed for toddlers. There's some things that I wouldn't buy - like the baby drinks, as I just feel they're unnecessary as Ethan's quite happy with water - but finger food snacks and some of the ready-made dishes are always worth having to hand if you want to have a back up or if you're going away.

Life is all about balance and it's the same when it comes to food so I want to establish good patterns with Ethan and as ever, I will be led by him as to what he wants to try. I could do with a few new recipe ideas and Heinz has some good suggestions on their website so between that and other parenting blogs, I should be able to find all the meal inspiration I need for my hungry toddler.

Our weaning / feeding journey so far:
If you'd like to recap our progress from weaning Ethan at six months through to feeding him meals that we also enjoy as a family, just visit the links below to view my previous posts.

Weaning update - at 8 months
Feed me - independent feeding

* Thank you to Heinz for sending us some Heinz Mum's Own jars to try. All opinions, as ever, are my own.

1 comment

  1. Those look and sound pretty good - I remember my brother having to eat disgusting mush twenty years ago when he was a baby.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog


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