Esme finally reached six months in August, which is apparently, the age where she starts doing lots of new cool things!
She had her first tooth through a couple of weeks ago, learnt how to roll both ways and sit up on her own, which is a really great achievement for her. But when it came to dinner time, I was left feeling a little confused.
I was feeding her a little bit of food that I’d make myself and then 8oz in a bottle. She’d have something like baby porridge in the morning, then maybe blended apple and banana for dinner, then blended carrott, broccoli and cauliflower for tea. If she was still awake, I’d give her something for supper, too.
But then it all changed!
I was happy blending together different types of fruit and veg, and she was eating it all happily! But she seemed as if she could eat a lot more than I was making.
It was recommended to me that I visit a website called Annabel Karmel, and try out some of the recipes on there. I clicked the 6-9 months category and had a look at what was to offer.
Now Esme has hit six months, she’s able to eat meat, and what I found was a load of recipes containing chicken, salmon and tuna.
I was trawling through the website, and quickly realised that this kid eats better than me! My typical day is something for breakfast, a few snacks here and there and then a nice, quick, easy meal for tea. I can’t always be bothered to be standing over the cooker for ages cooking something, unless I know it’s going to be delicious. However, I’m not the world’s best cook, and my timings can be all over the place!
The recipes on there had all sorts of ingredients – shallots, passata (which I had never heard of before), apricots – all sorts! I decided to go out and buy a load of fresh chicken, salmon and tuna, and decided to give it a go.
I saw that by sticking to the instructions, I should get three portions out of it. Thinking this wasn’t much, I thought I’d better double up and make six portions so it’ll last longer.
I went for the salmon, broccoli and spinach puree. I began by cooking up a few potatoes and half an onion with a knob of butter (it was supposed to be shallots, but I missed it when I looked through when I went shopping).
After that, I went to add the broccoli. I took to the freezer and searched for it, but couldn’t find it anywhere! I then remembered that a few weeks previously, I’d left the freezer door open all day and had to throw a load of stuff, so I opted for carrott and cauliflower instead.
Then I added the salmon and spinach, and voila! It was done.
I had a quick taste of it before blending, and oh my, it was beautiful! I was really pleased (and still am) with myself for making such an awesome culinary achievement!
However, when it came to blending time, it was a bit of a struggle. The portion sizes where much bigger than I had anticipated, and I couldn’t fit all the food in the blender.
I fit as much as I could inside, but I still had some leftovers, which I ate happily.
When I started putting the blended food into the freezer pots, I realised that the portion sizes I had been giving Esme were about half the size of the guidelines I had been given by the Annabel Karmel website. I decided to take a trip to see the health visitor to see what their advice would be.
They said that I needed to increase Esme’s food intake, and cut down on her milk, for example, give her double the amount of food I was originally giving her, and give her 4oz of milk instead of 8oz. I was also told to give her things the can pick up and eat so she can learn to feed herself, such as toast with butter after she’d have her porridge, and something like Rich-Tea biscuits or breadsticks and Philadelphia after her dinner.
So, the next day, I gave her some porridge and 4oz of milk, and gave her some buttered toast cut up into fingers once she’d finished.
I was a bit worried about her choking at first, because she’d never been allowed to have small things like this in her hands before.
However, she picked it up and proceeded to put it in her mouth and chew – she ate the lot! I was so impressed with her. She took to it straight away and enjoyed every last bit.
After dinner, I decided to give her a biscuit. What a mess!
She broke it into pieces and it went absolutely everywhere, but she loved that too! I’ve tried her with breadsticks and Philadelphia as well. At first, I just gave her a breadstick to chew on, and she thoroughly enjoyed muching on it. When I put Philadelphia on the end of it, she was a bit confused at the taste first of all. She paused, tasting the cream cheese, and thought about it for a bit before having a second try.
But, in the end, she decided she did like it, and instead of eating the breakstick, decided to eat all the Philadelphia off instead!
She takes a while to eat all of it, but I took some good advice that I heard from a little video I saw on YouTube about weaning:
Don’t watch the clock, watch the baby.
So now, I let her take as much time as she needs to.
Aside from her new-found love of finger foods, Esme now has three words in her arsenal. She can say ‘Mama’, ‘Dada’ and ‘Nana’, and although I’ve been told babies don’t make the connection to what the words actually mean, I’m sure she shouts ‘Mama’ when she wants me, ‘Dada’ when she wants her Dad, and ‘Nana’ when she wants her Nanny!
Esme absolutely loves her Daddy, and I can tell she misses him when he goes off to work. Almost every morning, she wakes up in her cot saying ‘Dada’, and grins like a Cheshire cat when he comes to fetch her.
We bring her into our bed most mornings, and she looks at her Daddy in awe, pulling at his beard and touching his face, and gets sad when he has to leave the room to get ready for work.
She’s really good during the day though, and is distracted by the amount of fun and attention she has from everybody.
But nothing can beat the smile she greets her Daddy with when he comes through the door at the end of the day.