Following some of my posts on the NairaLand (NL) Forum regarding weaning food ideas, I have decided to collate all I have posted as means of creating an archive of sorts as it can be quite tricky trying to find the right post on NL, so for new and old "newborn thread followers" and any others looking for tips for what to feed their babies, here are a few tips.
here we go.
These are food ideas for babies that are 6 months+, and the menu is varied to include both western and Nigerian cuisine.
First of all lets look at some supplies you may need these are not essential, however they do make life far easier:
There are baby food blenders which are essentially mini blenders.... and some can be quite pricey. I think they are an unnecessary gadget especially if you have other alternatives... save your money to use on other stuff.
What i found works for me is a hand held blender.... i got one few years back and its been gathering dust until now.... so glad i didn't throw it out!
I just put what needs to be blended in large high sided mug, add some water if needed and pop it in till I get the consistency I need. its really good for small portions blending or making purees. You just need a piece of kitchen towel to hold over to prevent splashes. This is an alternative to a specialized baby food blender.
Its a very versatile tool as you can also use it to blend other stuff as well other than baby food as well as blend quantities both tiny and large that a normal blender wont handle. I got mine to make soups in one of my culinary adventure modes.
Oh! you can also try using the chopper attachment that comes with some blenders (the small bit used to grind egusi/ogbono/ pepper at home) although it will need to be washed well to get any pepper or previous food residue out. You will need to add some water and blend in short bursts
a mash bowl can also be used, as it is a small bowl with a pestle-like attachment that you can used to mash up really soft baby food.
An electric food steamer to heat up food is also very useful, or as an alternative you can get a small pot version of a steamer that goes on your cooker or a steamer insert to use with your normal pot. ( we cant let lack of electricity spoil our groove.)
plastic plate or preferably a bowl. it should be small enough to hold comfortably and securely with one hand. this is very handy if you are feeding baby off your lap.
Steamer insert to use with a normal pot
Silicone ice cube trays. To freeze excess baby food. silicone is preferable as it makes removing the frozen food loads easier. I only have one ice tray so i sometimes just twist a teaspoon or tablespoon of the prepped food in some cling film to make a "pellet" and freeze in a container or tie up in bag.
Caution: Take care to defrost (at least) partially to allow the clingfilm come off easily. You don't want specs of film in the food as it breaks easily when frozen. Also make sure you label the containers.... everything tends to look the same when its been frozen.
A drink muddler - now this is really not essential, but if you or hubby are into cocktails and have one lying around especially the plastic ones with the spiky base, they are actually fabulous at mashing the odd single portion of baby food.
A silicone bib with the crumb catcher. this is easy to wipe clean and catches all the food and water that your baby spits and spills out. A wipe-able bib with crumb catcher is also useful for days out as these are very easy to fold, wipe and can even wash in the washing machine after a few uses.
Doidy cup, muddler and wipeable bib
Other things to have. include:
A soft tip spoon in the early days, this is very flexible and is gentler on tender gums.
A doidy cup - if you can find this it is absolutely worth it! This has made our cup drinking so much better and easier. Alternatively you can use a transparent cup, or i sometimes use the cover of the feeding bottle when we are out and about so i can see the level of the water.
Note: Most disposable cups have a rolled edge but the cut end is unfinished and is slightly sharp so be careful if you wish to go down that route as babies cant really control their tongues to avoid them injuring themselves.
A small bowl with a tight fitting cover to use in the steamer, the lid needs to be tight to prevent excess water getting into the food. it could also reserve a few empty glass jars and their covers of baby food if you buy them. They are really handy for use in a steamer.
I hope this has been useful to you, Part 2 will be on general tips before and during weaning.
Thanks for reading!