An Introduction to weaning for babies 6 months and above: Part 1 - Supplies

The above image is my stash of supplies, however, affiliate links (on text and images) to all items will be included for you to purchase on amazon particularly if you are in the UK. 
The food ideas shared in this series are  for  babies that are 6 months+, and the menu is varied  to include both western and Nigerian cuisine!

Hi  there!

Are you a parent of  a  baby approaching the weaning stage and you are looking to  start the introduction of  solid meals? 

Well look no further!  This  blog post ( or E-book depending on which version you are reading)  has been compiled from a series of random posts and notes I have made on various social media platforms.  My hope is that this post assists you in your weaning journey.   Remember to breathe,  be patient and  enjoy the now! 

Let’s dive in!  

First  of all  let's look at  some  supplies you would need. Some are not essential items however  they do make  life far easier:


BLENDERS/MASHERS

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… you can  save your money to use on other stuff.

What I found worked for me is a hand held blender.... I got one a few years back and it's been gathering dust at the back of the cupboard until my baby turned 6 months and I was looking to get a blender until now.... so glad I didn't throw it out!

Hand held blender with high sided cup / bowl

Some hand held blenders come with a  high sided cup to use alongside it, however if you have a blender without the cup attachment then you can improvise with a  big high sided mug

I just put what needs to be blended in a large high sided mug, add some water if needed and pop it in till I get the consistency I need.  it's 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. 

The hand held blender is 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 won't handle. I got mine to make  soups in one of my culinary adventures and all i can say it has made more baby food than it has soups! 

Specialised baby food blender

If however you would like a specifically made baby food blender you  can  get  this  here.

Another gadget you may have lying around that you can modify for making baby food is a chopper - whether a stand alone chopper or the chopper attachment that comes with some blenders.  If you have used these to blend or chop chillies or other spices,  do ensure to give it a good  wash  and  rinse to get all the spice residue out. 

Tip: You will need to add some warm soapy water and blend in short bursts and after rinsing out, add plain very warm / hot water (NOT BOILING) and blend in short bursts. 

The chopper is an ideal choice for  babies from 7 months old when you want to start adding texture to baby’s food.  As it is not designed to blend food smoothly,  you  can easily adapt to make it as lumpy as you  wish. 

Chopper
Mash bowl

A mash bowl can also be used, as  it  is a small  bowl with a  miniature potato masher  tool  that you can use to mash up really soft  baby food.

This is an ideal tool for meals you plan on feeding the baby straight away,  and  the bowl  is  designed for use as a feeding bowl. Some come with a spoon and make a great travel tool for when you are away on holidays for instance. 

A drink muddler - now this is really not essential, but if you or hubby are into cocktails and have one lying around they are actually fabulous at mashing the odd single portion of baby food.

Wooden drinks muddler

Muddlers come in wood, plastic or combination steel and silicone as the one one shown above. 


STEAMERS

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 pot. (we can't  let lack of  electricity dampen our groove now can we?!.) 

Electric  steamer
Steamer  insert  to  use  with a  pot

STORAGE

Silicone ice cube trays are great for freezing excess baby food.  Silicone is preferable as  it makes removing frozen food  loads easier due to its flexibility.    An ice tray with a lid is ideal, and I personally like the really large ice cube tray as  you can make a decent portion of a meal and freeze. 


Large silicone ice cube trays


If however, you already have an existing silicone  ice  tray, you can use  that and place it inside a sealable freezer bag and freeze in a flat position in your freezer.   Alternatively you can wrap with cling film before freezing.  

Caution: If using  cling film, please ensure you defrost properly and carefully  remove any  traces of film  as cling film tends to get brittle and prone to breakage when  frozen.  

Tip: Make sure you label the containers everything tends to look the same when it's been frozen. 


FEEDING

Doidy cup, drinks muddler and wipeable bib

The following  give  a  list of feeding utensils and items that you will find helpful: 

Silicone crumb catcher bib

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 a 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.  These can be a small bib fitting around the neck only or  the  long sleeve version which provides  maximum protection. 

Long sleeve wipeable bib
Soft tip spoon

A soft tip spoon in the early days, this is  very flexible and  is  gentler on tender gums.  There are some versions that  have  a temperature sensitive tip that changes colour  when hot,  this is useful to ensure that the food is at the right temperature and does not burn the baby's  mouth.  An example can be found here. 

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. 

Doidy Cup

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 can't really control their tongues to avoid injuring themselves.  

Plastic plates  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 the baby  off your  lap.

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. 

Note: all plastics used for baby feeding or food storage  should be baby safe and BPA free. 

Now we have gone through this list, I hope this has been helpful.  Please drop your comments or questions and share this post to other parents you  think this would help. 

Thank you!  See you in the next  chapter: 

An introduction to weaning for babies 6 months and above:  Part 2 - General Tips and Ideas. 




 






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