As well as the gorgeous sun, sea and sand and a much needed break, our recent trip to Gran Canaria also welcomed a little acceleration in Saajan’s weaning journey thanks to daddy! Where I’m a little cautious, Preetam is a lot more of a “hand me the reigns” kinda guy and it definitely helps!
More so with Saajan due to his low muscle tone, I’m always fearful of giving him new textures incase he struggles to swallow. I’ve stuck to purées for a while now and actually I probably didn’t realise but it wouldn’t have been helping his aspiration (aspiration is where sometimes thinner fluids travel to the lungs which can be dangerous) much! Being a little OCD and not particularly excited by the thought of a toddler covered in a bright orange purée, I’ve also probably not gone full throttle with baby led weaning.
Being on holiday and having access to various foods (with the added bonus of not having to clear up heehee) and having daddy on hand was the perfect setting to kick start Saajan’s weaning journey to explore different shapes, textures and tastes! We had many first foods there and it was pretty exciting – I feel so proud of how far Saajan has come along!
As Saajan often finds it a little difficult to hold food in his hands for a long time and struggles to steadily bring it up to his mouth, we’ve adopted a combined approach to weaning since the beginning. Even when I was feeding him purees, I’d hand him a piece of food or his own spoon in his hand to build up his strength and encourage his fine motor skills. Organix sweetcorn rings have played a pivotal role in that as they are the perfect size and weight for him to be able to hold and put in his mouth and the melty texture means I don’t panic about him choking.
- As per my previous guidance with Arjun, we introduced one new food at a time just in case Saajan had an allergic reaction.
- Don’t be scared! I didn’t even think of introducing whole foods such as baked beans to Saajan but he absolutely loved them and although he has no teeth, his strong gums meant he was able to chew them – again encouraging the use of his muscles in his mouth.
- Let your baby guide you – We didn’t introduce egg in to Arjun’s diet till well after he was one and he still doesn’t really eat it. Saajan on the other hand helped himself to a piece of Spanish omelette on Preetam’s plate and it ended up being one of his favourite things to eat while we were away. He also leaped and grabbed a profiterole off his plate and put it straight in to his mouth! – definitely wouldn’t have guessed he has low muscle tone then! Haha!
- If at first you don’t succeed, try again! Touch wood, Saajan enjoys his food a lot more than Arjun however there are still some foods he’s unsure of. Cheese isn’t something he’ll naturally go for so now I mix it in to his egg or baked beans for a little extra protein and fat.
- Offer a mixture of textures, shapes and colours – this was a lot easier to do on holiday! A typical plate would consist of pasta shells, broccoli, cheese and a little bread. At home I also like to offer a variety for Saajan to try.
- Get the siblings involved! Saajan is really encouraged by Arjun – he often wants to get involved in helping Saajan to eat.
- Bigger is better! For Saajan, larger items of food are much easier for him to eat. For example, strips of toast are easier for him to eat than smaller squares, whole pieces of broccoli stems and chunkier pieces of fruit.
I’ve shared some tips from Organix’ children’s food expert, Lucy Thomas to help your toddler have fun exploring foods and learning to enjoy new tastes and textures, even those they may be fussy about!
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post either in the form of remuneration or a free product being sent to us for review however all thoughts and opinions are our own.