Baby Food Mindfield

I went to a lovely market research event last week, with some lovely bloggers. It was about yoghurt, and through the session there were questions about food, and food choices you make. Now, I am not writing this post to moan, or to say anything anyone said that day made me feel bad. What it highlighted to me, is that I do not have a clue when it comes to giving food to Nancy.

When you start weaning, you think people would help, give you advice. Isn’t that what Health Visitors are for? No, apparently not. I was told to just give her ‘what you eat’ and I was told to make sure she had enough iron, and little to no salt. (Iron was especially emphasised to me, because currently Nancy is eating no meat, only fish and vegetables. Long story).

But when you go into the supermarket, how the hell do you know what to buy? What can she eat? Can she really eat anything? Why is there salt in EVERYTHING? Will she be scarred for life if I give her a fish finger? I stand in the supermarket, flustered and bombarded with questions I don’t really know the answer to.

So when people at this event started talking about whole milk, and sugars in some yoghurt (10g in one apparently!) I started to feel a bit like a crap Mum. Nothing about what the people were saying – it was me. Why hadn’t I read up on these? Why didn’t I think about sugar and whole milk? Why was I feeding my baby the yoghurt equivalent of crack?

No-one seems to tell you. It’s all very much about you making the decisions when you’re a parent. I try my best to ensure she eats a balanced diet and at every meal she has fruit/veg, a bit of carbs, a bit of protein etc. Some days though, I am crap and she eats crackers and dairylea cheese. Some days I run out of inspiration, and I get stuck. Some days I just need to open a packet and hey, presto! It’s ready.

A supermarket is a place of fear for a new mum, starting weaning. Especially when I am doing baby led weaning. I am not mushing up food for her, which in a way, sounds a lot easier now. People say BLW is easy, and it is, as long as you have all the food you need in the house, and a brain and have read up what to make, and what they can eat.

Convenience food for babies probably sounds evil. But you know sometimes I need quick and easy things to make, or cook. If I am tired, I can’t start whipping up a cheese souffle. Fish fingers and baked beans it is. Now tell me if that is the worst thing ever, as I don’t know.

My other gripe is food labelled as ‘suitable for babies/weaning’. Up until recently I went straight to these foods as I thought they would be the best thing for her. Then I started to wonder, why can’t she eat normal yogurt? is it the sugar? Why are there baby versions of things? Surely, if its good enough for a baby, it’s good enough for us? Why are we pumping ourselves full of chemicals and keeping our babies pure and true? I suspect it is the salt and sugar. But then others tell me some baby products are really unhealthy. It all gets so confusing. You try your best to make the right choices. Why can’t it be made clear in the shops, or why can’t a health visitor or someone give you a sort of starter sheet of suitable items for a baby?

I know fresh fruit, veg and home cooked meals are best, and I do try to do this several times a week. But if you really need something quick and easy, wouldn’t it be great to know you are making the best choice you can, given the circumstances?

What quick and easy things do you buy from the shops that babies can eat? What are the best low sugar, healthy yoghurts/biscuits/snack items?

17 thoughts on “Baby Food Mindfield

  1. Jess

    Great post! I agree so much with the ‘salt is in everything’ comment, how much can she even have? I was told that same about giving her what we eat, but I season my food with salt and pepper and she can’t have that…Quick and easy things we buy are blueberries, ellas kitchen pouches and bananas, cheap and healthu, yummy and easy to eat 🙂 x

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  2. lived with love

    We do BLW although i was scared at the start! Sienna basically does eat what we eat, i give her porridge and banana for breakfast, i buy her the heinz biscotti biscuits for snacks and apple rice cakes and I also give her fruit and cheese as a snack. For lunch we have omelettes, toasted sandwiches, soup and bread! x

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  3. dinkythinks

    I love Mumbling Mondays. The yoghurt thing is a mare. I started on yeo valley yoghurts but so expensive so he has Greek natural yoghurt now and I mush up some fruit. Easy things for us are mini breadsticks, sultanas, potato cakes, cheese and any soft fruit… Including tinned fruit.

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  4. cariemay

    Our health visitor had a weaning session where she had us sit and read the ingredients on a variety of baby food – it was an eye opener to say the least! I’ve done BLW for both of my girls and they do eat what we eat, I’m just careful with the salt. For yoghurt I buy baby Yeos or natural yoghurt and mush some fruit in but Elma can’t tolerate much dairy. Quick and easy favourites around here are corn on the cob (slice some of the corn off, leave the rest on for chewing), veggie egg fried rice and pasta with homemade tomato sauce (make in bulk and keep in the fridge).

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  5. Laura Huggins

    Great post.

    I am sure that every mother has been in this situation.. And most of it is common sense.

    Yes I was one of those parents who relied on jarred baby food because my diet is not healthy and I didn’t want Cameron eating what I was eating.

    I did buy baby yoghurts because they were lower in sugar and actually had real fruit in them.

    I didnt bother buying baby gravy (Low salt) I just watered down normal gravy.

    I made sure Cameron ate a varied diet when he was little and we have no problems with him now. He doesn’t eat really healthy, but he doesn’t eat an unhealthy diet either. His is he perfect balance

    Thank you for linking up with the Weekend Blog hop

    Laura x x x

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    1. Emily Tealady Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I think a balance is right. I too have been eating unhealthily and so on days when in can’t find the energy to cook the jars/pouches can be a real godsend. X

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  6. 76sunflowers

    Gosh it seems so long ago I was in your situation and I definitely remember freezing in the cereal aisle looking at sugar content in multigrain hoops – they sounded so healthy!!! I used to cook as much as I could but would dive into processed stuff too. Everything in moderation is probably how I ended up doing it. Good luck x

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  7. Kath Knitty Mummy

    I think the health visitors really need to make it clear what “eat what you eat” means. After all when you are a sleep deprived new mum you aren’t eating the most healthily that you have in your life. Weaning was a bit of a wake up call for my own diet. I had fallen into bad habits and needed to start cooking from scratch again. That makes it a lot easier on the salt and sugar front (although you still need to look at stock cubes, i found some low salt ones in both Boots and Waitrose)

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  8. Practically Perfect Mums

    I’m sorry if you came away feeling even more confused! I remember being so stressed about what I should and shouldn’t give my eldest that shopping became really difficult. One thing I remember being really popular and easy was frozen mixed veg – excellent colourful finger food. Many times I resorted to the good old emergency banana!

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