Pearl, Pip & Pear: The Weaning Diaries

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Little Pearl has been eating away on solids for the past month or two – no bother to her. She’s her mother’s daughter and loves her grub. We’re combining spoon feeding with baby lead weaning in this household – keeping me sane on both sides of the party. Whatever about the whole breast vs bottle debacle – I had no idea just how passionate some of you are with regards to weaning! (Truth be told, I actually didn’t even know BLW was a thing pre-Pearl. The shame.)

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In all honesty, I’d happily spoon-feed Pea exclusively. I absolutely adore it as a thing to do with her! Lolz. Let them be little, I say. But I totally get the BLW debate too – the ingredients are whole, fresh etc. And so, Pearl is spoonfed the usual suspects throughout her little day, as well as munching away on finger foods.

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My issue with exclusively baby led weaning as a feeding method in our home is more to do with my approach to cooking, where the fridge contents are often skeletal. I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. I’ve all the cookbooks and can put on a show when needs be, but also I’m also far too partial to eating out 24/7, and am on first names basis with Base Pizza, Bombay Pantry, Kanoodle… And subsequently, giving Baby Pearl some of what we’re having ourselves isn’t always the best approach.

Before I started weaning Pea, I read a couple of baby meal plan books (Nevin Maguire, Annabel Karmel and the likes), and have since been mixing and matching whatever is in the fridge. I’d love to say she’s never had any shop bought baby food, but, come on now. She has, (and survived!). My one rule of thumb when feeding her such meals though, is to only give her (healthy, obv) food that I’d eat myself. Which instantly rules out those jars of jellied slush and the likes. Vom. Ditto anything with future-age expiry dates.

Overall, the one food type Pearl generally turns her nose up at is fish. (That goes for my meal prep as well as the sporadic packet!). Que spoonfuls of pureed salmon* and the likes being splattered against the walls by one (strong) baby. The struggle is real. Or at least it was, until last week when I finally discovered a fishcake suited to Pea’s refined tastebuds.

Pip and Pear sent a couple of their baby food products to The Queen of Sheba herself, including their ‘Fishy Dishy’ and SUCCESS! – she wolved it down. Yay! Prior to this I (meaning Pearl) had tried other bits and bobs from the Pip and Pear range, and always to great applause. (This obviously isn’t a sponsored post btw).

If you’re not familiar with the brand, Pip & Pear is a Waterford based, family run company, making chilled baby food – ie: You’ll find them in the refrigerated aisle as opposed to the shelf (no preservatives, no additives). Winning already in my eyes. Everything is organic, homemade and delicious…

Whatever about fruit and veg, it weirds me out when a meat/dairy/fish item doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  I’m done with any such sacheted and shelved baby food to be honest. As I said, if I’m not willing to eat it myself, I don’t expect Little Pearl to either. As for other shop bought bits and bobs,  Ella’s Kitchen tends to be a hit, (minus the fish/beef varieties). Pearl’s a fan of their Strawberry Porridge and I tend to use their fruit purees as ice-lolly ingredients in her My Feeding Pal teat. She’s obsessed!

As for finger foods, we’re doing all of the usuals. (If you’re new to this whole baby thing too, First 1000 Days has a handy reference for easily sourced finger food.) Soft cooked vegetable sticks, fruit, bread, and so on. She’s not too fussy is our Pearl. Although she doesn’t have her mother’s grá for cheese just yet.

What’s your approach to baby weaning?  Let me know your baba’s favourite meals!

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*Essential Fatty Acids are so important for growing babies, with Omega-3 being vital brain food – NB for a brain tripling in size by its first birthday. Cold water fish (tuna, salmon) are an amazing source of Omega 3.

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