We started the weaning process with little one just over two years ago. Little one was six months old before she was introduced to her first tastes. The decision to wait until then was for a couple of reasons. If you’ve followed mummybakesdairyfree you’ll know that little one wasn’t formally confirmed with a Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy until she was six months old. This was when she had a positive skin prick test. She had been on dairy free milk from 4/5 months after being diagnosed with an allergy by a paediatrician.
I was reluctant to introduce little one to potential allergens until we had had some professional guidance, which was the first reason I waited until six months. It was after the allergy test that we started to slowly introduce food through a mix of purees and baby led weaning (BLW). Offering spoon-fed pureed fruits and sticks of cucumber to gum/suck on. This worked well for us. I gradually varied the vegetables and fruits I offered, making most of the purees myself and always sticking to the pace little one set. The second reason I waited was in part down to NHS guidelines which suggest waiting until around six months.
There are three main signs you should lookout for before beginning to introduce solid food:
- Your baby should be able to sit up by themselves and hold their head up, steadily.
- Your baby should be co-ordinated enough to pick up food and bring it to their mouth, by themselves.
- Finally your baby should be able to swallow food. This means that they do not push the food back out with their tongue.
Little one didn’t show a lot of interest in food before six months, so I didn’t feel guilty about making her wait.
Please remember every child is different. If you have concerns about weaning (especially with allergies) please contact you Health Visitor or GP for advice.
Weaning and Babease
So why if little one is over two and a half am I talking about weaning? Well the lovely people at Babease sent me some of their baby food to have a look at and taste recently. This got me thinking about how I approached weaning little one and if I would have changed anything. Firstly, lets look at Babease.
**Boring bit- this is not a sponsored post by Babease, yes I received free samples to try but the views and opinions in this post are my own**
A little bit about Babease. I had seen their products available to buy in Boots, but this was after little one was at this stage so hadn’t needed to buy them. Looking into the company a little more, it sounds like they have a very similar attitude towards baby food as I do. The company produces two ranges: +4 months and +7 months. Stage 1 +4 months focusses on first flavours and tastes, with a smooth texture, whilst Stage 2 +7 months is more textured with a wider range of tastes. Both stages use organic ingredients which are mostly sourced from the UK and are chosen to introduce babies to a wide range of flavours. Their tag “Every ingredient used for a reason” really rings true with my approach to cooking, so they’re off to a promising start.
The packaging is clean, simple and effective. I liked the illustrations of the ingredients, they’re fun and definitely would draw me to them in the supermarket. I’m not sure they’re what my daughter would be drawn to in comparison to other baby food products which are bold and brightly coloured. The outer packaging is cardboard and recyclable. There is also a healthy recipe for grown ups featured on the inside of the cardboard packaging which can be made into recipe cards. I think this is great a feature. Some of the recipes included were for soups, energy balls and sweet potato jackets.
My one criticism is that all of the important information such as ingredients, storage and heating methods and even the name isn’t included on the pouch itself, only the outer packaging. If separated this could be annoying, especially as the contents of each pouch is printed in code by the expiration date.
At £1.49 per pack they’re not the cheapest baby food product in the shops, but they are comparatively priced with the market leaders- Ella’s Kitchen. For the variety of ingredients used, the packaging and that they are organic, I think that it is a fair price.
Little one and I enjoyed tasting the different flavour combinations. The pouch packaging was a plus as little one likes drinking smoothies from a pouch.
From the Stage 1 +4 month range we tested;
- Sweet Potato & Pear with Coconut Water, Brown Rice and Quinoa
- Pumpkin and Pea
- Banana, Pear & Blueberry with Brown Rice.
Unsurprisingly little one enjoyed the Banana, Pear & Blueberry one most as it was sweet and most like other purees/ smoothies she has tasted. The use of sweet vegetables (sweet potato and pumpkin) in the other two recipes came through as well, although the they both did have more of a savoury taste. All three had a smooth texture which would be great for first mouthfuls, and they all had a good consistency. Colour-wise they look very much like the colours of the ingredients included- funnily enough! Whilst this may be off putting as an adult- the pumpkin and pea was very green- it is reassuring to know artificial colours are not added.
From Stage 2 +7 months, we tried;
- Brown Rice, Swede, Courgette & Kale with Onion, Garlic & Thyme
- Sweet Potato, Tomato, Carrot, Quinoa with Chickpeas & Cumin
These had a much thicker consistency with a more natural texture and little lumps. We both preferred the Sweet Potato, Tomato, Carrot, Quinoa with Chickpeas & Cumin as it tasted familiar and comforting. The herbs and spices included in the Stage 2 range are great as they introduce little ones to a wider range of tastes. Little one wasn’t as keen on the Brown Rice and Swede pouch as wasn’t as thick in texture. Both were much more savoury than Stage 1 with a broader range of flavours.
Are they Allergy Friendly?
The packaging proudly states that the products are both dairy and gluten free! Hurrah! Although on the website it states diary free which makes me laugh out loud and frustrates me in equal measure! I’ve gone through the other products ingredient’s list too and I can’t find any mention of using soya, eggs or nuts which is a win for us too! They’re also vegetarian, so friendly all round! Some of the 7+ months products contain lentils which we try to avoid as they don’t tend to agree with little one.
Would I use them?
Like most ranges there are some that both little one and I preferred and would have used. The tastes are bold and therefore not to everyone’s palettes. However you could definitely taste the ingredients included which is plus when introducing babies to new foods. The more savoury ones, especially the Sweet Potato, Tomato, Carrot, Quinoa with Chickpeas & Cumin combination would make a great sauce to go with pasta or rice now little one is a toddler. In comparison to other baby food ranges, the flavours are more distinct. This would hopefully encourage your little one to be adventurous in their food tastes!