TALES FROM GRANNY GOOSEBERRY
7 SHADES OF GREEN – TIME FOR SOLID FOOD!
BY GRANNY GOOSEBERRY
Time for Solid Food
My grandson started weaning this week. He is six months old, and it is time for solid food.
Poor wee lamb! Each day he has been served up one or two teaspoonfuls of mushed up vegetables in varying shades of green. His mother tasted some of it and said it was quite disgusting. So, no wonder the poor wee fella was screwing up his face!
Now, I am all for healthy eating, but green vegetables have never been my preferred choice. Courgette, broccoli and runner beans are all the stuff of nightmares, for me!
Apparently, the current advice for mums is to start baby off for the first week or so on green, strongly tasting, vegetables. Like broccoli, for instance. Sweeter veggies, like carrot, should be introduced later. This way a baby will learn to accept the taste of bitter food. And be less likely to be a fussy eater in the future.
Maybe that is where my mother went wrong. If she had started me off on spinach maybe I would be tucking into hearty platefuls of green vegetables now too!
Changes in Weaning Advice
I do feel sorry for new mums. There are so many do’s and don’ts around all areas of parenting these days. So many rules and expert opinions to follow, and weaning seems to be a minefield.
When I had my family, we started giving babies their first taste of solid food at around 3 months, which was the advice at the time. Generally, we would begin with baby rice or cereal and most of the food came in powdered form that had to be mixed with milk or water. It smelt awful, and I must admit I was never brave enough to test it myself!
However, these first steps in weaning, as advised by our health visitor, would almost certainly not have been a baby’s’ first taste of ‘real food’. Long before the prescribed three months start date, most babies would already have experienced some type of food. At any given chance my parents, like many grandparents at the time, would happily slip a very young baby a spoonful of ice cream, or similar, pronouncing “It will do them no harm”!
Worse still, I was horrified by my mother telling me that she used to add baby rice to our bedtime bottles, as young as one or two months, to make us sleep through the night!
Such archaic practices are fortunately a thing of the past. Starting babies on solid food too early can be damaging to a baby’s intestinal system, and may cause future health problems such as allergies, or digestive disorders such as IBS. Interesting that I suffer from both then!
Today’s mums, quite rightly, stick religiously to the advice they are being given by the experts. They want to make all the correct choices and lay down a good foundation for their baby’s health.
There’s one thing you can be sure of, however. In 50 years’, mums won’t be weaning their babies in the same way they do today. New theories will have surfaced, and the ‘expert’ advice will be different again. One thing that won’t have changed, however, is mums caring passionately about getting things right for their babies and giving them the best start in life!