As a French mum living in the UK, I am contently gathering as much information as I can about British and French mums’ ways to proceed with their babies and children. I then pick and choose my favourite elements to form my own parenting style :-) Along my journey to baby weaning I have picked 3 key things that French mums do differently, which are well worth sharing… 3 French mums’ weaning secrets:
From 4 months onwards and to kick-start weaning, French mums use own-made vegetable stock instead of water when making some of the milk bottles to their little ones. This is a really gentle way to introduce new tastes and awake your little ones taste buds. It allows you as well to stagger the introduction of new taste (from milk taste to other food tastes) and new texture (from liquid to puree).
How to proceed: Peel and slice two carrots, put them in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Reserve the carrots for yourself and use the cooking water to make the milk bottle.
From 7 months onwards, French mums use semolina to thicken their little ones vegetable puree (instead of potatoes for example- see how to proceed below) or to create milk-packed desserts (semolina pudding for babies).
How to proceed: Add a small teaspoon of semolina in your piping hot baby vegetable puree, mix thoroughly, allow the semolina to expend and the whole puree to cool down to taste before serving.
French mums take huge pride in their babies eating everything. This is as important as them walking, talking… One of the techniques they use is to cook a very wide array of food from a very young age.
To ensure I was making them taste everything I made lists of food they could have from each age, which I kept in the kitchen. I made a point in making my way through the lists crossing off each food as they had tried it and commenting on particular like/dislike/number of times they had tried it. This is so easy to cook the same food over and over so this kept me going.
If you are interested in more posts on similar topics, you may want to read about French baby weaning (4-6 months), (6-9 months), (9-12 months), toddlers (1-3 yrs old) or 5 keys to enjoy eating out as a family.