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.
I’m just starting to wean my little one so this is really helpful, thanks!
Great :-) I am glad it can be of help. All the best to you and your little one!
A long way from this stage in my life now but found it fascinating. Interesting differences between English and French Mums.
Thank u :-) Fascinating indeed… so close but so different sometimes…
Like you I used stock from an early age but rather with garlic and turmeric added. My girls also had a little cumin, coriander and ginger from about 6/7 months. Very mild quantities but it was enough to ensure they eat what we eat as soon as they were able and by primary school age at the latest.
We also use semolina in our culture. Much less starch than potatoes for their little digestive systems.
Such a diversity from an early age this is amazing! Herbs and spices are such a great way to create variety in their diet. Thank you for your input.
Wow, I wish I read this before I had my kids. Now I’m sitting with two fusspots and the only way for them to try something new is with lots of bribes. They are getting a little more adventurous though as time goes on…
Ohhh children go through so many stages of development I am sure that with a mum like you they will soon be very adventurous little eaters.
This is really interesting! I had no idea they used stock in the milk. I wish Baby ate a wider variety of food. Thanks for linking to #MumsList x
You’re welcome, such a great linky! Always great to share best practice, I love to read others so I thought I would share mine :-)
I’m recently started introducing solids to my now 5-month-old, so this is fantastic! The first month has been slow as she didn’t seem very interested. But she’s starting to get into it a bit more now. I especially love the idea of using vegetable stock instead of plain ol’ water in her bottles!
I’m really glad this can be of use to you too :-) Enjoy the journey!!!
I have a question about the veggie stock. Do you ever use the water from any other boiled vegetables, like green beans or broccoli? I’m thinking it might be a good way to introduce those flavours at first as well.
Dear Lesli, I have used water from all sorts of vegetables indeed. This is a great way to introduce new flavours.