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Ella’s Kitchen finger food review: let weaning commence!

Just when you’ve settled nicely into a routine, it’s time to change it again and get used to a new [...]

When the nurse brandished some shears I nearly passed out…

At 13 days old Little B’s tongue tie has finally been sorted out. I’m not normally squeamish, but when the nurse brandished a pair of shears scissors to make the snip at the base of his tongue I nearly passed out. And I’m not joking. Admittedly the room was hot – stiflingly hot as only ante natal units are – and I was already feeling a little light headed because it was way past lunchtime owing to the fact they were ‘running behind’. But even so, after reading somewhere that they take the baby away to cut the tongue tie, I didn’t expect to have to hold him down while they actually did it. […]

By |November 12th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Weaning|2 Comments

Breast feeding a baby with tongue tie: ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Little B was diagnosed with tongue tie by our midwife as soon as he was born, meaning a little lip [...]

By |November 7th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy, Weaning|0 Comments

What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

It’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands. Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long? Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. […]

By |July 23rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Perhaps ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ simply wants to be a wife and mother

If you could have two kitchens, a fully staffed and automatically stocked one with catering standard equipment and a ‘private’ one for when you fancy preparing a meal in bare feet without a professional chef peering over your shoulder, would you?I ask because I’m becoming increasingly incensed by reports of ‘Two Kitchens Kate’ at 1a Kensington Palace. Apparently the Cambridge’s have put in an all-singing all-dancing kitchen, which presumably palace protocol dictates they have, and which  ‘scandalously’ cost £170,000 of taxpayers’ money (don’t get me started: it’s generally agreed the monarchy bring in as much tourist revenue as they cost, an industry which supports one in 12 jobs. And I bet the Cambridge’s are responsible for a large stake in that. Of course the methodology varies, but their wedding was said to boost London’s economy by £107m while the birth of Prince George boosted consumer spending by $383m according to Britain’s Centre for Retail Research) plus a smaller one for ‘Kate’s’ – why oh why does such sexism still wheedle its way into the British media? – own personal use.I don’t blame her. What if she fancies making Prince George’s tea herself, and actually wants to be the one to scrape the peas off the wall and floor afterwards? […]

By |July 7th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, News, Parenting, Weaning|0 Comments

Top Bananas! The best family recipes ever

At last. It may have taken two years but Mumsnet has finally compiled a cookbook featuring Mumsnetter’s best recipes, which means no more bookmarking pages from the website and balancing my laptop precariously next to the kitchen sink while attempting to recreate the concoctions. The compendium of wise is called Top Bananas! and features the tried and tested recipes of more than 300 mums with dishes ranging from basic Broccoli Balls to Luscious Lamb Shanks. As well as speedy suppers you can create while simultaneously emptying the washing machine and doing general mum things, there’s proper meals for the grown-ups even Misery Guts is game to try. My favourite bit is the chapter devoted to unashamedly unhealthy but rite-of-passage party treats such as Ice Cream Cone Cakes and Party Toffee Popcorn, which will surely send the anti-sugar brigade into overdrive. I can’t actually remember the last time I saw such naughty recipes in a family cookbook – probably my mum’s good old 1980s Jane Asher party cakes book. […]

By |May 30th, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Recipes your toddler (and you) will love

I’ve suffered my triannual anxiety attack in which I fear we’ve come to rely too much on sausages and potato waffles and the same meals on the same day of each week. In a fit of renewed I-must-get-more-vegetables-into-BB I went in search of a new cookbook featuring meals I know she requests seconds of at nursery (when her little friends are sat beside her happily tucking in) like spaghetti carbonara and chicken curry but won’t touch with a barge pole at home. Nestled between the River Cottage baby and toddler cookbook with quinoa this and spelt that (too poncey pretentious for me) and the obligatory Annabel Karmel recipes (always far too time consuming) I found The Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book by Felicity Bertin and Emma Ogden-Hooper. As an advocate of baby-led weaning but with a toddler who now refuses to suck the tips from a tree of broccoli or peel the layers off a sprout I discovered a book packed full of normal, simple family recipes like cottage pie and fish cakes all with a healthy portion of ‘hidden’ veg. […]

By |February 3rd, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Reviews, Weaning|2 Comments

All because the baby loves…scampi

I have finally found a cooked fish BB will eat: scampi. With the exception of smoked salmon (she has expensive tastes, like her mother) the little monkey has previously refused to touch any fish. You name it, I’ve tried it: fish pie, fish fillets, fish fingers, salmon fingers, tuna – I really was starting to believe that perhaps she really doesn’t like fish. But rummaging around in the freezer facing the daily ‘what shall we have for tea’ conundrum my eyes fell on a bag of scampi languishing at the back of the freezer drawer. Like marmite, it’s the sort of thing you either love or hate. I picked out four pieces to give it a go. She LOVED it (pictured). […]

By |June 21st, 2013|Family life, Food, Weaning|0 Comments

The benefits of giving up breast feeding

On Monday it was 20 months, 27 days and approximately 6 hours since I started breast feeding BB. Today it’s 5 days and approximately 18 hours since I stopped. It already seems like a lifetime ago. For her, I think it really is. After joining the library and taking out a book only to be read at bedtime – previously her longest feed of the day – and buying a Special Cup from which milk is only to be drunk at story time, just a week in she has already stopped asking for my milk and started asking for her book and cup instead. I never dreamed it would be this easy. To be honest, I’m even a tiny bit disappointed it has been this easy. But there are also upsides I hadn’t considered. 1) We have gained a good two extra hours in the day time. […]

By |May 17th, 2013|Breast feeding, Family life, Weaning|3 Comments

The last supper

So that’s it. After 20 months, 27 days and approximately 6 hours, last night BB had her last ever breast feed. As of bed time this evening, Misery Guts will offer her cow’s milk from a Special Cup instead. I won’t be there – I shall make myself scarce – because mummy = booby. It’s not days one or two that worry me, it’s on day three plus that I suspect things will get tricky. But we shall see. The last week, in which we cut out day time feeds completely, couldn’t have gone any better. By day four she was asking for milk pretty much on the hour, but was easily diverted, and while there were a few tears, these quickly dried up if orange juice was on offer instead. […]

By |May 13th, 2013|Breast feeding, Family life, Weaning|0 Comments

It’s no use crying over spilt milk

Who thought giving up breast feeding would be so hard? Not me. I thought, if you let things roll, that babies just ‘gave up’ or grew out of it of their own accord. Silly me. I don’t think BB will ever grow out of it if left to her own devices. So after two days in which no breast milk was consumed owing to the fact Misery Guts and I were away, giving up breast feeding has (once again) started in earnest. Having read absolutely nothing on the matter or furnished myself with any kind advice, in a bid to avoid the dreaded mastitis or engorgement we’re going for a week of bed time feeds only, followed by a week of dropping those too. Is this the right way to go about it? Is this approach too hasty? Will it work? I haven’t the faintest. […]

By |May 8th, 2013|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Weaning|2 Comments