Baby-led weaning with Happy Tums

With my first son, weaning and solids was a doddle. Purees? Sure. Baby led weaning? No problem. Plain veggies or fancy seafood? Seconds of both please. Rene didn’t try his first fried chip until he was 2 years old and we kept refined sugars from his diet/knowledge until he was influenced by his friends and entered the world of party bags! I thought that it would be a simple case of replicating this easy experience with Miro but I was so wrong. With tight lips he refused any type of food - I followed the recommendations of starting with sweeter vegetables but pureed sweet potato and carrot wasn’t getting by this little guy’s lips. At just over 6 months old, I was starting to worry about how I was going to get Miro to eat, even a banana to self-feed wasn’t swaying him.

I researched local weaning specialists and noticed that Happy Tums had been set up by Mums, who were also qualified nutritionists. Their 2 hour ‘Weaning in a Nutshell’ workshop immediately caught my attention and I booked up for the very next week. I was made to feel welcome and supported from the onset and all 10 mums had brought along their babies - ranging from a few weeks old to 7 months. Nicola took us through a weaning journey, from recognising signs that your baby is ready for solids to the pros and cons of puree’s vs. BLW. I left that day feeling confident that BLW was the correct route for us and, inspired by one of Nicola’s suggested recipes, went home and made a butternut squash tagine for the whole family. Miro explored the meal with his hands and eyes, slowly trusting himself to take bites and feed himself. The best part? We were all eating together, as a family and with Miro responsible for feeding himself, I was able to eat my dinner while it was still hot!

It was a no brainer, following such a positive experience, that we invited Happy Tums to come and talk to our group of Mums.  Theresa talked to us about signs your baby is ready for weaning and also the impact of sugar and salt in a child's diet. We were enlightened by a demonstration of product labels, when we realised that there can be as much sugar in a baby’s food pouch as there is in a can of Red Bull! Additionally, I have always assumed that raisins are ‘good sugar’, when in fact we learned that we may as well be giving our toddler a packet of sour gummies - seems ridiculous after making every effort to avoid what we refer to as ‘bad sugar’ in his diet for so long.  

Thank you to Nicola and Theresa for a fascinating education in food, nutrition and weaning. We are super excited that Happy Tums have branched out to Walthamstow and their first weaning class will be at Kindred Meet’s home, the Waltham Forest Community Hub on Orford Road on 3rd October. Every person that attends a Happy Tums class is given access to an exclusive facebook group where they can ask any food, nutrition or weaning questions and the Happy Tums team will respond with guidance as well as having the support from the rest of the group who may have shared experiences.

Booking is available through their website www.happytums.co.uk

Words by Natalie, inspired by a Happy Tums workshop