Weaning Shenanigans (& a Giveaway)

When it was time to start weaning Crevette six years ago, a friend recommended Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner. As soon as I opened the book, I knew I would love it. It read well, the images were bright, the babies happy and the food looked incredibly appetising.

I found the information about the best foods to give a baby at the start of the book really interesting. It gave me the confidence to get started. As soon as I opened it, I knew would find out everything I needed to know to start weaning my first born. I loved the meal plans, which I used and adapted for my first three children. It was like being held by the hand but having flexibility as well.

The recipes are really nice, simple to follow and some of them have become staples for the whole family, like Annabel’s cottage pie or the chicken and apple balls. The book is covered in food stains and does not get put away with my other cookbooks. Instead, it takes a place of pride in the kitchen on my cookbook holder.

Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner - Used with all my children and much loved!

Whenever one of my close friends has had a baby in the past six years, I have bought this book as a present. As you can imagine, when I was asked whether I wanted to review Annabel’s latest book, Quick & Easy Weaning, I jumped at the chance. It follows the same format as my much-loved meal planner.

I wish the section on Allergies had been in the first book as it would have saved a lot of heartache a couple of years ago. I had no idea about allergies at the time, and it would have helped me recognise the signs of food allergy in Jumpy.

First and foremost, the book is informative, well-written and interesting, with headings such as: No-cook purées, Milk, Offering fist foods, Raw or cooked, etc.

Introducing Solids with Annabel Karmel's Quick & Easy Weaning

Until she was six months old, Wriggly was breastfed exclusively. On the day she turned six months, I bought her a couple of beakers and tried giving her some water. She spat it all back.

The following day and for three days after that, I tried giving her a couple of teaspoons of mashed organic carrots her big brother had proudly peeled for her, but it did not go down well. My initial attempts at weaning were a complete and utter flop. Every single time I was offering a spoon of purée; she would gag, and at times vomit if anything at all had made it to her throat.

Crevette Peeling Organic Carrots for his Baby Sister

That was followed by three days of mashed pears. Still no luck… A stick of cucumber brought more gagging and vomiting. Sweet potatoes? Well, I will let you guess.

I gave up for a bit as she was sick and was struggling to breathe as she was so congested, and kept vomiting. Despite her disgust towards any food I was offering, she was breastfeeding more and more regularly and sleeping less and less. She clearly needed more bulk in her diet.

The following sentence in the book struck a chord: “if they are really resistant to trying the food, take it away and try again another time – it should not become a battle.” She simply was not ready and I stopped stressing about it. She would eat eventually.

When Hubby gave her two small pieces of satsuma and she sucked the juice before she asked for more, we knew she might be ready. I resumed using Annabel Karmel’s weaning guide when Wriggly turned seven months. We tried puréed carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes, but my little girl was still gagging after each mouthful. Apple was the only purée she seemed to like. She was not a huge fan of baby porridge either, but she was eating a couple of spoons of the sticky mixture most mornings. She quite enjoyed plain rice cakes and feeding herself.

Butternut Squash, Carrots & Broccoli

At nine months, my little girl now tries everything I give her. She really likes to be independent and loves eating steamed vegetables, yoghurts and biscuits. I still make some purées for her, and the ones combining fruit and vegetables are always a hit, like my mashed butternut squash, sweet potato, pear and rosemary. She also loves Annabel’s butternut squash, carrot and broccoli purée.

Butternut Squash, Carrots & Broccoli Purée


I have one copy of Quick & Easy Weaning by Annabel Karmel to give away.

How to Enter

Just use the box below. It is easy to use and you can get more than one entry! If you are not sure how to use Rafflecopter, I have included detailed instructions below the box.

Entries are open until midnight GMT time on 31 March 2015. Good luck!

RAFFLECOPTER – Quick & Easy Weaning by Annabel Karmel
a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to use Rafflecopter?

The first thing you need to do is to log in with Facebook or your email address.
Once you are logged in, the first and mandatory entry option is to leave a comment on this post telling me what you would recommend giving as a first food. For extra chances of winning, check the instructions in the form. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment for your entry to be valid.

– I will be posting the prize myself and cannot be held responsible if it gets lost in the post.
– The giveaway is open to UK residents over 18.
– I was sent the book as well as a copy to give away for the purpose of this review. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.

I have listed this giveaway on ThePrizeFinder, SuperLucky and Loquax.


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  1. I started with mixing baby rice to my baby milk and then onto custard and porridge (so milk based solids at first).

    • I did the same with baby rice with my first three. I started with carrots for Wriggly, and she wasn’t impressed!

      • I think it is best to start with milky solids then introduce new flavours. My sister wanted to ‘jump the gun’ and she went straight from milk to potato and carrot puree with her first baby and he hated it! So with her next two, she stuck to milk with rice, porridge or custard! 🙂

        • I agree with you. The only reason I did that was because her big sister was allergic to milk and I didn’t want to go through the same thing as I did a couple of years ago. Turns our Wriggly is fine with milk, yippee!

          • That’s great! All my kids are fine with milk too though I have a lactose intolerance now and cannot have dairy, unless it is lactofree! So frustrating as I only developed it when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and then developed a bad stomach infection that wrecked my immune system!

          • Oh that sounds awful, Tracy!

  2. emmav6 says:

    sweet fruit & veg, mine loved parsnip & carrots

  3. Weetabix – if you warm it up with milk it gets very soft.

    • True! My little man used to love it as a baby, but I stopped buying it when my third was diagnosed with a wheat allergy.

  4. Kirsty Greer says:

    Pureed fruits and veg xx

  5. I started my kids off with baby rice and rusks

  6. Diane Hicklin says:

    Baby rice

  7. Leanne Hansell says:

    Baby rice

  8. Well mashed sweet potato x

  9. laura stewart says:

    soup, lots of veg 🙂

  10. amyangelmouse says:

    Baby rice went down well with my first

  11. Baby rice and the puree vegetables

  12. Karen Barrett says:

    Baby rice and weetabix

  13. Andrew Hindley says:

    Baby Rice

  14. Ashleigh Allan says:


  15. Victoria Wale says:

    We’ll be starting weaning in a few weeks time and plan to start with purees – we have Annabel’s 100 puree recipes for all stages so can’t wait to get stuck in to that!

  16. Leanne says:

    Baby rice!

  17. Mashed vegetables

  18. Less sweet vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower

  19. lynn mitchell says:

    i’m not sure we have a few week yet but some of the ideas sound good

  20. Tammy Tudor says:

    rice pudding or custard 🙂 I think it’s important not to be discouraged build it up

  21. Nikki Hunter says:

    I did baby led weaning with my second, she enjoyed well steamed butternut squash that went really mushy when she put it in her mouth 🙂 i think any soft root vegetable is a good starter food for babies

  22. Carrot puree was a big hit here, also mashed banana was very popular. We skipped baby rice.

  23. Paula Readings says:

    fruit purée, I think pear something like that, that’s what I did.

  24. Rich Tyler says:

    Def.baby rice 🙂

  25. Laura Walker says:

    My first baby is due anyday now so the book would be perfect I am taking note of all comments

  26. Spencer Broadley says:

    baby rice or rusks

  27. Sally Collingwood says:

    Baby rice and Farley rusks at about 4 months

  28. Thanks for this post! I can’t give any good advice on weaning, as I’m only just approaching this next step with my little fella…(terrified at the thought, so glad I read this book review! One for the wishlist I think)
    Thank you 🙂 reading all the comments with interest now!

  29. weetabix

  30. I’m so pleased that things are going better in the weaning department, it can be so tricky. All three of mine have been difficult in some way or other, and none of them would let me spoonfeed them in the earliest days. I had to make my peace with the mess of BLW a long time ago 😉 xx

  31. EJ Dunn says:

    Baby rice

  32. Vicki Weston says:

    Mushed Root Veg

  33. harriet says:


  34. emma falvi says:


  35. dionne says:


  36. Fiona K says:

    Rice with milk or soy formula went down well with both of my kids. Money-saving tip: if you go to an Indian or Asian grocery store, you can buy ground rice in large bags at a fraction of the price per kilo of the identical product in the baby section of your supermarket. Just remember to store the contents in an air tight jar after you’ve opened the bag.

  37. leanne weir says:

    Definitely a mcdonalds big mac and coke. Just kidding. Baby rice and mushed banana!

  38. Naomi L says:

    My little one’s first three foods were banana, avocado & sweet potato 🙂

  39. Maureen Holland says:

    Puréed pears. My grandson loves this and chews/sucks on breadsticks

  40. Kim Styles says:

    Baby Rice is alway the best to start with then start flavouring in with taster sample of some baby friendly fruit or veg then work up to using potato mashed with the same fruit and veg, introducing different tastes one by one

  41. emmaellams says:


  42. Jennifer Toal says:

    Baby rice and stewed apple

  43. Kaitlin says:

    I’m pregnant with my first baby and due this summer, so I look forward to seeing what my likes the most!

  44. Custard or ready brek.

  45. Rebecca Evans says:

    I really found the baby porridge easy to do and you can use baby milk in it too which is great, especially if you’re starting early xx

  46. Mashed banana 🙂

  47. sweet potato (puréed)

  48. Caroline Blaza says:

    Banana and Baby Rice

  49. Tal L says:

    baby rice did the trick for me

  50. Samantha Sugden says:

    mashed Banana

  51. leanne allen says:

    baby rice

  52. Miss Janet Carter says:

    Baby rice

  53. Pauline Wilson says:

    baby rice or rusks mushed with milk

  54. I would say that baby rice/porridge is a good starter for weaning.

  55. Hekna says:

    think I’ll be trying baby rice

  56. karen Howden says:

    baby rice

  57. Natalie Crossan says:

    baby rice

  58. Claire Nutman says:

    I was always using carrots and other root vegetables, in the blender with a little formula milk.


  1. […] a difficult transition from exclusive breastfeeding to solids, Wriggly now enjoys food, thank goodness! She eats anything […]

Thanks for taking the time to write a little message. Comments always make me smile! x Mel