He’s one of Australia’s most beloved cooking personalities, and he’s serving up his top tips for parents on the weaning journey – from The Living Room to your kitchen, it’s Miguel Maestre!
Weaning your bub is an exciting milestone, but it can bring about a whole host of new parenting challenges. What foods will they like? What ingredients should I use? How do I even cook them?!
Thankfully, celebrity chef and dad of two, Miguel Maestre, is here to help. Combining his passion for helping Aussie parents learn how to make nutritious, delicious homemade baby food with his love for using the best quality seasonal and local produce, Miguel presents his top tips for weaning your baby.
“I know from my own experience, and from friends who have kids, making sure you give your little one the absolute best care is a high priority and it’s no different when it comes to food,” says Miguel. “Of course, the only way to know exactly what’s in your baby’s meals is to make it yourself. But this doesn’t have to mean hours slaving away in the kitchen – find a few core ingredients that your baby enjoys and build from there.”
While introducing his newborn daughter, Claudia, to solids, Miguel found it was also a valuable opportunity to teach her about flavours and healthy eating.
“Have fun trying out new flavours and textures – you’re not going to get it right every time but it’s a learning experience for both parent and child,” says Miguel. “At the same time, however, pay attention to how you cook your baby food ingredients. A baby’s palate is extremely sensitive and won’t respond well to foods that are either too hot or too cold.”
Miguel’s top tips to ease weaning stress:
- Steam food wherever you can. “I’ve found that it’s almost always advisable to steam cook the food rather than fry as things can caramelize in frying and that can be a bit too strong for little ones,” says Miguel.
- Avoid heavy sauces and flavours when first starting to wean your baby. It’s best to stick to a Mediterranean style diet that focuses on fresh and natural ingredients that your bub will love!
- With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that there is a degree of diversity in the ingredients and Miguel’s tip is to utilise seasonal produce. “Plan your weekly shop around what’s currently in season,” says Miguel. “This helped me think of hundreds of different recipe combinations!”
- Diversity is critical, and variety is important for creating good feeding patterns and exposure to a range of tastes and textures – as well as providing a healthy diet.
- Finally, and most importantly, make dinner fun! “When I feed my kids, there is lots of singing (not well) and games,” says Miguel. “It’s an interactive experience for them and something I think that has made our bond so strong.”
Mini Hippo’s weaning wonders
Wean Green Wean Cubes // Wean Cubes are perfect for keeping homemade baby food fresh and free from harmful chemicals! They’re also great for storing breast milk, packing salad dressings, condiments, and toddler snacks on the go. The leak proof silicone seals ensures that you can drop them in your bag with no spills, and the seals are removable to ensure no bacteria build up.
Wean Meister Freezer Pods // Wean Meister’s flagship product, these Freezer Pods are made from a high-grade silicone tray. While they’re specifically designed for freezing breast milk and baby food, they can be used far beyond the weaning phase as a muffin tray, jelly mould, paint pallet and so much more. It contains no BPA or phthalates and surpasses the USA FDA safety standards, instead meeting the higher grade German LFGB silicone standard.
Wean Meister Scoopsy Plate // The Scoopsy Plate is a self-feeding, training plate, with a very clever feature – the overhanging edge. This small design feature creates a big impact for the self-feeding toddler, as it encourages the food on the spoon, instead of all over the table. Pick up a Scoopsy Bowl and an AdoraBowl along with it!