When to start?
We started at 8 months with Florian, with Nina I found out my mother in law fed her sugary cookies during Xmas! We hadn't started weaning yet, she was 5 months! Thanks for the kickstart, "mom" : ). So we started in january.
Cook without salt
I started cooking without salt, mashing up some for her and salting for us on the plate. Using herbs instead of salt helps. This was OK but still, a bit laborious. Annoying, really, because I decided to let her eat with us. Dinnertime as a social family moment and all, I like that.
Freeze in portions
The real kickass parenthack came, when it occured to me I could mash&freeze our leftover potatoes, rice and veggies in portions. I used cute heartshaped silicon icemaker forms that I got cheap at IKEA at first because she may eat so little. I can defrost as little as I think she needs. Take out more as she gobbles it up. And, no guilt trip for opening up a whole jar - what to do with the leftovers if she turns out not to be hungry this time? Now that she's eating more, I've started using silicon muffin tins as well. These I found at the Action store, but they're for sale at Euroland I think as well. Which are great because I can defrost the right amount of say, soup, for myself too. I put the tins on a large plate in the freezer, on top of a drawer so nothing gets stuck in the food while freezing. The next day, I'll take out the frozen portions, pouring hot water on the back to help ease them out. Store in a plastic (zip loc) bag or get eco friendly and hip reusable plastic bags such as these!
I have written before about how much I love making soup on a cold winterday. It turns out, she loves it too!! I have to admit, I do use salt/soup starter. This is not for the no-salt-in-the-first-year purists. I figure, since she's still on my milk, her kidneys are pretty OK. Formula strains the kidneys more. Hers can take some salt. The advantage is too, she'll get some water inside her. She's not drinking that out of a bottle, of course.
Drink: 50cc with every meal
Or so the children's nurse tells me. But how? She does love to drink out of a cup. But spills everyting, sticks her fingers in: it's messy if I give the cup to her. Once she can sit up, we can start practising drinking from a cup in the bathtub (parenthack #66). For now, I found out she can drink fine when I hold her on my lap and hold the cup myself(#35). Makes for excellent bonding time, too!
I told you mine! What are yours?