"Pass me the orange, slave" - the daily fun of weaning a baby

Some people took up knitting, redecorated their whole houses, or bravely started new businesses in lockdown. I taught a tiny human how to eat.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 4:16 pm
Weaning is a messy business

Weaning a baby is probably the most fun you can have in lockdown without drinking serious amounts of gin and dancing in the garden late into the right – not really advisable when you have to get up at 6am .

So from July 2020 I spent far too much time researching, blending and freezing tiny portions of mush that would eventually turn our little tot into a strong little girl.

If it could be pureed, it was pureed in those first few weeks – avocado, beetroot, pear, swede, banana.

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No fruit or vegetable was safe from the blender, no flavour combination too outlandish.

And she loved it right from the start.

She’d always eyed up our dinners with envy and now she was tasting it too, gradually moving on to finger food and accepting absolutely everything from a good old Sunday roast dinner to gnocchi with a kale sauce. Apart from tarragon, that is, that was spat out pretty quickly.

Around the age of one many babies start to become fussy eaters, apparently I lived on miniature yoghurts and salt and vinegar Chipstick crisps for a time. It was the 1980s, a long way from Joe Wicks’ Wean in 15 best seller and the concept of baby-led weaning.

We haven’t experienced too much of that fussiness yet, but she has become more than a little bit obsessed with one particular food.

If a satsuma is in the house, Emilia will somehow know. She often crawls into the dining room, points at the fruit bowl and says “Geee!”, which I presume means “pass me the satsuma right now, slave, or I will have a full on meltdown”.

Sometimes she won’t start her main without a starter of chopped up orange segments and when we were getting through three a day they had to be hidden out of sight in the fridge.

They are the first item on the weekly shopping list and my first concern when it comes to the Brexit effect on food supplies – where do satsumas come from, anyway? Can you grow them at home if you really have to? Let the lorries with the precious satsumas through!