Ah, weaning. What a joyous, messy, fun time. Having been through it three times now, I have to say that, although there's never been a time in my life when I have spent quite as much time on my hands and knees mopping up the kitchen floor, as long as you learn to embrace the mess it can be a lot of fun.
It's also the perfect time to get your child used to lots of different tastes and textures, and introducing as many different foods and flavours at an early stage is a good idea. Back in June last year we worked with UK baby food brand Ella's Kitchen on a two week veg pledge - where the Sneaky Veg kids tried out 14 different vegetables - with mixed results of course!
With a new campaign, Ella’s Kitchen Little Foodies, the company has teamed up with Waitrose to inspire shoppers to prepare, cook and explore great healthy food for little ones. Ella's Kitchen is committed to helping children develop a healthy relationship with food and through research with the British Nutrition Foundation has discovered that involving children in cooking and eating together as a family can help establish healthy eating habits.
I have really noticed that getting the kids involved in cooking has improved the range of foods they are prepared to eat. Miss R, 5, in particular loves cooking - back in December she singlehandedly peeled enough parsnips and carrots for 16 people!
Eating together as a family isn't something we always manage to do (because Mr Sneaky Veg gets home from work too late) but we do sit down for meals together on the weekends. I also get my bigger kids involved in meal planning - although their choices aren't always the healthiest (!) they do enjoy having a say in what we eat each week.
I'll be heading off in March to the Waitrose Cookery School to get some tips for cooking for babies to share with you all but in the meantime you can enter a competition to win tickets for yourself and a friend to the Waitrose Cookery School.