Having now weaned three children, I’d like to think that it makes me slightly competent enough to offer some advice on the subject. I wouldn’t say I’m an Annabel-Karmel-home-made-burger-faces with-spaghetti-hair kind of expert but I am quite far from the novice holy-fuck-how-do-I-purée-a-carrot stage (don’t roll your eyes as surviving on -15 hours sleep makes a simple task like this quite a brainteaser).
I’m not going to offer you my tips for success and advice on jars Vs homemade or fresh organic produce Vs a bag of frozen peas, but I am going to enlighten you with a few of my learnings around one of the things I found a complete nightmare – GETTING THEM TO DRINK WATER. Trying to wean them off the milk was a sodding nightmare, as one sip of water would induce a horrified facial expression and the water being spat out in disgust. I was hesitant to offer weak cordial (sugar-free of course) or baby juice as these were considered the juice of the devil. Diluted fruit juice made me nervous as I was scared that their teeth were going to fall out so it was quite a testing time. So in order to get them to drink enough fluids, I opted for putting a drop of no added sugar cordial into said water (which, by the way has less, if any, sugar than fruit or baby juice, but I know, still not as healthy as water). I was terribly embarrassed at most gatherings when most children would sip their waters witnessed by proud mothers skipping around in triumph over their incredibly healthy children (slight exaggeration). Mine, sipping weak cordial, were obviously moments away from swigging coke, were clearly on the road to becoming obese and their newly sprouted teeth were going to fall out at any second.
However, with the eldest now 4, middle child being 3 and the youngest 22 months, they have managed to avoid the path to obesity, still have their shiny healthy teeth and are now quite open to the old council pop. In hindsight, I am able to laugh at my old self and wonder what all the fuss was about, because they would one day like water, just like I do now. I am now not worried by the early aversion to water because as they have developed through to Pre-school age, they have learned to like it. Through my observations of the early years of childhood I would like to share my experiences of how to get the children into loving the water.
The above suggestions are clearly for comical purposes, you may laugh (or not), but it’s not so stupid really when you think about it is it? As long as the dog bowl and the water pistol are cleaned and sterilised, it’s a fun way to achieve your objective. It only costs a couple of quid for pack of those silly arse water bottles and they love them. They always love to eat or drink anything that we attempt to have for ourselves, so why not use it to our advantage. There are however, some things I would not recommend.