With the hopeful news that some of us might get to the joy of a foreign holiday we thought it would be a good one to re-visit a previous blog all about weaning abroad. Keep an eye out for more travel tips as the world reopens!
We have just returned from an amazing time in sunny Menorca and so, I thought I would explain how I found weaning Francesca whilst abroad.
We are always asked on our workshops about how weaning “works” when abroad and I know this is an area where some of our lovely parents can feel some anxiety. I for one felt slightly anxious before setting off as I had never been to the resort we were staying in before. I therefore had no idea about what food would be on offer for the children, especially Francesca who incidentally turned 9 months whilst we were out there. I read a lot of reviews about the food but it was so difficult to gauge from TripAdvisor whether she would still be able to have a varied and healthy diet on holiday. So, I dutifully packed a lot of “snacky” foods just in case. I filled our suitcases with rice-cakes, Ella’s Kitchen pouches, breadsticks, babybel cheese, fruit in pots, some nut butters and oatcakes. Did I bring most of them home again – yes I did!
We stayed at the Royal Son Bou family resort on the Island and I can’t tell you how fantastic the food choices were for a baby and a toddler. The array of salads, grilled meats, fish, eggs, pasta, breads, cheeses, vegetables, fresh fruits and plain yogurt was amazing! You could have omelettes with so many fillings, a favourite was a “Chefs Salad” which was pasta with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bits of mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil. For dinner, they always had a pasta option but the pasta was left plain as the aim was for you to add your own sauce. This was great for Francesca as I tended to just give her plain pasta with sometimes a sprinkling of cheese on the top. There was a “wok station” where fresh veg were quickly stir-fried so again, this was popular. Grilled chicken and fish was plentiful and you could watch the chefs grill the meat right in front of you. There was fruit galore and plain yogurt to accompany it. There were about 10 different sorts of breads with cream cheese to spread on, there were cucumber slices, cheese slices, tomato slices, pepper slices – a lot of slices!!
The staff were fantastic and each day Francesca sat in her highchair and tucked in. She now uses her pincer grip so well that she was tucking into a rice salad with finesse. She adored the mealtimes on holiday not least because everyone made a fuss of her as they couldn’t believe she was eating whole pieces of food at a young age. (I personally think the staff were looking at her because although she is becoming a blw pro, the mess under her highchair was something else and they were dreading having to clean up after her!!)
She was one of the youngest children in the resort and as the week went on, she started to attract a lot of attention. We didn’t notice it at first until my husband turned to me after day 3 and said “a lot of people are looking at Francesca when she eats”. I’d noticed it too but didn’t think much of it until on the 4th day a German lady came over to me. She asked me how old Francesca was and “how long had she been eating like that”? For 3 months I told her and she gasped and looked shocked. She told me that she has a 7 month old and she really wanted him to eat like Francesca but she was so scared of choking and allergies. She said “It is amazing, but it is all so new to me” I tried to give her a mini Happy Tums workshop but the language barrier didn’t prove conducive! As she left she looked amazed, impressed and hopefully positive that she could try baby-led weaning with her son. I left feeling a very warm glow, a very proud mummy and with a mental note in my head to discuss with Nicola the need for us to expand Happy Tums into Europe!