Annabel Karmel Organic Purees‏ Giveaway


It’s giveaway time on the blog!

Back when we first started the weaning process I bought Annabel Karmels book. I remember regularly referring to the feeding guide just to make sure I was giving Baby Z enough bottles and food. After all, food had now been added to his diet as well as milk and it was a daunting, messy and exciting time all at once. We went through a journey of making good purees, bad purees, trying shop bought purees and then mixing in finger foods and, over time, Baby Z became fully weaned.

Over twenty years after the publication of her first book, Annabel Karmel, the UK’s number one parenting author and expert on baby and children’s nutrition, is launching her first range of organic baby purées in pouches. Annabel Karmel’s organic purées are based of some of the most popular recipes from her books, and made with the best possible ingredients that you could find in your own kitchen.

Annabel Karmel

“Ready made fruit and vegetables purees that taste natural are much easier to make than meat and fish purees, which have always been a bit trickier and can often taste bland. A common mistake when weaning is to continue feeding only fruit and vegetable purées after six months. This diet is too low in calories and lacks the fat and nutrients found in proteins such as meat and fish, which are important sources of iron and essential fatty acids and vital for your baby from 6 months.” Annabel Karmel.

Annabel Karmel

Annabel’s pouches (130g) are perfect for busy mums and dads who don’t always have time to cook from scratch or for those that feel unsure of how to start introducing meat and fish to their baby’s diet.

The range comprises of:

Sunday Best Roast Chicken, Cosy Cottage Pie, Scrumptious Salmon & Sweet Potato, Lovely Lentils & Tomato, Tasty Chicken & Butternut Squash, Fruity Apple, Pear & Blueberry.

Suitable from six months, the MSRP for the purees are £1.49 each and they will be available from Sainsbury’s in June and Tesco from July.

Annabel Karmel

Want to Win a Set of Purees?

If you’d like to win a set of Annabels new purees, simply leave me a comment below with some way of contacting you. (e.g. Twitter name or email address). You have until the 30th July to enter.

You can have additional entries in the giveaway by doing any of the following (Leave an additional comment for each to confirm you have done so):

5 winners will be selected at random and contacted after the 30th July 2012.



Listography – Things I want to do this Summer

This week the theme for the Listography is Things I want to do this Summer, guest hosted by the Reluctant Housedad whilst Kate Takes 5 takes a break.

There are LOADS of things I would love to do this summer and usually you’d need to tie me down to the sofa to keep me still.  I’m not someone that can sit indoors much.  Since baby has come along though, things have had to change a teeny bit.  Like being home for his naps.  And feeds and other things that basically mean you need to be indoors somewhere.    Soooo…here goes:

1.  Look after baby and watch him grow.

This summer Baby Boy will be going through some of his major milestones, hopefully, as he learns how to sit up properly, unaided and makes a complete mess of himself discovering all the messy and yummy foods out there.  Will he learn to crawl soon? Will he pull himself up? Is he going to cut those bloody teeth quickly?  Is he ever going to sleep through?  I wonder if he’ll say Mama (oh pleeeease!) or Dada first.  Basically, tope of my list is to wake up each day with baby, after hopefully some decent sleep, and watch my baby grow in all sorts of amazingly perfect and utterly cute ways.

2.  Go on Holiday…

Somewhere…Anywhere.  It just needs to be a nice break away.  I initially started off with the idea of a long haul flight with baby.  That would not be crazy right?  Some nice hot sun, all his baby stuff packed; fully prepared.  The more I thought about it the more (I stress, reluctantly) decided it might be wiser to holiday closer to home.  So Europe?  Somewhere very modern where baby facilities are plentiful and the overall hotel is family friendly.  Not such a long flight.   Hmmm…but what if?  So now we are thinking about a holiday somewhere in the UK.  Where baby facilities will be plentiful.  Maybe in August or September sometime.

3.  Visit Witches

I live in an area that has a history of Witches.  Ever heard of the Pendle Witches?  In the 1600’s, during the reign of James 1, black magic and witchcraft were the most heinous crimes of the time and amongst those tried were a bunch of women from the Pendle area.  They were tried and hung for their alleged evil ways and ever since, the area has become famous as the home of the Pendle Witches.  There is a Witches trail that is still in existence and even a little shop dedicated to all things witchery called Witches Galore.  I keep meaning to visit the shop and check out the little town of Newchurch and never get around to it.   It is a stones throw from where I  live and is something I will be going to this summer.

4.  Attend the annual Family reunion.

We always have one BIG family function in the summer.  Usually it consists of a BIG sit down meal and a massive amount of organised chaos.  It’ll consist of about 12 adults (my parents age),  their combined total of 28 children (including moi!), 8 children under the age of 16 and 6 babies / toddlers (including Baby Boy).  That equals a hell of a lot of noise.

5.  Clean the Garage.

Well, more, direct the hubby to clean the garage.  Imagine a clean garage with wall to wall storage areas and a place you can store all your spare luggage and never-ending of shoes.  All neatly arranged into shoe racks.  On the opposite wall there are utility cupboards for all of hubby’s DIY junk.  And of course, the car is parked neatly in the middle of all of that.  Now imagine the complete opposite; that’s our garage.  Filled from bottom to top with all manner of junk, cardboard boxes and stuff we’re not even sure belongs to us.   The door just about shuts if you manage to shove stuff in far enough.  It does really need a good clean.  But its been two years.  And counting.

How Much Is Enough?

I think I’m starting to get a bit confused with the “building up” of food and drink for the baby.  Maybe its information overload or worrying unecessarily but I think I may be after some advice from other parents out there.

The reason for my puzzled state goes something like this.  My, now 6 month old, baby boy has never been fantastic on milk and its always been a bit of a challenge to make him drink all his bottles.   I think on a GOOD day he manages about 20oz.  On a NORMAL day this can range between 15 – 20 oz.  The Health visitors have never seen it as a problem, as he is following a line on his growth chart and is consistent in his growth pattern.  So…not the best milk drinker, but so far, so ok.

Now.  Since food has been introduced it is becoming even more difficult to get him to drink the “required” 20oz a day.  Apparently that is what the guidelines say.  And apparently after 6 months this becomes even more important due to depleting baby iron reserves.  At the moment he us having 2 meals comfortably a day and in the next month or so I should be building up to a 3rd meal.

My worry is that milk is just going to get pushed out even more than it is doing now.    Having scrutinised a few suggested baby meal planners it looks like baby should be having about 4 bottles and 3 meals a day.  That sounds like a heck of a lot of food and drink to give to my little one even in a couple of months time.  And for one who seems to have a dislike of milk anyway its like the perfect little “get out of milk, free” card for him.     He loves food and wolfs it down.  It just the milk he doesnt seem keen on…or the bottle? Or the brand of formula? Or…hmmm, I don’t know what.

At the moment I’m thinking I’d like to stick to two meals a day so that the 3rd “meal” could then be a bottle of milk.  Or maybe substitute with something like a yoghurt or milk based pudding.  Have other parents done this?  Does it work?  Will it give him enough of what he needs to keep going/growing/thriving?  Or should I be giving him smaller portions of food and that way he has to drink more milk?

I would love to hear what other parents are doing / have experienced.   Do people out there have milk-haters, food lovers?  Did milk get crowded out of your little ones diet earlier than you wanted?  Did you sneak it in every other which way instead?  Basically, as you can see, I am a bit… ok…a LOT confused.

Blimmin ‘Eck – 6 months!!

So yesterday I came home with you in my arms, a teeny tiny bundle all lost in the baby grow that was too big for you, and big wide eyes silently soaking up the brand new world. And in what feels like a few weeks, you’re a 6 month old!! A cheeky little 6 month old at that!!

This month….

1. You now know your name. You whip your head around, all ears, as soon as someone calls you. And we call you a lot! Just to watch you all alert. I know it’s a bit mean. Hehe, sorry!

2. You have learned to jump like a little jack in the box in the jumperoo. But you will occasionally stand so poised you remind me of a little ballet dancer. Other times you look like you’re doing a little jig.

3. You can now scream from about 7am till 8pm in the evening. Blimey, it isn’t half deafening. You don’t seem to tire of it at all! Whilst it’s cute (well, ok not so much anymore), I won’t miss this phase when it’s over!

4. You can give hugs!! (hurrah hurrah!!). It’s not really a full blown proper hug. More, you grab my face and either burrow your own into it, or you try to bite my cheek, complete with a generous layer of drool. I class it as a hug. Muslins are good!

5. You’ve started enjoying fruit, phew. I did worry a bit at first and had visions of you living off veg (mainly the smelly stuff!) and porridge but I think we’re both getting there! Let’s try a bit of baby led weaning next month.

6. You love the theme tune of This Morning. It has a similar effect as saying your name. You whip your head around and will stare happily at the TV and then go about your way when it’s finished. I haven’t noticed you do it to anything else yet but I’m sure it’ll happen.

7. You love being picked up. By anyone! A smile flashed in your direction and you’re anyones.

8. Having said that though you constantly turn around to check your Daddy or I are in the same room. Else a little nervous laughter comes out. Shortly followed by “get me out of here” whinging.

9. My manager came to visit you this month and you spent the whole time pulling his hair, smacking his face and tugging at his shirt. Thank god he has 3 boys of his own. He loved playing with you. I think!

10. You can now put your dummy in your mouth perfectly. The HV said once you could do that you’d be ready for BLW. Hmmm, so next month is going to be interesting!

What Not To Do When Weaning

I’ve linked up to Flashback Friday. I started weaning Baby Z about May last year and it was very interesting at first…

Well, we’ve been weaning for about 4 weeks now. I’m still no expert and as expected its all a bit of trial and error and generally experimenting with lots of flavours. And, my god, the poo, the POO!! I thought one could not get anymore obsessed with poo than I already was. I had obviously never weaned before though.

At the moment we are going through “why is his poo like goat poo? Why!! Why!!”. Is that too much information? It is though, like little pellets. It feels like a bit of a seesaw balance of omitting foods, adding a lot more liquids, a bit of orange juice, a lot more massage and todays latest; prune juice. I think (THINK!) we are about halfway to finding the right balance, but I get the feeling that it will only be until the next new flavour, taste and texture is added. I hate you poo!

So, really, there’s no way I can class myself anywhere near masterful at this weaning malarkey. What I can tell you though, is the stuff you probably shouldn’t do. I have plenty of those. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying it. I, no, we, are on what looks like a bit of a learning curve.

So here goes, what NOT to do. (so far!)

1. Don’t stand in the supermarket fruit and veg aisle staring at a Butternut squash wondering whether you should buy it, and if you do, how the hell are you going to cook it? Actually, how the hell are you even going to peel it? I have to admit we don’t really (ok, never!) have eaten the thing. So why do mums get obsessed by it for babies? Anyway, point is, all that staring will, at some point, result in one of the staff asking if you’re ok and if you need any help. Aka “move along lady, you’re blocking the fruit and veg aisle!”. At this point you’ll grab the squash anyway and scurry along sheepishly.

2. Don’t dress the baby in white. Mostly, enough said. But has anyone else noticed that even with a bib on, food will find it’s way behind it, over it, under it. Bibs seem a bit useless to be honest.

3. When making purees, make sure you peel the fruit / veg. It is very messy trying to get skin off afterwards and not really worth stress levels going through the roof.

4. Don’t puree everything in sight and then expect the baby to like it all. I made the mistake of getting “adventurous” and then getting sick of all the puree that all looked green. We went back to a flavour at a time. It works really well. And I LOVE (well baby does) the Ella range. It’s very nice. (and yep I taste everything I give to baby, especially if I’ve bought it ready made).

5. Balancing a bowl of baby porridge between your legs whilst you feed baby is a bad idea. He will knock it a clean 180 degrees straight onto your jeans. Trying to wipe porridge OFF jeans is a worse idea. It spreads everywhere and seems to dry into something looking like dried glue.

6. When baby looks like he’s going to sneeze with a mouthful of food, get out of the way quickly. Don’t start wondering if he will a) sneeze and b) will he spray food everywhere. He’ll do both and it’ll be on you.

7. Don’t put baby on the carpet immediately after eating. Food will get transferred onto toes that will get shoved into his mouth and, if you’re very unlucky, also get sicked up onto carpet.

8. Don’t exclaim “is someone doing a poo poo” straight after weaning. Slink away to do the dishes and casually call out to OH to change baby’s nappy. Then listen out for the horrified “oh my god!! It stinks!!”

9. Don’t give your baby coke. I haven’t done this but I’ve seen someone who has. It was just so shocking!! But I’ll stop mentioning it now, honest.

Come link up to Flashback Friday