I was delighted to be asked to be an ambassador for Cow and Gate’s ‘5 step weaning plan’ and even more chuffed when our box of goodies arrived to go with it!
The ‘5 step weaning plan’ is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a website that helps you wean your baby onto food in 5 easy steps!
- Step 1 – first spoonfuls (e.g. baby rice, banana puree)
- Step 2 – Introducing breakfast (e.g. porridge)
- Step 3 – Introducing variety (e.g. fruit/veg)
- Step 4 – Meat/fish/alternatives
- Step 5 – Establishing 3 meals a day
I used this on my smartphone and I was very impressed with how good the website looks, and how easy it is – you register with an email address and password and you’re good to go – working through the 5 steps with lots of useful tips and recipes along the way.
My favourite bit has to be the ‘eaticons’ – cartoon faces you use to rate food to remind you whether your baby liked or disliked something – so cute!!
If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that we’ve already started weaning and that we’re trying the baby-led method which involves giving baby W finger food from day 1 e.g. a piece of banana instead of pureed banana. The ‘5 step weaning plan’ is mostly about purees, but I think you can use it like I do and just use ‘proper’ food instead of purees if that’s what you’re doing?
We also mixed up the steps a bit, so we did steps 1 and 3 together (first tastes/variety), then step 2 (breakfast) then step 5 (3 meals a day) and we still haven’t started step 4 yet (meat/fish although we have given him egg as a protein alternative!)
So however you intend to wean, I think you can use this plan as a really useful guide but personally I wouldn’t stress if you go ‘off-plan’! Use it as a guide not as a rule book 🙂 As well as useful tips and recipes, Cow and Gate also email you money-off vouchers for their baby food so it’s definitely worth signing up – register here 🙂
So overall pros and cons…
- Really easy to use
- Perfect starting point for weaning
- Mobile-friendly, lovely-looking website
- Lots of tips and recipes – you can either make the food from fresh or buy it in jars!
- Money-off vouchers
- Not a con as such, but as I said I tweaked it slightly to suit us – the 5 steps might not suit everyone but Cow & Gate don’t say anywhere that you MUST stick to it rigidly!
Some improvements I would love to see Cow and Gate make are:
- the ability to add your own recipes and foods that you’ve tried e.g. baby W loves rice cakes so it would be great to be able to add that as a reminder – it’s easy to forget what you’ve tried!
- wouldn’t it be great to turn this into a bit of a community where parents can share their baby’s likes/dislikes and share recipes etc? Now that we’ve started weaning, I notice there’s quite a lot of banter on Twitter about foods to try etc – so I think this website could be a really interactive community for weaning parents
Since our first weaning update, we’ve moved to step 5 (3 meals a day), which I’ll blog about this week including reviewing some of the food that Cow & Gate sent us!
Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to write this review but I was sent a box of goodies (weaning equipment, food and cuddly cow!) before trying it out