My Daddy Cooks: Encouraging curiousity + respect for food (on a budget)

A guest post from the creative chef  Nick Coffer who demonstrates via videos wuth his fabulous son Archie just how  great an early start in food appreciation ad cooking can be.  Over to Nick…..

 It’s funny, I had never really thought of Baby Led Weaning (BLW) as a cost-saving measure until someone jokingly chided me on the BLW forum, saying that now that I was getting well-known, I would soon be selling BLW products to Mothercare. Not only will this not happen, it is also impossible! I can see the scenario now:

my daddy cooks

Me: So this is my baby led weaning bowl
Mothercare Buyer: But it’s a normal plain white china bowl
Me: Yup, exactly!

If you haven’t heard of BLW, it is basically an approach to weaning your baby on to solids which tends not to use purees and spoon feeding. Instead, babies are encouraged to eat at the table with their parents from six months old and explore the same food which their parents are eating. The “baby led” bit refers to letting the baby decide what they need and when they are no longer hungry.

The upshot of this approach was that we didn’t need to buy any special equipment for Archie. No weaning trays, no weaning spoons. And we didn’t buy expensive pots and jars of baby food. He ate off his high-chair tray and, as he got older, off normal plates. We also didn’t find ourselves having to make two separate meals, one for us, one for him. This made it much easier to budget for our food – and also much less effort for us in the kitchen. As he has always been eating the same meals as us, if he doesn’t like what he has been given or is just not hungry, we just eat what he doesn’t want! This is a money-saving strategy in itself.

As anyone who watches the videos on the blog would know, we try to make fresh, healthy and (usually) quick food in the house. I find it is so much easier to control our food budget if we are cooking fresh meals. It is very rare that a ready-made meal comes out cheaper than a home-made meal – and even rarer that it is tastier.

BLW doesn’t work for everyone. And, as with all parenting choices, the most important thing is what works for the whole family, no matter what that may be. It just so happens that it did work for us. More than anything, I feel it contributed to Archie being curious around food and engaged with the whole process of eating, from the shop right to the plate (via the mess in the kitchen, of course!). Hopefully it is also instilling in him a respect for food which will help make him more respectful to the value of food and, possibly, more respectful to waste too. Ask me again in ten years time about that one.


Thnak you Nick…lots of food for thought!!   Just a little photo of some of Nick’s chocolate tiffin….because it’s lovely. Find the recipe over at Nick ‘s place

my daddy cooks



  1. May 24, 2010 / 5:35 pm

    I agree, although when mine were of that age it didn’t have a posh title! We couldn’t afford to by special things for the baby, and of course it’s the perfect way to get them used to ‘proper’ food without having to go through a time consuming interim step. Of course, there are certain things that you have to be careful of, bones, very hot spices, etc., but that’s just common sense. ( It also means you might not get invited out to eat at some peoples’ home during the messy stage!) My daughter in law tells of a friend who when asking what she should feed her baby was told to just pureé what they had. She whizzed up a MacDonald’s meal!!

  2. May 24, 2010 / 8:53 pm

    I did baby led weaning with child number 2. I didn’t really think about the cost then but I can see that it is cheaper to do. My second child bizarrely is a much better eater than my first and this could be down to him having food plonker in front of him to chew/play with. Who knows? I liked BLW – I think its more fun.

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    May 27, 2010 / 5:22 pm

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