We chatted to Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, about his new weaning book, Wean in 15
He’s secured his status as the nation’s PE teacher after the UK went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. But now Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) will be releasing Wean in 15, a brilliant new book filled with weaning advice and recipes for babies.
The recipe book features 100 different recipes to introduce to baby’s mealtimes, from first foods to tasty dishes that the whole family can enjoy.
Written in partnership with infant nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed, parents can also find weaning guidance to help get their little one started on solid foods, plus advice on introducing new flavours and overcoming fussy eating.
We spoke to Joe Wicks about Wean in 15 to ask what it was like to write his first book for parents, and for a few quick tips for those having difficulty with their children at mealtimes.
Joe, can you tell us a bit about your new book, Wean in 15?
Wean in 15 essentially includes everything you need to take your baby from breastfeeding to first foods and beyond. It’s filled with recipes and up-to-date advice from nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Read, and it’s conveniently split into age stages. It’s a really lovely book – I’m really proud of it.
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It should hopefully give parents the confidence to go into the weaning journey feeling relaxed, and get their baby off to the best start. We all want our children to be healthy eaters and develop good habits, and the book has all sorts on how to handle fussy eating and how to create a calm environment at mealtimes.
What sort of recipes are there in the book?
A lot of the recipes are simple things like purees, plus lots of textured foods to enhance baby’s senses, like mashed butter beans and kidney beans.
There’s also dishes like baby risotto, chilli, bolognese, and orzo pasta with creamy sauce. When you think about it, they’re essentially just mini adults meals for babies!
Wean in 15 is quite different from your other books… what was it like writing it?
It was very different! Thankfully I had Charlotte to help with the research-based side and the NHS guidelines – I don’t think I would have had the confidence to release a book like this without a professional like Charlotte.
This meant I was really able to focus on the recipes and bring in my anecdotal experience with my daughter Indie. So, in that respect, it was easy to write!
Did you learn a lot from writing the book?
Yes, I learnt a lot from Charlotte. She coached me through the whole process with Indie, and she was brilliant at giving advice when I was unsure about anything.
I ended up really enjoying the experience because of that. It meant I could be consistent with Indie, and she’s become a really healthy eater. So, I have a lot to thank Charlotte for!
What’s your daughter Indie’s favourite dish from Wean in 15?
Indie loves the broccoli and cheddar tots, they’re really yummy. I tried out most of the recipes on her – she wasn’t a fan of some of them, but she enjoys the majority.
What advice would you give to parents having difficulty with their kids at mealtimes?
The most important thing for me is role modelling. So, sit down with your baby at mealtimes and eat with her – let her watch you, and then she’ll mimic your behaviour.
If you’re anxious about your baby eating, she’ll pick up on that, so the more relaxed you can be, the more relaxed she’ll be around food.
Parents should also be getting the whole family involved in mealtimes – even if it’s just adding some finishing touches to a dish, like a few berries on top of some porridge. These little things are so important, as they enable kids to connect with the food in a positive way.
Another thing to think about is consistency. Be assertive with the food you’re offering and don’t crack under pressure by giving her alternatives to things she doesn’t want. If you do, she’ll know she can reject food and that she’ll get something else she likes.
Is Indie a bit of a foodie?
Yes, she loves to eat and she is quite a foodie! I love challenging her with new dishes and coming up with new recipe ideas, using spices like paprika and cumin in curries. She’s not the sort of baby who loves a big steaming bowl of green beans and broccoli, but she’s a big fan of flavour!
Joe Wicks’ Wean in 15 is available from 14 May, published by Pan Macmillan.
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