@eatingwitheliyah has kindly answered the Mama Community questions.
1. What foods are best to start with?
Whether you're doing purees, BLW (baby led weaning) or a combination of both, veggies are a good place to start. I started E with steamed veg cut into finger pieces, if you're doing purees blend the veg with breastmilk or formula milk.
From 6 months E also had breakfast, this would be porridge, toast fingers (various toppings), weetabix, soft pancakes (recipes on my page) it is always key to remember that baby probably won't eat much at 6 months, but playing with the food is also part of the weaning journey, and exploring the feel of the food and the textures.
2. When should I introduce allergens?
I started introducing allergens to E from 6 months. I would introduce in a morning, when I could keep an eye on her to ensure she didn't have a reaction. Avoid evenings before babies sleep, or before nap times.
Always introduce allergens on their own, and not mixed into food.
For nut butters, I rubbed a small amount next to her mouth to see if she reacted, if not, I then tried the next day with a little rub on the inner cheek.
3. How do you get kids to eat colourful foods who are petrified?
Exposure, continue to serve the foods, it could be weeks, over a month, but one day they will give it a go. Also eat these foods alongside your little one to encourage them, and you could serve them differently, cut them into fun shapes to make it more exciting! When E was younger she loved foods cut into shapes, she went a little fussy with fried egg and tonight I used a flower cutter to shape it and she ate it all!
4. What to do if your child has phobias around food?
Similar to the previous answer, I would continue to expose the food to normalise it, and encourage your little one and show them how you have a healthy relationship with foods.
5. How do you introduce new foods successfully to a very picky older child?
Introducing new foods is always tricky as it's the unknown to your little one. I introduce a new food to E alongside her favourite foods, and even if she only licks it, that's a huge step, and I remain consistent and will serve it again the week after.
Picky eating is so common, E is going through a picky phase at the moment and I just try and follow her lead and trust her eating habits.
6. Always stuck on ideas, do you plan for the week?
I did meal plan when E was younger, mainly as she didn't always eat what we did, and her dinner time was earlier than when we would eat.
I would also cook things in portion sizes where I could freeze them, such as pasta, pancakes, fritters, curry etc.
Now she's nearly 3 she eats everything we do. So I don't meal plan as much but I do want to start again and I will once the new baby arrives and it ready to wean.
Here is some recipe cards that @eatingwitheliyah has kindly shared with us.