Weaning is synonymous with mess, trial-and-error and puree. Some people prefer to wean their baby with solids, such as pieces of cucumber or dollops of hummus, letting the child find the textures and move their hand to their mouth, while others prefer a puree and spoon scenario.

And now Joe Wicks  – aka The Body Coach and bestselling cookbook author – is heading into weaning territory, too.

Wicks is going to do a live Q&A on weaning, as he’s a beginner himself.

However you decide to wean your child, there’s one thing the process of their first ever real food experience should be: Fun. Here’s how to take the stress out of weaning and make it more of a giggle…

1. Get ready for mess

There’s nothing worse than your kitchen or dining room floor going from clean to swamp-like as your child throws and drops food everywhere. So preparing for that can take away the stress of the mess.

A large sheet under the highchair will do, or even newspaper. Think of it as a craft session, with sauce instead of paint. Add in a good bib, lots of cloths to wipe, and off you go.

2. Be creative


Now’s the time to really have some fun in the kitchen. Make faces with food, choose veg which is bright and eye-catching, like sweet potato and broccoli. Anything to make it enticing.

Think about textures, too. Things that will feel smooth on the tongue but perhaps have a bit of an edge to them – banana can be smashed not blended, for example, or scrambled egg. Toast is often a winner, but make sure your top is covered if there’s jam around!

3. Presentation is key (for a while)


Have fun with presentation, too. Hey, it’ll likely end up on the floor, their face, your face… but at least for those first few moments you’ll have had the pleasure of arranging the food on a cute plate.

4. Batch cook


Weaning can be a challenge when you’re also juggling being back at work or other daytime activities. The answer is one of Wicks’ tricks: Batch cooking. If you make a puree, you can freeze individual portions ready to defrost for your little one.

5. Make some for yourself


If you want to try your baby on some fruit, why not blend a smoothie and have some yourself? It’s a breakfast for two, and he or she will see you having the same thing, which can only help.