Emmerdale’s Sheree Murphy on the ups and downs of weaning

The mum of 4 made it to the semi finals of 'Celebrity Masterchef' - but she's a family cook at heart

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Sheree Muphy’s a woman who seems to have it all – a hugely successful TV career starring in soaps Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Neighbours, a stint in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (she came second) and a brilliant run in Celebrity Masterchef where she reached the semi finals.

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She’s married to former footballer – now manager – Harry Kewell, and has 4 gorgeous children ranging in age from 15 to 4 – Taylor (the oldest) Ruby, Matilda and Dolly, the youngest. And despite juggling a very busy career with a full household and a husband who’s often away with work, Sheree admits she makes a home-cooked meal every night – and has always found weaning fun. Fun? Yes, fun. With all 4 kids!

She spent some time chatting with us here at MFM and gave us some insights into her weaning experiences – how she copes feeding the kids as they’ve got older – and her top tips for any new mum about to start weaning right now…

Is there anything you wish you’d known before you started weaning?

“Yes – that it can be quite stressful – especially if your baby doesn’t take to lots of food. And it can be frustrating. But try not to get disheartened. It is messy, but it is really exciting for mum, dad and baby too.

“I remember buying a new bowl and spoon for Taylor, and having the camera ready to take a picture – and I found it as exciting with all of my other kids too.”

Were you ever tempted to use jars – or was it all homemade?

“Yes – sometimes I did use jars of food if we were going out. And I think they do have plenty of nutrients in them. But everyone loves a home-cooked meal, even your baby – and if you’re pushed for time often this could just mean making your own meal and turning it into a puree for babies.”

Did you do baby-led weaning?

“To be honest, not really – I was a bit more old school, like my mum. I tended to persevere with giving my children different things. So, say they didn’t like sweet potato – I’d try mixing it with something different – like potato instead of carrot another time until they got used to it.

“If you stick with something they might just eventually go for it. Dolly eats broccoli now because I just kept putting it on her plate and eventually she went for it.”

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And did you read books or make it all up?

“I had every book under the sun! I had magazines too and looked online. And I made sure I stuck to the guidelines, too – weaning started earlier with Taylor, but the rules changed with my younger children.

“So one thing I would say is do make sure you check them, as they’ve been decided based on the latest evidence and are there for a reason.”

(By the way – if you’re a mum who prefers to watch videos rather than read up, Sheree’s done some great ones – just scroll to the bottom of this page and click).

What are meal times like at your house?

“I make sure we all sit down to eat, I think that’s really nice. And I think it’s good involve your baby, too. Try not to separate them – it’s great for them to be part of meal times and they’ll mimic what you’re doing.”

With 4 kids, do you find yourself having to make lots of different meals?

“Definitely not! And to be honest all my kids are fussy eaters. But they’ll get the same basic meal – nothing gourmet, something with fresh vegetables and potatoes, or bolognese – and I’ll add and take away what they do and don’t like. One doesn’t like mushrooms and another doesn’t like peas, but basically we all eat the same.”

And Sheree’s top tips for a mum about to start weaning?

  1. Keep it simple at first – stick to one fruit or vegetable at a time to get them used to the flavours.
  2. Don’t get too discouraged if they don’t take to a food straight away – it can take time.
  3. Prepare for lots of mess!
  4. Enjoy it – after all, it’s a really big milestone for your baby.

Read more

Sheree Murphy is working with SMA Nutrition on their ‘Come & Wean with Us’ campaign which aims to help new and first time mums through weaning.

Watch Sheree’s videos for some fab recipes

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https://youtube.com/watch?v=94C111HRPVI

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