Tag Archives: Best mummy blogger Dubai

When, What and How to wean your baby | by Sophie Tippins, British Dietitian.

Sophie Tippins is a Dubai-based British Clinical Registered Dietitian who has worked with the NHS Trust in the UK and in the private sector in Abu Dhabi with both adults and children.  She also is co-founder of the Wholesprog, and you can  follow her on Facebook or Instagram for more healthy food ideas for families.

You would assume that as a dietitian, I breezed through weaning my daughter with no trepidation and no rushed trips to the paediatrician. This wasn’t the case. Like most parents the idea of weaning filled me with both welcomed excitement, as well as the inevitable fear & confusion that come with this important stage of your child’s development.

A recent survey by Beechnut confirmed that I am not alone.  A majority of parents, 54% of those they asked, were also confused with weaning.

To help eliminate some of the confusion here is some guidance on weaning your little one from Whole Sprog.

When to wean

It is important not to introduce solids before 17 weeks as before this, little ones bodies’ are not ready. However, if after 17 weeks your baby is showing the development signs listed below then you can happily start weaning.

#can sit upright with little support

#able to hold their head up

#picking up toys and putting them in their mouth

#when you offer your baby food they don’t immediately push it out with their tongue (tongue-thrust reflex)

There is a five-week gestational age range of term babies (born between 37 and 42 weeks gestation) with every baby growing and developing at different rates. This means some infants will be ready to begin weaning at an earlier age than others. So watch your own baby for the above signs and try not to worry what other babies are doing! At 6 months your baby needs more iron and nutrients than milk alone can provide, so babies should start weaning no later than 6 months.

What to wean with

Irrespective of when you introduce solid foods, it is important to start with low allergenic foods (foods least likely to cause an allergic reaction).

First foods

#Root vegetables e.g. carrot, swede, sweet potato, parsnip, potato, yam

#Fruits e.g. apple, pear, banana, plum, peach, apricot, avocado

#Spinach, broccoli, green beans, courgette, cauliflower, butternut squash

After your little one has got used to eating some of these foods, you can combine with pureed lentils or pulses or puréed meats and poultry. These foods are high in the mineral iron which your baby needs to start getting from their diet from 6 months onwards.

These foods can be introduced from 6 months

#Cow’s milk (not as a drink), cheese

#Eggs, wheat, rye barley, soya

#Fish, shellfish

#Peanuts, tree nuts, seeds (avoid whole nuts until 5years)

#Citrus fruits

All new foods should be introduced one at a time, with a gap of 3 days in between each new food.  This makes it easier to identify any foods that may cause a reaction.   Normally reactions in the first instance tend to be minor, such as red blotching on the face or neck.

Foods that should be avoided before 12 months


#Soft or uncooked eggs

#Animal milk or alternative milks as a drink (rice milk shouldn’t be introduced until after 5 ½ years)

How to wean 

Baby led or spoon fed? We say both!

In reality most parents will do a bit of both.  It’s also likely the second, third, fourth child tends to do more ‘baby led weaning’ due to the fact that mummy is super busy and can’t give the same undivided attention that baby number 1 gets (guilty mum feeling sets in!).

When your baby is just starting their weaning adventure, offer them tastes about an hour after a milk feed around mid-day.  That way they are not ravenous, but hungry enough to be curious.  This also enables you to access medical help if in the worst case scenario, your little one has a severe allergic reaction.

Some final tips based on the evidence…

#Moving from puree to lumps. Some babies are kept on smooth foods for too long and those who are not offered lumps and finger foods by 9 months are more likely to be fussy eaters. After a couple of weeks on pureed foods you can move to a mashed texture.

#Drinking water. From 6 months when your baby is eating, offer a few sips of water from a free flowing sippy cup. Your baby may not even drink initially. But having the cup out will allow baby to become familiar with it and eventually they will be happily drinking.

#It doesn’t have to be boring. Babies, as we do, will enjoy a variety of flavours. Once you have added a few first tastes into their repertoire be adventurous and add herbs and spices to develop their palette.

#Interesting research shows that babies who are weaned on vegetables and continue to enjoy them are less likely to have a ‘sweet tooth’.

#Don’t take your baby’s facial expressions for not liking a food. Babies make all sorts of funny faces when trying new foods.

For more tips and advice on healthy weaning and food adventures, you can follow the Whole Sprog team on instagram/wholesprog or Facebook.

Sophie has a clinic at Up and Running Sports Integrated Medical Centre, Al Wasl Rd Umm Suqeim 2

Hashi Japanese at the Armani Hotel | Re-opens after the summer | New place for brunch

Hashi at the Armani Hotel is definitely one of my favourite places for Japanese food.  It has re-opened its doors after the summer and has brought a new brunch concept with it.  You will find a well-dressed and refined crowd with many regular guests being the residents of the Burj Khalifa who enjoy the convenience of its location, and generally people who want to experience a myriad of flavours.  Since Spencer Wadama joined as GM of The Armani Hotel, he has picked a superb F&B team including Chef Jimmy who heads up Hashi to bring a higher level of service and quality to the refined and discreet Armani property.

If you are not pressed for time it is also a brilliant place for a celebratory brunch followed by a short staycation at the hotel.

The Friday brunch includes a live violinist playing, and the food  on display are literally jewels on ice.  Some specials include beef tatami with balsamic sesame dressing, jumbo shrimps with uni cream and shimeji mushrooms, Angus tenderloin with leek miso and Black cod with hajikami.

If you wait until October when the weather is cooler you can sit outside, enjoy the fountains and the best view of the Burj Khalifa.  We do recommend booking as the secret is out that it is one of the finest Japanese restaurants in Dubai.

Hashi is open every evening, and on Fridays brunch is from noon – 4pm.

AED390 (inclusive of soft beverages)

AED490 (inclusive of alcoholic beverages)

Tel: 04 – 888 3444 

Email:  restaurant.reservations@armanihotels.com

One diamond please | by Roos Kriek

I have heard of a friend of a friend who has been complaining about the lack of a sparkler on her left ring finger. Because she is neither engaged nor married (being bad enough), her partner promised to give her one upon the birth of their first child… er, second child…. After a while, with her being rather disappointed in him and he somewhat fed up with her nagging about the ring, he decided instead to transfer a considerable amount of money into her bank account. It didn’t take very long at all for her to walk in and out of a Tiffany store and then post a photo on Facebook, showing that she had finally got her ring. No romance involved, just a financial transaction so she could acquire her new ‘best friend’.

Another friend once told me that she would only accept a Tiffany solitaire diamond ring when her future husband would ‘get down on one knee’. At that time, she didn’t have a boyfriend but it was clear that whoever did come along would need to be a clever (or at least wealthy) boy. In time, a suitable fellow arrived, the question was asked and – crucially – out came the green box that she had been waiting for for so long. I doubt that it all was entirely down to his own initiative.

Another story: American girl meets European boy. He gets her parents’ approval and vice versa. He decides to take the plunge and proposes with a diamond ring; she says “yes”. They both share the happy news with her friends, who upon inspecting her left hand say, “Ohhh, how cute”. He went for European style, apparently, which for people (like me) who need a translation, means: “Ohhh, can someone please hand me my glasses because I cannot see the stone”.

Ok, one more. All true stories, I promise.

A boy goes out of his way to get an engagement ring. Now even though he did spend the ‘common’ (or so I’m told) amount of three months salary on it, and she said “yes”, they went back to the jeweler together to exchange the ring for the one she really loved.

So, there you have it boys! No big deal, just some basic pointers as to how girls can be when it comes to engagement rings.

Given the tales above, it seems that for a guy the choosing of the ring could, perhaps, be more of a commitment than the choosing of the girl. Not in the least if we believe what we see on TV or in Hollywood movies – that he will drop down on one knee and she will start screaming upon seeing her reflection in the diamond sparkling up at her. Friends will sigh and say, “what a rock”, to which she will modestly chuckle.

But if that is not the case, will she say no? Did anyone ever say “no” to a proposal because the ring wasn’t right?

Not all married woman have a diamond and not all diamonds are from Tiffany’s. Although the products of this worldwide store are known for their high quality when it comes to the  4 c’s (carat, cut, color and clarity – which is how you rate a diamond), it does not mean that this is the only way to get a girl to say “yes”. Some questions are ‘popped’ with key ring holders or soda-can tops, others with a ring from the local fair.  It’s also worth remembering that diamonds may not be a particularly ethical choice (think ‘blood diamonds’…).

Let’s just hope that love is stronger then the value of the ring in the box. After all, it’s only really a result of one of the best marketing campaign ever to make such a big deal out of the expense. Many (well-known) jewelry stores happily lead insecure would-be proposers from their 0,25 carat section to the ‘real deal’ room with phrases like “it’s an investment”, “a once in a lifetime event” and, of their intended, “she must be really special”.

So, to all of you out there who are hoping to get married, here are two very important things to remember. One, a proposal is about the question and the person asking it. And two, don’t let any jewelry store salespeople persuade you to take out an extra mortgage. If it’s love, the answer should be “yes” no matter what the poor boy (or girl) is offering you…

Dubai | Some Christmas present ideas for children

I know that Christmas feels a long way off, but is it?  It is just 8 weeks away, and it is time for me to pick up a few things to get them packed and shipped over to Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK for family, friends’ children and Godchildren.   I have learnt my lesson never to leave all of my Christmas shopping until the last minute again.  My credit card, for one, can’t take all the expenses at once.

If you are determined to be more organised this year, Babysouk.com has now added two unique brands to their already wide range of children’s items.


Oobi, the award winning boutique brand from Sydney for childrenswear and accessories, was added to Babysouk.com’s new range this autumn.  Oobi’s design philosophy is to allow children to be children.  To see their new collection please visit Oobi.

PAPINEE Animalia

If you are looking for something unique, the PAPINEE Animalia collections are ranges of beautifully crafted accessories and toys, with a strong focus on children. They ignite creative development, to spark enthusiasm and education in the beauty of art, the world, and playful learning.

Animalia is the first series from PAPINEE…from the Deers of New York inspired by Basquiat, the Chrysler building and underground NYC graffiti; to the Monkeys of Mexico created with historical hieroglyphics from the Aztec and Mayan civilization; PAPINEE Animalia is born from a deep respect and love of the animal kingdom coupled with contemporary art and rich & exciting moments from history.

Go to Babysouk.com to find more children’s items for your Christmas list.