Joe Wicks on Fatherhood and Weaning

Posted on 5th June 2020 by Mark Skinner

Having got the nation into shape via his home workouts and online PE lessons, Joe Wicks has confronted the contentious issue of weaning in his latest book, Wean in 15. As Father's Day approaches, the Body Coach himself discusses his approach to parenting and why he felt it so important to impart his advice on getting children onto solid food.    

Parenting is a journey of ups and downs, smiles and tantrums, tears and laughter. Although it can be very unpredictable, it is certainly fun!

You will know this already if you follow my Instagram @weanin15_, but it’s very important to me that I share my reality of life as a father, because it is certainly not perfect every day and I’m still learning. I want to inspire parents to help give their babies the best possible start in life. There are so many mixed messages online now about what’s right and wrong when it comes to parenting. I know in my experience that this left me feeling really confused and nervous.

I’m passionate about getting people to eat healthy, home-cooked food. Now I’ve had two babies, I’m more convinced than ever that this should start from the very beginning with the littlest of people. The aim of my latest book, Wean in 15, is to give parents the confidence to start weaning and to help them enjoy it, knowing that you are doing a great job, no matter how rough or smooth the journey is.

The truth is that when me and my wife Rosie started the weaning process with Indie at 6 months old we were completely clueless. We had no confidence because we had no experience. Indie was our first baby and we really wanted to be sure we gave her the best possible start. We had the usual concerns that most parents have . . . Are we doing it right? When do we stop giving her milk? It was a learning process, and thankfully we were given expert advice from a registered nutritionist, all of which we share in the book.

I never sat down and ate as a family as a kid – I’d come home from school and we would have a sandwich and maybe some pasta – so I’m making a conscious effort for all of us to be there at dinnertime. And I’m really enjoying the progression towards sharing family food with Indie and Marley. It’s much more inclusive. I’m trying to create a really calm environment and that’s going to have a massively positive impact on both my kids.

Every day I’m evolving as a parent. I know it’s okay to not be perfect. And each day Indie is learning and observing. She likes to watch me when I’m cooking and I let her sit on the side at home and she helps me stir things. I want to be a role model for her by cooking for the family and doing exercise in front of her. This is my whole ethos towards parenting: relax, have fun and enjoy the process. Staying calm, patient and relaxed is so important – I know at times it can be difficult, and sometimes we all get a bit confused about what to do next – but all the effort is worth it.


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