*Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to see an ADORABLE video of E discovering strawberries!!*
I first heard about Baby Led Weaning (BLW) in a mom group that I am part of. Several moms had discussed it and I was instantly intrigued. But, it was something completely different from anything I had seen done with any other babies, and I didn’t know where or how to start.
How Our “Picky Eater” Led Us to BLW.
I did know that rice cereal was not the ideal first food. Nutritionally it just isn’t great and babies’ stomaches are not capable of digesting it well. But, I also didn’t know where to start… rice cereal was the go to “first baby food” I had seen fed all my life.
So… we started with rice cereal. The cereal was mixed with Breast milk and we started testing the waters with solids.
Maybe E knew it was crap, maybe God knew I needed confirmation that it was in fact something we wanted to skip – I don’t know… but E wouldn’t eat it.
After discovering she didn’t like cereal, we tried a handful of bought purees – she didn’t like those either. I thought we had a picky eater on our hands.
If I had continued trying, maybe she would have come around, but I don’t think so. She made it quite clear she didn’t want anything to do with cereal, purees – any “baby food”.
Her distaste for all these foods was what pushed me into learning more about Baby Led Weaning.
Baby Led Weaning – Foods
So, we got the encouraging nudge into baby-led weaning by our baby who hated mush.
Instead, we began researching baby led weaning and now her main first foods were things like:
- avocado (still her most favourite)
- sweet potato
- And so, so much more – This might be the best part, she could eat what we were eating!
After getting over the uneasiness about not feeding her baby food – I immediately fell whole heartedly in love with baby led weaning.
Baby Led Weaning – Key Concepts
Baby Led Weaning is so simple. That is one of the best parts. There are a few key concepts to keep in mind, but mostly, baby eats what you eat! (Except no honey before 1 year old).
- Baby’s 6+ months old
- No purees
- Age/stage appropriate sized chunks of food
- Learn the difference between gagging and choking
Really, it’s so basic. Cook what you are having for dinner, serve it to the baby in safe, age appropriate sized chunks and let him/her feed themselves. It is great!
The Benefits of Baby Led Weaning
It is healthy whole foods, it introduces her to a world of textures, allows her to practiced fine motor skills, teaches them to manipulate their food and not choke, and conveniently, eat everything we ate.
She blew me away time and again with the foods she liked. She enjoyed, and pretty much demanded, lots of flavour. she didn’t want bland foods, she liked garlic, onion, pepper and other seasonings.
The looks we got at the restaurant when our 8 month old was eating slices of oranges and tomatoes on her own were priceless. people were blown away!
How cute is this?