Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Basics of Baby Led Weaning

The Basics of Baby Led Weaning from a beginner
 I’ve been reading up on this Baby Led Weaning everyone’s been talking about, and I’m excited to say that tonight I finally tried it! Little Missy has been eating purées for about a month now, and while it’s adorable, it’s a time consuming process and I’m looking forward to proper food for her.

Getting messy with spoon feeding
    I wanted to wait for a few reasons to start BLW until Little Miss was ready. Although she had doubled her birth weight, she was unable to sit up on her own unassisted. Until now. This last week she seems to have finally gotten the hang of it! So while I unpacked the groceries one day I steamed a little fresh broccoli and decided to see what would happen.

She loved it!

    It was so exciting! She was eating real food! She chewed and smiled and babbled, and when it was gone she got sad. Sure most of it ended up in her lap (still not as messy as a purée) but just by the simple act of chewing on broccoli, she got a bigger, a little more dependant….and a whole lot cuter!

    So what is this Baby Led Weaning, anyways? Long story short: Baby eats what you eat. Steamed veggies, pieces of fruit and meat and cheese and get the picture. (Keep in mind there are things like honey and milk, which should be avoided in the first year. Please research first if you are unsure.)

    I know what you’re thinking. This has to be a choking hazard, doesn’t it? Not really. Things like grapes should be cut because it’s an ideal size and shape for a choking hazard, but in general your baby will respond to her gag reflex and not put too much in her mouth. Most of the food gets smooshed and dropped/thrown/smeared anyways. A good thing to remember is food before one is just for fun. They aren’t eating to fill themselves in the first year as their primary food source is breast milk or formula. It’s the perfect time to let kids be kids and play with their food. It’s so much fun for them!

    There are a lot of pros when it comes to BLW too, the first of which I discovered as soon as we sat down to eat. Usually I would be spooning food to her while I ate, and inevitably have to stop eating to clean up the mess from her wanting to play with the spoon, and having her cry if it took too long. This time though, it was the most pleasant meal we’ve had in a very long time. She played with her broccoli, chewed, smiled, watched us. Participated in meal time. When all her broccoli was shredded, dropped, and chewed we gave her another piece and continued to eat.
    It’s so simple with food prep too, because you are just giving her what you eat. Chicken breast? Shred a little and see if she likes it. Veggies? Just make sure they aren’t too salty or over spiced. Which brings me to the next great thing about Baby Led Weaning: It makes you and your family eat healthier. I steamed enough broccoli to have a large serving myself, and dished some of the raw stuff onto Hubby’s plate. Had I been busy with purées and spoon feeding it may have ended up being fries. When you feed your family healthy foods you eat healthy foods, and that is always an added bonus!

    I’ve also heard that it can help your little one to be less of a picky eater. Wouldn’t that be splendid? A child who ate a wide variety of veggies, ethnic foods, and was willing to try new things? Only time will tell, but if that is the case, put another point in the pro column for Baby Led Weaning.

    I’m so happy I came across this method of feeding my daughter. I was not enjoying the blended foods and messy spoon feeding and frankly, she seems MUCH happier eating mommy and daddy’s foods. I’m so excited to start making family dinners!

Please leave your comments below and share your experiences!

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