Introducing Solid Foods & Baby Led Weaning
Are you ready to start your baby on solid foods? Are you overwhelmed by all the contradicting information that’s out there? Yeah, I was too. With most things in parenting, I try to make choices that feel right, authentic, and natural. I also tend to take the easy route, I like to call myself “lazy crunchy” because many things that are easy are also pretty natural and holistic. I found Baby-Led Weaning after attending a local workshop on the topic and I’m so glad I did. I read the book and knew that it felt right for my family.
Here’s the like to the book Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley Ph.D. & Tracey Murkett
So the gist of it is all about giving babies real food, in manageable hand-held sizes, and allowing them autonomy to choose how much to eat. It allows them the ability to explore textures and tastes while remembering the motto “food before one is just for fun.” This method also helps the baby learn how to listen to their body and satiation cues. While breastmilk (or formula) should be the primary source of nutrition for the first year, solid foods can be started as early as 6 months. However, it’s best to wait to introduce solids until the baby is sitting up unassisted with good neck strength, is able to move their jaw and tongue, and is showing an interest in foods.
Start with one food at a time. This allows the child to really engage with the food and determine how to handle it and how to eat it, while also pinpointing allergies or intolerances. With my kiddos we started with things like cauliflower that we steamed so it was super soft, sweet potato peeled and baked into big strips, banana peeled and left whole so it wasn’t too slippery to hold, and a plain omelet cut into chunks.
The book explains how and why this method works, and I’ll tell you I’ve seen it work for my kiddos. They are both adventurous eaters and we don’t struggle with getting our toddlers to eat their vegetables. In fact, whole bell pepper is often their meal of choice. Or cucumbers are a treat for dessert. I’ve never had to buy processed baby food in a jar or prep baby food at home. Check out the book! I think you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn!
And here’s the link to the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook for awesome ideas!