As soon as we started thinking about weaning, we were recommended Baby Led Weaning by the health visitors. For anyone that hasn’t heard of it before, it is basically waiting until your baby is 6 months to give them any type of food and then skipping the purée/baby rice stage and going straight into finger foods and letting your baby feed themselves. This is supposed to have many benefits for the baby such as having a smaller chance of becoming overweight as they in theory will only eat while they are hungry. It also means they learn to chew rather than just swallow and should mean they grow up liking a wide range of flavours and textures. I’m sure that could all be better explained but that’s my basic understanding of it.
After lots of thought I decided to try her with broccoli first as it has a good natural handle for her to hold onto but also boils down to be pretty mushy so there’s a very low risk of her choking on it, which is I think most people’s concern with BLW. I also boiled up some carrot sticks for her to try in case she didn’t like the broccoli. She seemed to prefer the broccoli over the carrot but wasn’t that excited by any of it although she did she pull a lot of funny faces and smear it all over herself and her high chair. We continued giving her broccoli once a day for a few days but I noticed that she would get cranky in the afternoons after eating which I think is down to the broccoli making her quite gassy and uncomfortable. We then tried her with potato and parsnip, she tolerated the potato and nearly enjoyed the parsnip which I think makes it the winner so far.
We’ve also given her loaded spoons of porridge so she can feed herself with that, definitely the most messy and sticky food we’ve tried! I wouldn’t really say she has enjoyed any of the food so far but I think that part of weaning is her just getting used to the idea of eating and exploring these different textures and flavours. She also isn’t eating much at all but that’s not a problem as she still gets all her nutrients and calories from breastmilk for now.
Probably the best advice I have been given is that “food is for fun until they are one” which is helping me not to stress about how little she is eating. I’m just letting her set the pace and I’m sure in no time she will love food just as much as her Mum and Dad do.
This week I am going to give her more interesting flavours rather than just plain vegetables. I am going to make fish cakes and also a vegetable bolognese for myself and Dan and give her the same as what we are having. I think she’ll enjoy this as she usually wants to grab whatever I’m eating!
Does anyone have any advice for BLW? Or any good recipes to try? I’ll do an update on our experience of it once it’s been a bit longer.