There is a school of thought in this country that when babies reach a certain age, they develop a craving for mushed up vegetables. From this point on you feel you must strive to provide interesting flavours and exotic fruit and vegetable combinations.
In reality, most parents will tell you that weaning can be stressful and messy with you wearing more lovingly pureed butternut squash than your little one can consume in a week! Said little one will sit in the high chair with lips firmly clamped, occasionally letting the spoon in only to spray the veggies back out and then stick a chubby baby hand in the bowl you were sure you’d put out of reach!
So why do we do it? Why don’t we follow the example of other cultures and let babies decide for themselves when they want to start eating solid food? The idea of baby-led weaning is as old as the hills but has been overlooked in recent years as new mothers have increasingly been told what they ‘should’ be doing by magazines and marketing companies.
The idea of BLW is to have appropriate food available to your baby, but not to force or even spoonfeed them. It’s a bit scary at first, especially if you are used to shovelling in mush, but your baby will soon show you what is needed!
I have two children, the first, Alexander, was weaned like most babies in this country and my second, Ruby, was weaned with BLW techniques. I can assure you that the second was much easier!! I used to give Ruby boiled carrot batons, broccoli (her favourite!) or chunks of boiled potato which she would eat at the table as we had our extended version! She didn’t eat much at all until she was about 10 months but she was still drinking a lot of milk and her chubby thighs were testament to the fact that she was not fading away!!! There was always plenty food available to her, she just took what she wanted.
I am so glad to have discovered the BLW techniques, we have never had any battles over food with Ruby, mealtimes with her are very relaxed and she will eat ANYTHING (chilli and curry are the favourites!) which is more than can be said for her brother!!
BLW Food Suggestions
- - Sliced banana
- - Grated cheese
- - Rice cakes
- - Small sandwiches
- - Peeled, sliced apple
- - Cheese on toast
- - Sliced peaches/nectarines
- - Strips of cooked meat
- - Sliced mango
- - Oatcakes with houmous
- - Halved grapes
- - Boiled carrot batons
- - Boiled potato chunks
- - Boiled butternut squash chunks
- - Boiled broccoli florets
- - Boiled cauliflower florets
Written by Laura Park, devoted mummy to Alexander 3 and Ruby 21 months.
Laura is also the owner of Brightspark Slings, home of the Coorie Fleece Pouch Sling – it’s how your baby would choose to travel!