I’ll admit it, I get heart palpitations every time I feed my child. It has gotten better, but when I first started Cam on solids, the Baby Led Weaning way, I was nervous!
When I did Baby Led Weaning with Paige, it was different. I wasn’t sure why, but now I understand. First, it was my first time so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was sort of naive and uninformed, I was much better at going with the flow. But really the main reason why it seemed a little less scary for me the first time, was that Paige was a more delicate eater. She would nibble on foods and take tiny bites. Cameron? He shovels the entire piece of whatever I give him in his mouth.
So after a while I sort of went against what the Baby Led Weaning book suggested; which is to give them the whole piece. I started breaking things up and sort of mashing them a bit (such as the beans below).
I do give him large chunks of soft things like avocado (ripe) and banana (ripe), but the kid still has trouble with the idea of not putting the entire thing in his mouth!
With Paige I used to give her rice cakes with puree smeared on top (to sort of soften it a bit), but not Cameron. I did that once, and gave him one quarter piece of a large rice cake, and he put the entire thing in him mouth and it got stuck. I had to reach in, (which you’re never supposed to do), and pull it out!
Something else I’ve done, which I also did with Paige, is offer some purees. According to Baby Led Weaning you shouldn’t give purees because it confuses them; purees don’t need chewed, so then they get used to purees and are thrown off when you give them whole pieces of food again. This is why I never give completely pureed food, I always make sure there are chunks. I also allow him to spoon feed himself so he is in control the whole time (again, it’s a mess). I gave him some Daiya Blueberry yogurt (below) with chunks of blueberries. Holy mess (see my Instagram video!)
I’m a believer in doing what works, and for me offering a few purees here and there works. After all, Cam’s babysitter didn’t really feel comfortable giving him whole foods at six months. That’s understandable. I packed oat cereal for her to give to him, and asked her to make sure it was always a little chunky/lumpy (gross) rather than really runny. He did well. It’s also nice to use purees as a way to get his iron in. After about six months infant iron stores are almost depleted. If you arne’t feeding them formula it’s probably good idea to supplement with iron (always ask your doctor first) and this is especially true for infants who were born premature (like Cam, he was born at 36 weeks) because infant iron stores build up during the last three months in-utero.
So, I’ve yet to buy any baby food and am hoping to keep it that way. We are heading to Chicago at the end of the month and all I’m bringing are my breasts and some Cheerios. I will be giving him food off of our own plates.
My only complaint about BLW is that it’s messy. But, let’s be honest, infant and toddler meal times are messy regardless.
Paige gets a kick out of watching Cameron eat. I’ll tell you what, 99% of the time I have to take him out of his highchair, strip him down to his birthday suit, and throw him in the tub (ie: our kitchen sink).
So what have we been feeding him, you ask? Paige has been feeding him ice cream….
But here is what he normally eats;
Breakfast (always starts with breastmilk, then possibly includes some of the following)
- Cheerios (~2 Tbsp)
- Scrambled eggs
- Infant oatmeal cereal mixed with peanut butter or almond butter and pumpkin puree
- Whole Greek yogurt mixed with almond butter and cinnamon
- Frozen waffle (feels good on his gums)
- Homemade whole grain pancakes
- Kiwi (he’s in love wiht kiwi)
Lunch and Dinner (always starts with breast milk, then possibly some of the following)
- Anything from the list above
- Pasta with spaghetti sauce (messy!)
- Canned carrots, green beans, or black beans (no salt added)
- Tuna patties (without the Greek yogurt dip)
- Ground beef or turkey (sometimes made into burgers, he loves this!)
- Roasted veggies with a dash of salt and oil; brussels sprouts, broccoli and butternut squash so far
I’m excited to continue this journey with Cameron because I can already tell he is more into food than Paige was (she eats like a bird). I’m still convinced Baby Led Weaning is the best way to start babies on solids, but I know it’s not for everyone. The gagging is scary (although keep in mind it doesn’t increase choking risk, in fact it probably reduces it!), and it’s messy, and it’s just so far removed from everything we were ever taught about introducing solids. But, after reading the book I am truly excited about it and glad both my kids got to be introduced to food this way. Please feel free to e-mail me or send me a note on Facebook if you have any questions of your own.