For the third time in my life I am going through that fun stage of introducing solids. By fun, I really mean fun! Solids is a no stress issue in my home. There is no pressure for Grace to eat a jar of pureed foods that stays fresh on a shelf for 6 months. We are a Baby Led Weaning (you will see my refer to it as BLW) family and love it.
When my oldest was a baby I knew the AAP’s and WHO’s recommendation’s for starting solids. I waited until my daughter was 6+ months old, sitting up on her own, lost her tongue reflex and desired to eat. Once she hit those milestones I excitedly whipped out the jar of mush and put a small spoon full in her mouth. BLAH it all came out. Not only did it all came out… she started throwing up EVERYTHING in her stomach. We tried again a few days later, same results. I talked to her pediatrician at her next Baby Wellness visit who decided she needed to go to food therapy. By this point, though, I had discovered that she was more than happy to much on breads, cucumbers, apples and anything else I gave her. So our adventure began. We decided to try Baby led weaning and skip purees all together. It worked fabulously! She came to like food on her own and on her own terms. We followed the same style of food introduction for Ariel and now for Grace.
Reasons Why BLW is Awesome-
- Your baby eats because they want to eat, not because you decide the clock says it’s time to eat.We have enough of an obesity epidemic in our country without teaching our children that they need to shove down an entire jar of food whether they are hungry right now or not. All that teaches them is to not listen to their bodies and their own hunger cue’s.
- You have more control over what is in their food. There is no guess work over what preservatives are used to keep it fresh or dyes or knowing every single ingredient. Your biggest concern now is just not knowing if that avocado is GMO or not but there’s not too much we can do about that other than by organic and know you are doing the best you possibly can with what we have available to us.
- It’s pretty stinking easy! Dice up that avocado or banana (or steamed and cooled veggie or fruit), put it on their tray, and watch them to make sure they are safe and well.
- If your child happens to love purees, you can still give them some! Make some homemade baby food and follow your child’s cue’s. Let them feed themselves (yes, there will be a mess but that’s part of having a baby. you get messes to clean!) and don’t force them to eat more when they are telling you they don’t want more.
What about Baby Nutrition?
If your child is breastfed, you are in luck! Breast milk meets 100% of your child’s nutritional needs for at least 12 months of their life (and still meets a huge chunk of their needs after 12 months old) so solids is strictly for fun that first year. Yep, that means there is NO reason to force solids upon your baby. They are not at any risk of being malnourished if they don’t jump onto the solids wagon at 6 months on the dot.
If your child is formula fed, rest assure that formula does do a good job at providing your child with nutrients and vitamins. It is slightly more important that your child gets solids in the first year, though, because formula doesn’t have the ability to change and develop and personalize itself to your child’s current needs like breast milk does. BLW is still a great way to go, though, and may even the best way to go! If your child needs more solids in his or her life to supplement nutrition then loading their tray with cheerios and Gerber meat sticks is far from the best way to go. Having nutritionally dense foods available for him/her will get them on a great start for solids. Still, follow your babies signs, though. Over feeding them still isn’t a good habit to get them into. Your child will let you know when they want to eat and do not want to eat. Babies may not speak but they can very effectively tell us when they are unhappy.
What Do you Feed Her?
All kinds of yummies! Though I am all for a quick and easy snack of Earths Best something or other or some kind of organic puff or a dinner roll, these are not meals. Since the first year of life is for fun anyways, I only feed her things that are good for her body. Fruits and Veggies.
Grace has eaten Avocado, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Apples, Pears, Zucchini, Red Bell Peppers… ect. She isn’t even 8 months old yet so she is still very much in the learning and trying stage right now but she has enjoyed munching on all of these things. I will continue to stick to a fruit and veggie diet for her since it is healthy and matches up with our dietary lifestyle (flexitarians).
For lots of meal ideas and information on BLW Click Here