It’s difficult to put everything there is to know about baby led weaning into one post. If you’re like me, the thought of beginning to wean your baby onto solids from 6 months is something that maybe scares you a little. Doctors tell us today that BLW is the way to go but there’s always that fear of choking and that belief that a baby with no teeth can’t chew. I had that fear at first but now I have a 14 month old that pulls food off my plate and aimlessly walks around the house munching on giant sweet red peppers with her 6 teeth.
I’m here to tell you that Baby led is the way to go! It’s going to be a messy, long and hilarious journey for you and your little one to take together and you’ll come out the other side simply amazed at what your toothless little chunk can do.
This post is split into sections:
. Choking hazards
. Great first foods
. Foods to avoid
. Fave BLW products
. What a 1 year old eats
Ok so this was my biggest fear and it is a logical and perfectly acceptable one to have. Noa’s grandparents thought I was mad to give her chunks of bananas and pieces of chicken to munch on at 6 months old instead of the widely accepted purées.
Choking is a real hazard but studies have shown that there is no greater risk of choking in BLW than in normal weaning processes. Noa has choked a few times while eating but it normally pops out or she manages to cough it up. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHECKING OUT CPR FOR BABIES VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE or heading over to the St Johns ambulance page and getting yourself clued up before starting your weaning journey (http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/first-aid-for-parents.aspx )
Choking is scary but honestly, the worst time Noa has ever choked and nearly died was on a leaf in the park and that definitely was not part of the BLW experience. Just be vigilant, be careful and be prepared but most importantly, be calm.
Great first foods
There are so many things to choose from and many years ago doctors recommended starting with FRUIT and VEG. Things are changing a bit now and modern doctors say that it’s better to start kids with a variety of things including meats.
One thing I hated was that here in spain doctors put so much importance on baby cereal. Baby cereal is a waste of calories in my and many other’s opinion. Noa hated cereal anyway and I felt no need to push it on her. If you choose to give your baby cereal that’s absolutely fine but for those of you that don’t want to, you can be sure that you can get any nutrients those cereals have into your baby with fresh foods.
Sprouts (8 months)
Meat and Fish:
Chicken (thigh is best as it’s full of iron or a chicken leg on the bone to munch on like a caveman)
Red meat (as home made meatballs or burger pattys or just in a nice messy bolognese)
Grains and Pasta:
Quinoa (packed with protein and iron and can be made into balls or pattys)
Pasta shapes or spaghetti
Tofu from 8 months
Turmeric is a great spice with lots of health benefits
Cheese (such as cheddar)
Coconut milk in cooking
Eggs (white from 6 months and yolk apparently from 8 because of allergies but things have changed again with this. Now some believe that you can give the whole egg from 6 months as I did)
Check out ANABEL KARMEL’S blw recipe book. It has some lovely ideas which I still use today for Noa and myself.
Foods to avoid:
Honey (May have a bacteria that causes botulism)
Whole Nuts (for obvious reasons)
Pork (this is just me, I find pork to be an extremely dirty meat)
Deli meats and hams
Certain Soft and unpasteurised cheeses
Fave BLW products
BLW is going to be messy! Just know that from the start! Your walls will be covered in tomato sauce and your clothes with banana. These lovely little babies also have a real love of throwing their plates off the table. My child nearly took my head off a few times and fearing for my life i decided to try out the amazing products from the award winning Bamboo Bamboo.
Bamboo Bamboo is the brain child of Joel Remy, a father of 4 with a love for the environment and my head staying on my shoulders. His amazing environmentally friendly and of course non BPA suction plates have saved my kitchen and my life countless times. They come in 3 gorgeous shapes (rabbit, racoon and fox) and are completely organic and, that’s right, made from plastic! Obviously joking! All products are 100 percent bamboo, protecting our kids, our kitchen and the environment.
Check out Bamboo Bamboo’s full range of products including their gorgeous bowls and spoons and their full story over at https://www.bamboobamboo.co/pages/about-us where you can also find great BLW recipes. You can also check out their Instagram at Bamboo_bamboo.uk. This is one company that I highly recommend and can truly say have thought about and responded to their customers needs.
Ella’s Kitchen and Babease
both have a great range of lovely textured foods that I find unpatronising to baby palettes. I have always found baby foods to be boring and bland but can safely say I’ve enjoyed a few of these packets. If you’re tired, don’t have time or just simply want to choose some baby food these two were Noa’s faves and allowed her to transition well from milk to food.
I’ve literally had to stuff my suitcase full of organix packets and bring them over to Spain because Noa loves them so much. These little snack packs are great for babies to munch on and use as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
What a one year old eats…
EVERYTHING! They eat freaking everything. At this point nothing is off limits except for a vindaloo and a box of Ferrero rocher. I now cook for myself and Noa together (not adding salt to hers) and we enjoy eating together (with me normally having to chase her around the house waving broccoli at her).
BLW allows babies to develop mentally and to enjoy their food journey. I’m not going to lie, Noa has enjoyed some biscuits, chocolate and a bit of popcorn in the past few months and nothing gives me greater joy than her happy face. Everything in moderation is key!
I really hope that this post has helped and that you enjoy every moment of the messy lunch times and your filthy kitchen as much as I have. Do not feel like a bad parent if you end up distracting your baby with toys or tv to get them to sit still long enough to eat when nothing else works. There will be days when it’s all you can do to feed your child and that is good enough. Some days they’ll eat like a champ, some days they’ll pick like a bird but just remember that’s what babies do, fill our lives with joy and drive us past the point of insanity.
All my love