We started letting The Dude experiment with solid foods in mid-December, when we handed him a stick of either rutabaga or turnip (we don’t remember which anymore, but either way, it was from our garden). He enjoyed it as an alternative teether as much as anything.
Since the beginning of the month, we’ve been making a more concerted effort to let him sit at the table and try some solid food at least once a day. After reading the eponymous book, I decided Baby-led Weaning made a lot of sense:
Baby-led weaning is a way of introducing solid foods that allows babies to feed themselves – there’s no spoon feeding and no purées. The baby sits with the family at mealtimes and joins in when she is ready, feeding herself first with her fingers and later with cutlery (from the BLW leaflet).
So far, he’s tried rutabaga/turnip, carrot, sweet potato, rice cake, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, pear, apple, pumpkin, oatmeal, and homemade bread. Many of his first foods came from our garden.
As this photo (and later, his diaper) attests, he was pretty into the broccoli. Actually at one point during this “Fun With Cruciferous Veggies” meal, he was double-fisting broccoli and cauliflower. At another point, he put the cauliflower in his mouth, leaving his hands free, one to hold broccoli, the other to hold cabbage.
Although this picture might look more like conventional puree spoon-feeding, the difference is that The Dude is “feeding” himself. Also, we did not cook and puree this squash for him, we just happened to have extra from a big batch we prepared for pumpkin bread.
In addition to the website link above, you can read more about Baby-led Weaning here. So far, we’re taking it slowly and having fun introducing the delicious, wholesome foods that make up a regular part of our diets.
How wonderful! My first baby (thirty years ago) I made my own food. The second baby wanted none of that and didn’t get into food til he was a little bit older then the first. He went right into feeding himself and when I realized how much easier this was, for my third I didn’t even try to have a formal event of introducing my food. She ate what the rest of us ate when she felt ready. Funny, my pickiest eater was the first that had the more formal food introduction
Colleen — the idea that BLW can help prevent “food fights” and picky eating down the road is definitely part of the attraction for me. There are no guarantees, of course, but a laid-back approach to food, offering the baby healthy choices and allowing him to choose and feed himself, combined with parental role modeling, are all steps in the right direction.