Thursday, November 4, 2010

Adventures in Baby Led Solids (Weaning)

So Mini girl is growing fast and exploring this amazing world. The time has come to introduce some new flavours and textures into her diet. There is this new 'thing' called Baby Led Solids (or Weaning) depending on which part of the world you are from. Abbreviated to BLS or BLW by savvy mothers.

This idea is not a new one, I am sure you would hear many a storing about this from your aunties or nana or maybe even your mother. The idea has gather motion with the publication of Gil Rapely's Book "Baby Led Weaning" .

So basically, no puree or prepared 'special' foods for baby. Introducing them to your diet with appropriate guidelines...the usual no nuts/egg/choke-able things. After 6 months, not around or before. Research has shown that babies under 6 months generally dont have the skills to sit up, bring food to their mouth and swallow it. They are just not physically developed enough to do this. Sure there may be some exceptions, but try to give a chunk of apple to a 4 month old...they drop it. If they do get it to their mouth it soon falls out.

It follows 'food before one is just for fun' a great saying that helps parent to feel at ease with their kids not eating three meals a day at six months of age. A breakfast or bircher muesli and juice, lunch of cucumber finger sanwiches and a roast leg o lamb for dinner. Or is that Iron fortified rice cereal, pureed pumpkin and rice for luncheon and pureed spinach and chicken for dinner topped of with some chocolate mousse.

So here are some photo's of Mini girl with her first piece of food, a chunk of apple.

And a few weeks later with some pumpkin soup. She was a bit confused about what to do with the soup, until she finally squished it in her palm and then brought it to her mouth.
This photo needs a bubble..."where is the food gone mumma?"

We followed BLW with our Midi girl and she has a varied palate and tries most everything put before her. The Maxi boy had rice cereal from from 4 months and the assorted puree of pear/apple/pumpkin etc...only now at almost 6 is he starting to try and love various things.

So BLW means babies don't 'choke' on food, as they self feed and regulate how much they put in their mouths and can spit large chunks out if need be. They may 'gag' but this is their natural self protection against choking, it is a skill that needs to be learned. Purees don't add anything but calories to the babies diet. Solid food isn't about calories and breast milk is their main source of nutrition form 6 months to 12 months and then onto 2 years, as recommended by the WHO (World Health Organisation)

It is never to late to start BLW , even if you are using puree or mashed foods you can start BLW

Happy eating.

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