Sunday, November 3, 2013

First Time “Eating” Solids: Baby Led Weaning Style

Jase will be 6 months on Friday, and he has been showing a major interest in our food….so we decided it’s time to introduce solids!

After lots of reading and research, we decided to go with the Baby Led Weaning method of feeding Jase. (Thank you, Emily, for introducing us!) It’s totally up to each person what works best for their family when it comes to food- but this seems to make the most logical sense and work the best with what we already eat and believe in terms of nutrition. There seem to be so many advantages to letting your little one choose what they eat, how much, how long it takes, etc. Breast milk will be his primary source of nutrients for the whole first year anyway, so as BLW and Kelly reminded me, food is just for fun and exploration for the first year. I am so excited for him to try lots of yummy, healthy foods and hopefully cultivate a love for clean, well-rounded eating.

I also like that I will be able to feed him what our family eats, and HE will be a part of OUR meal time rather than me spending my whole time feeding him, preparing him his own food, etc. It means more time together, and the health benefits of this type of diet are immense.

My biggest suggestion when it comes to solids is to talk to your pediatrician and educate yourself. Ours recommended starting solids and cereal at around 4 months, but we decided to wait and exclusively breastfeed till 6 months. This article (thanks for sharing, Melissa) explains way better than I could why we decided to skip cereal. I also like the idea of making your own baby food with organic fruits and veggies & that’s what I intended to do before reading this book, but like I said, Baby Led Weaning’s method was even more logical to/for us.

As far as drinks, we plan to do only water and breast milk for as long as possible because we want to avoid refined sugar. (I know people are probably thinking we are extreme…but we want to set him up to have the healthiest possible appetite…and we know that refined sugar is TERRIBLE for you and extremely addictive. Excessive amounts can lead to childhood diabetes, obesity, and a plethora of other health issues. It is OUR responsibility to monitor that type of thing before he is able to make those types of decisions for himself.)

Our friends Laura & Larissa started recently started solids, and it got us so excited to get started with J$!  So today, we introduced little man to avocadoes, steamed broccoli, and carrots while we were eating lunch. I was expecting him to devour it because he always shows such an interest in food, but he was a little more reserved than I expected. I’m not discouraged, and as the “meal” (I say that lightly- it’s not really about eating….he already had a full meal of milk) went on he seemed to  become a little more interested. Here’s the video of his first few seconds eating “real” food.

We said a blessing before lunch, and aside from thanking the Lord as we normally do, we also asked for safety and protection. Here we go!!

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“I’m ready, Mom! I think I’ll try the broccoli first.”

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“I see you & Dad eating this stuff all the time….it’s gotta be good!”

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“What the heck is this? This isn’t my milk!”

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“I think I’m going to put that down and give something else a shot.”

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“Maybe I’ll try this avocado thing. Green is my favorite color, after all…”

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“Shew wee! Nope, don’t like this thing either.”

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“Yea, I’m gonna have to go ahead and spit that out.”

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“How about a carrot??”

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“Aww man, accidentally got more of that avacado stuff.”

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“Let me try that broccoli one more time.”

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“Nope. Still no good.”

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“I just don’t know about all this.”

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“Okay, I’m done. I’m getting myself out of this chair.”

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“What? Do I have something on my face??”

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“Ya know, Mom…I think I’ll just stick with my foot.”

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“Yep, that tastes way better.”

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He didn’t seem to love anything like I thought he would, but I want to get him to enjoy a variety of veggies before I introduce sweets to his palate (like bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, etc.). I know he will learn to enjoy these more as he has more exposure to them, and am looking forward to continuing this journey.

I encourage all parents to at least check out the book and determine if this may be a good method for your family and little one. It’s never too late to start!

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Here are a few tips, but of course I recommend reading the book:

  • Ensure baby is supported in an upright position.
  • Start by offering foods that are easy to pick up (cut in finger like shapes/sticks).
  • Offer a variety of foods.
  • Continue breastfeeding like normal and offer water with meals.
  • Be familiar with infant CPR.
  • Don’t offer foods that aren’t good for him. (fast foods, pre-packaged, added salt or sugar, choking hazards)
  • Don’t offer solids when he is hungry. Milk first.
  • Don’t hurry or distract him when he is eating.
  • Don’t put food into his mouth for him- let him do it.
  • Don’t persuade him to eat more than he wants.
  • Think of mealtimes as playtimes in the beginning.
  • Don’t except him to eat too much at first.
  • Include him in family meals whenever possible, but don’t stress about him missing a BLW “meal.”
  • Expect a MESS!!!
  • Watch for reactions as you introduce new foods.
  • NEVER leave your little one alone with food.

8 comments:

MelissaandBrendon Barth said...

I have to say we did the no juice thing also and my daughter who is 2 1/2 dislikes juice. We have offered it to her several times and I think it is just too sweet since she never acquired the taste for it. About a month ago we got her to try apple cider because it was in a light up Snoopy cup and she drank it. So now we give her about 1 cup or not even a day...good thing is, it is organic with no junk in it.

Andrea said...

Haha love all the photos! Hang in there! We did BLW and our son didn't really start eating much food until he was 9 months old. I wrote a post about it recently if you want to check it out. :) -Andrea
http://www.handandtheheart.com/2013/10/why-we-love-blw.html

P!nky said...

What great pictures, something to always treasure :)!

Great post, thanks for sharing all the info.

jackie said...

We didn't do ANY juice with our little one. I just don't think it is necessary. Most people think i'm a crazy mom. She just drinks water and milk (she is now alomst 2). I look forward to seeing how Jase does with this method of feeding! We may try this for our next baby. Thanks for sharing!

Candace said...

I always look forward to your posts & have a little one just a couple months behind Jace so like to get tips & advice from you. I really appreciate your stance on many issues & appreciate that you put such great topics out there. I also plan to use BLW. My only recommendation would be to be careful with combining foods at once. If he has an allergic reaction you won't know what it was to. Thanks for posting these sweet pictures & for all of your advice!

Anna D Kart said...

Ohhhh my! That's so funny!

Beth B. said...

HAHA! Your "Jase thoughts" were cracking me up. It will work out, hang in there. He is bound to like his veggies :)

life as Mrs. said...

aw love your guys' accents! his face is priceless in the video like wth? is this stuff?! And Kenz would much prefer her foot and sock too lol I def am going to look into this book! thank you!!