|first taste of banana|
Exactly a year ago, when he was about six months, Micha fed himself a banana for the very first time.
His first taste of solid food was pureed avocado, which he loved.
But quite soon after that first taste of 'real' food we decided that feeding him pureed food just wasn't the right choice for us.
After doing some research that confirmed our decision, we entered the world of Baby Led Weaning, and we never looked back.
We started out by feeding him soft organic fruits and vegetables, like banana, steamed sweet potato, steamed broccoli, pear(remember this post with the cute video?) and avocado slices.
After a few months of preparing separate food for him, which seems like a big deal, but actually isn't, we just had an extra pan on the stove with a steam basket and prepared his food while cooking our own meal, we let him eat a version of whatever we were eating, just without salt, sugar and heavy spices. We also introduced bread products, which I delayed due to possible gluten sensitivities.
When he was about a year we slowly introduced him to more spicy and salty foods and even let him eat things with sugar (gasp!).
And now, at almost one-and-a-half, he eats whatever we are eating.
Although I do cook with a lot less salt, sugar and a lot more organic products than before,
but that's only a good thing!
Baby led weaning has been such a great choice for our family.
Some of my favorite reasons to BLW:
- We get to enjoy meals together, without first needing to spoon feed Micha his meal. At Christmas we sat around the table for over an hour (!), while Micha happily munched on duck and cranberry sauce and whatever we put on his plate. I love that he was so included!
- Micha is learning about texture and flavor while eating his food, and apparently that's very good for his cognitive skills.
- We learned to trust Micha's ability to chew and swallow, in the beginning the gagging freaked me out, but I knew it was totally normal and it didn't phase Micha at all. We just reminded him to chew better and now he knows how to handle different types of food.
- Because I breast fed Micha at least three times a day until he was about one, we never had to worry if he ate enough, he'd just nurse a bit more that day. There was no pressure whatsoever for him to eat a certain amount of food.
- Because we never stressed about his eating, we've never had the whole 'power struggle' you hear so much about when it comes to meal times. (Although we've just entered the 'terrible two' stage, so maybe I'll be eating my words in a few months)
- We never need to bring separate meals along for Micha when we go out to eat, if there's a high chair and yummy food, it's all good!
- He is able to feed himself with a spoon and a fork, he loves his morning oatmeal porridge and yogurt for dessert in the evening.
Self-feeding can be a bit messy sometimes, so we always put a tablecloth under his chair and he wears big bibs with sleeves. The birds and rodents probably love the area underneath our balcony, heehee!
But, to be honest, he's not that messy anymore. His hand-eye coordination has improved and he usually finishes off every crumb on his plate, especially if we're eating something he loves.
His all time favorite foods include pasta dishes, oven baked potato wedges, any kind of meat or fish, fruit, porridge, almost every vegetable (broccoli and peas are his favorite) and any type of bread product.
He's not a big fan of rice and couscous, or stew-like dishes. He likes to be able to easily pick up the food (rice makes that hard) and wants to be able to distinguish the different ingredients on his plate (no mushed up foods for him).
I haven't used a lot of recipes specifically meant for BLW, but these recipes I shared on the blog are always a big hit whenever I make them.
I came across this blog recently and it has so many great recipes for BLW'ers.
All in all, I'm such a big fan of BLW and I can't wait to start all over with our second baby.
There's just something so special about seeing your baby discovering new flavors and textures and learning to really love food without any pressure.
What are your thoughts on BLW?