Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventures in Baby Led Weaning

Remember all that baby food I made awhile back? Bruce won't eat it.  Well, he will, but he is really not a fan of the spoon feeding or of purees in general.  He did so well with banana chunks and those breastmilk popsicles that I decided to give Baby Led Weaning a go.  I had heard of it before and dabbled a little when Dean was a baby, so I was familiar with the concept. 

I joined a Facebook BLW support/info group and found this info there:

Basically, you ditch the pureed baby foods and give baby whatever you're eating. Provided it is safe for them - not a choking hazard or allergen, cooked when needed, always supervised while eating, age appropriate, etc. 

What is fabulous about this style is that he eats meals WITH us.  No one has to spoon feed him (wrestling to get the spoon out of his hands with each bite) instead of enjoying their own food.  He can even sit on my lap and pick off my plate when appropriate.  Also, baby only eats if they WANT to - I remember Dean had no interest in food at 6 months and was frustrated when we shoved food in his mouth.  Bruce, on the other hand, reaches for anything he sees and tries to eat it all!

Today my son went to town on chicken from my fajitas! It was date night with the hubs and baby came along, as usual.  He munched on a piece of chicken, cooked pinto beans, grilled peppers, diced tomatoes, and avocados.  It was crazy to watch him eat all this REAL food, even though he has no teeth! And he LOVES it!

At breakfast this morning he ate banana chunks and Happy Baby veggie puffs. He will even drink water from a sippy if I give him one.  He gets plenty of mama milk so he doesn't need water, however since he refuses to take a bottle I thought it would be nice to get some practice with the cup for when I'm away at BSF.

Last week I peeled and cooked up a couple sweet potatoes; instead of pureeing in the blender I cut them in big chunks.  Bruce can easily grab these, pick them up, and mash them up in his mouth. Add a couple dairy-free rice crackers and he's got a meal!

At our softball picnic on Saturday Bruce was chowing down on a chunk of cantaloupe! He chomped on that bad boy until it was almost gone - mashed up and juice sucked out! He also loved the pasta noodles and chicken from our Chicken Pasta Salad.  

A classic Baby Mum-Mum is always great to have on hand in the diaper bag.  It made an impromptu breakfast date with my hubby possible!

So we're loving this whole Baby Led Weaning thing and it makes for way less messy clean up! Foods that have worked well for Bruce so far (we have to avoid dairy):
-oyster crackers are perfect size and texture
-cut up peach chunks (I didn't even need to peel it or cook it)
-cut up apple chunks (these I did peel and cook in a microwave steamer)
-banana chunks
-avocado chunks (he also loved a bowl of chunky guacamole and a baby spoon, it was messy but good practice for him)
-mango slices
-sweet potato slices
-cooked, peeled white potato
-cooked pasta noodles
-animal crackers (organic, dairy free, but yes there was gluten - our pediatrician said it was fine)
-Baby Mum-Mum rice crackers
-Happy Baby banana and veggie puffs
-Cheerios (I'm trying to steer clear of food dyes if possible so his sisters gave him Fruit Loops once and he ate them but I won't be giving them to him again)
-cantaloupe chunks
-seedless watermelon chunks
-cooked baby carrots
-cooked plain chicken - supervise while eating!
-red and green peppers (cooked, cut into strips)
-he LOVED my dairy-free quiche (pie crust, eggs, rice milk, worcestershire sauce, diced ham, cooked sausage, crumbled bacon)
-tomato pieces
-he's really into toasted mini bagels, halved but not cut up.  He chews on the whole piece, seems to help with teething.

There is SO MUCH he can eat - and he loves it all!  What fun!