Maybe your baby is nursing or bottle feeding on a good schedule. And maybe said baby is sleeping or even, dare I say it, napping in a way that works for you. Just when you begin thinking you got this whole mom thing down, a whole new journey begins- starting solid food!
If you are someone who overthinks EVERYTHING (like me), solid foods is a big.freaking.deal - after all, this is a mom’s first chance to put their child on a path to good health... not to mention attempt to stop a future picky eater early on! After reading several books on the subject, I decided to try a combination of regular spoon feeding along with Baby Led Weaning. (I will cover why I am not using grain based cereals in a separate post for many of you who asked!)
If you haven’t heard about Baby Led Weaning, it’s a concept where babies pretty much feed themselves and decide what and how much to eat. As you can imagine, having a 6 month old feed themselves can be a MESSY AFFAIR! The benefits to Baby Led Weaning are that babies learn to be independent, baby can eat almost anything the family is eating and babies become exposed to way more variety of tastes and textures, making for a fun sensory experience!
If you are someone interested in feeding solids to your baby, then I got you covered! I’ll post some of my favorite resources, food ideas and products that will help you on your journey!
One caveat: If food allergies run in your family, you may consider taking you 4/5 month old to a pediatric allergist before starting solids. With the latest research pointing us towards introducing allergenic foods earlier than we used to, you may be interested in testing your baby for allergies and potentially introducing allergenic foods early on. This is what I've done and I'll post more about it soon.
The question of what and how to feed a baby is, like almost all the other advice out there, a very subjective one. Babies from different cultures and different regions eat wildly different diets! In India, seasoned lentils, rice and vegetables is typical. In China, egg and seaweed dishes are common. While the basic recommendation here in the U.S. is typically an iron fortified single grain cereal, such as rice cereal, many health conscious moms are increasingly nervous about the potential dangers of arsenic in rice and have been looking for substitutes. Also, busy moms like myself are looking for ways to get the whole family fed in a manner thats somewhat pleasant and efficient. ENTER BABY LED WEANING.
Why I Chose Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning is an entirely different approach than the standard "open your mouth for the airplane" type of feeding. With my first two kids, I used the standard spoon and puree approach. This time around, I wanted to give my daughter more sensory experiences, without adding more to-dos to my workload. My first daughter had a lot of sensory issues as a toddler and I often think she wasn't exposed to enough sensory experiences as an infant. She had so much anxiety around grass and sand and clothing (especially socks!) that I really wanted this baby to get way more sensory play. Baby Led Weaning is the perfect way to add different sensations and textures in a way that’s safe and fun!
First Foods My Daughter Loved
Here are some of the first foods I served my daughter:
- roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon and avocado oil
- steamed carrot sticks
- puréed apple sauce with cinnamon and coconut butter
-puréed zucchini with onion and garlic
- avocado spears
- hard boiled egg (white and yolk) quartered
- omelet cut into strips
- banana cut the long
How To Get Started On Baby Feeding
I stumbled upon an Instagram account @feedinglittles which ended up being an INVALUABLE resource for my own education on Baby Led Weaning. Their infant course, through a self paced video series taught me when to start foods, what foods to start with, and how to safely feed my daughter. They give you amazing product recommendations and I bought all their recommended products on Amazon within a day of doing the course! My favorite part of the course is when the instructors showcase a variety of babies eating and point out what is normal and what isn't. I know what red flags to look for as well as how to know that my daughter is enjoying the feeding experience. I HIGHLY recommend this course and for my followers, you can get $10 off the course with discount BUDDHABOWLS. If feeding your baby is something your interested in, then get over to Feeding Little's site asap!