If you missed Part 1 on How to Get Started with Baby-Led Weaning, you can read it here.
Raise your hand if you love food. I know I’ve got both hands up. Do feet count? If it hasn’t been made crystal clear yet, our little family loves food (pups included).
Before Harper was born, Eric and I (being the somewhat pretentious foodies that we are) declared that we would never be “kid’s menu” parents. Our baby would eat what we were eating. No doubts about it. I experienced this realization years ago when we went out to dinner with some of Eric’s old friends.Their 3 year old was straight up eating steamed clams right out of the shell. At that very moment I thought to myself: YES, that will be our child.
So what does this have to do with BLW? Gold star question. The theory behind this method is that babies are naturally curious beings. When they are ready for solids, if we put a couple of pieces of apple, banana or avocado on their highchair and just let them explore, we are speaking to their inner desire to figure things out for themselves. Think about it: how often in your life have you not wanted to do something simply because you were forced to. By letting baby take the lead at mealtime, you are allowing them to decide what to eat, what they like, and how much to eat.
In the last post we discussed which foods were best for getting started: simple, soft foods in fist-sized pieces. If you have concerns about choking, I suggest reading this NY Times article before getting started. My sister-in-law, Shannon, who also had great success using this method, told me about these neat self-feeders which are a good medium if you want to try baby-led weaning but are afraid of giving your baby pieces of food.
Of course when you decide to introduce different foods is up to you. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I would do things differently the second time around. Below you’ll find some ideas and recipes for foods to introduce starting at 6 months and up to 10 months.
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Best Foods for Baby-Led Weaning
+Mashed Avocado & Banana
+Steamed/Roasted Carrots, Butternut Squash, & Sweet Potato
+Earth’s Best Baby Oats mixed with Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt (I would put this on a spoon and she would feed herself which took her a few tries to master – see yogurt massacre below)
+Black-eyed peas, Steamed Green Peas & Shelled Edamame
7 & 8 Months
+Fusilli Pasta with Avocado & Cheese
+Organic Valley Colby Jack Cheese Sticks
+Halved Cherry Tomatoes
9 & 10 Months (this is when we introduced the common allergens and white meat)
+Shellfish/Seafood: Steamed or Roasted Shrimp, Grilled Salmon, Homemade Fish Sticks
+Chicken & Turkey: Homemade Chicken Nuggets
+Peanut & Almond Butter: Lightly spread on Whole Grain Toast, Waffles or Pancakes
More Baby-Led Weaning Resources!
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Disclaimer: As I’ve mentioned before, I am just a mom, not a doctor. So if you have concerns, always discuss them with your pediatrician.
Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. I only recommend products that I love and use myself!