Tuesday, August 5, 2014

adventures in solids

It has been so much fun to start Charlotte on solid food! I have been keeping notes on which food she tries and how things are going so far. This is my first update about our adventures in solids, following the ideas of "baby led weaning."

First of all, let me explain what "baby led weaning" is and why we have chosen to go this route.
Baby led weaning (BLW) is an approach to introducing solid foods based on the fact that infants can get most of their essential nutrients from formula or breast milk for the first year of life. Introducing solids before one year is "just for fun" and shouldn't be a battle to get babies to eat. This book is amazing and has been an invaluable resource as we start this process. There are also lots of good resources online (I loved this post!)

Here's why we've decided to go the BLW way:
  • autonomy- Our hope is for Charlotte to learn to feed herself and to gauge when she is hungry or full. We never want to force food into her mouth or pressure to eat if she isn't hungry. We also want to support her in developing coordination and self-care.
  • health- As does every parent, we want to encourage Charlotte to eat fruits, veggies, protein, etc. We hope that by encouraging BLW, we'll set Charlotte up for healthy eating habits in the future. She is eating all kinds of fruits and vegetables in their natural form and so far doesn't seem to dislike anything she's tried.
  • time-saving- We really want to eat together as a family and have community around our table. BLW allows Charlotte to feed herself so we aren't spending lots of extra time preparing "baby" food and/or spoon feeding her. 
  • fun- Babies learn through play. They experiment by putting things in their mouths. We are encouraging both by allowing Charlotte to try things and see how they feel and taste.
For my own memory and because I think it's fun & interesting, here's a list of what Charlotte has "eaten" so far... 
July 19: first food-- red pepper!
July 24: breakfast- egg (too soft to hold well; some in mouth; mashing on table); lunch- banana (sliced in finger-shaped strips, with peel on outside)- loved licking, could hold easily, made funny face and spit out pieces she got into mouth, swallowed some
July 29-31: corn on the cob, steamed green beans, steamed broccoli, dill pickle, raw red onion, watermelon rinds, crust of toasted rye bread, blueberries, strawberries, small bits of pulled pork, steamed carrots with cinnamon (spit out both kinds of berries- strawberry was very slippery and hard to hold; loved broccoli, corn, and green beans)
August 2-3: pasta salad, lettuce, tomato, a few bites of ice cream
August 4-5:  pizza crust, homemade smoothie (frozen spinach, frozen berries, vanilla Greek yogurt, 1% milk)

Future posts on this subject will cover safety, gear, dealing with the mess, and more new things Charlotte learns to eat. What else do you want to know?!

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