Sunday, November 20, 2011

Food, glorious food...

We started Ethan on solids around 4 months old, I was very diligently boiling, pureeing and freezing fruit and veggies. Ethan took to the purees pretty well as well. At the same time I was giving him rusks to help with his teething, as you can see, he quite likes the rusks. I find that they can keep him entertained for around 20 -30 minutes or so as well which is great!

While feeding Ethan his purees I was also reading up on baby led weaning which means letting your baby feed themselves from the start (0r close to the start) of weaning. The key difference between baby led weaning and traditional weaning is the order that children learn to eat. With a puree, they learn to swallow first and then chew, which works fine until they meet a lump. With baby led weaning, the babies learn to chew first and swallowing might come some time later.

So with baby led weaning you just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don’t they won’t. That’s the essence of Baby Led Weaning. No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no baby rice, no weird fruit and veg combos… just you and your baby eating the same or similar food right from the start... its not all about finger food for the baby's you can "pre-load" a spoon for them to pick up and feed themselves as well.

Anyway, after all my reading I have decided to give baby lead weaning a good go.

So, for breakfast Ethan either has toast with avocado and marmite, cottage cheese or banana, weetbix soaked with expressed breast milk (soft enough for him to pick up and eat/suck through his fingers) or strawberries dipped in yoghurt.

As you can see, Ethan loves his toast, trying to get it all into his mouth at once!

For lunch/afternoon tea Ethan usually just has fruit (this is not yet a full meal). So far Ethan has had strawberries, watermelon, mango, orange and pineapple. Both his grandfathers should be pleased to note that Ethan LOVES mango (and all fruit really).

Baby led weaning is a lot messier than normal weaning as you can see below, but I can see Ethan's motor skills and pincer grip developing already. Picking up slippery bits of fruit from a high chair tray is not an easy thing to do.

For dinner Ethan simply has what we have for dinner. Last night he chewed/sucked on a piece of steak (until it resembled a grey dish cloth), ate some cucumber sticks and squeezed some sweet potato mash through his fingers. Tonight he had grilled chicken, tomato wedges (the seeds cut out), some baby spinach and avocado, and oven baked sweet potato wedges (the wedges were a big hit).

So far Ethan has had one gag, but other than that it is going really well. I am loving this approach to food!

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