Baby-Led Weaning

Lila is now 6 months old and is eating solids.  Baby-led weaning is the philosophy we decided to follow in our introduction of solid food.  It has been quite an adventure and many of our family and friends have given us some pretty questionable looks when they see or hear about what Lila is eating these days!  I will add some pictures of the foods we have tried so far and will continue to add to the main blog.

While many babies start "solids" with rice cereal we decided to skip that step.  I have known lots of parents who have had babies and toddlers who refused to eat certain things and have seen so many parent and child battled over spoon feeding.  I really wanted to avoid that if possible (its the part of me that avoids confrontations like the plague.  I have a terrible guilt complex and hate for people to be mad at me, especially my precious Lila!  I'm sure this will all change as she gets closer to the teenage years!).  I started to do some research on baby-led weaning and decided that I really liked the philosophy.  Basically, babies choose what they want to eat and how much of it they want to eat.  So when I prepare a meal for J and I I make the same thing (or something very similar) for Lila.  We are still in the introductory stages at this point but within a few more weeks she will just be eating whatever we are (for the most part).  To detect any food allergies or sensitivities we only introduce one new food every few days.  So far everything has been pretty good.  Although bananas made her puke a lot and oranges (which I know now are highly allergenic and I would have avoided had I known) gave her hives... She has had tones of different foods and I have yet to find one she will not eat. I'll be sure to let you know if and when we do!

We started her on solids early.  The general rule is 6 months but she was able to sit up in her booster seat on her own, was VERY interested in whatever we were eating and when I did try her with some soft banana she didn't gag.  She was ready when she was a little over 5 months.  I don't regret starting her early, but I am a rule follower and I broke a rule and do have a bit of guilt stomach over it but I'll get over it!

We started out basically letting her suck on cool raw fruits like cantaloupe and veggies like green and red peppers.  Then we moved on to really softly steamed veggies and things like avocado (which she loves but J calls her Slimer when she eats it, you can imagine why) and bananas.  She has also had salmon, chicken (cut into very small pieces), cheese and yogurt.  She eats yogurt nobody's business, literally by the fist full!

When preparing fresh broccoli for Lila I cut it so that there is still enough of a stem for her grab in her hand as she has not yet developed her pincer grasp.  She basically holds it by the stem and eats the florets.  I steam or microwave the broccoli so that it is nice and soft.

I started out trying to give her slices of avocado but they were so slippery they all pretty much ended up on the floor.  So now I mash it enough that she can pick it up and it won't fly out of her little fist.

An avocado action shot - delicious and fun!

Banana - we have a love hate relationship with it.
I have done banana two ways.  Mashed and also partially peeled so she can gnaw on it.  As I said before, banana seems to make her puke but she can tolerate it when eaten with other stuff and she does love it!