I had briefly learned of this term around the time the twins were Baker's age. I was taking time to make purees for Parker and Jolie and absolutely I loved doing it and found some foodie creativity in creating my first babe's their first foods. while I did enjoy it.. it would take me hours on a saturday to prep about a month's worth of food (x two) to stash away.
while I was pregnant with Baker, I found myself curious in what BLW was all about.. and then she made her surprise arrival and I didnt think about food again until we were sitting at the 4 moth check-up and Dr. B mentioned starting her on rice cereal.
I was not ready.
we made the executive decision to wait until she was 6 months old before starting solids, and with that brought up the curiosity of baby led weaning again.
I found HUGE encouragement after reading blwideas.com and thought- this could be so much fun! and if I am being honest - I also really struggled with the idea of making baby food again. not because I didnt enjoy it, because I did, but ultimately I wanted to just try something different.
Baker hit the sixth month mark and it was time to introduce her to her first foods! I was so overwhelmed to think about what was okay?
what was appropriate?
what she should eat?
what should I avoid?
finally I just started to offer things to Baker that we were eating. I wasn't trying to make it into a big to-do or find myself in mega stress over it.
she's only been eating solids/table food for about a month and for the most part its going pretty good! there are some things she absolutely will not try/eat/entertain at all (ahem..bananas), but for the most part she will fiddle around with it and half the time some of it makes it into her mouth.
the amount she eats wildly depends on how she is feeling.
did she get a good afternoon nap?
is she sleepy?
does her mouth hurt?
she could be totally uninterested in those same sweet potatoes that she had a few nights ago or the veggie burger she gobbled up the first time around but definitely not this time.. truth be told- at this age table food is all about exploration. learning textures, fine tuning those motor skills, and simply introducing flavors to your little one. sure we can get that added benefit of a full belly, but the most important form of nutrition from birth to twelve months is breastmilk or formula. so, as quickly as I feel myself getting frustrated when she is tossing her food all over the floor because she would rather play in it than eat it (truth!!), I have to realize that its totally okay.
so- what are we actually eating over here??
as far as Baker is concerned- she is definitely not eating three full meals every day. she is eating a mid-morning 'meal' of yogurt and sometimes fruit and then her main course of the day is at dinner time. occasionally I will share some of whatever I am eating for lunch or breakfast- she and I have gotten to the point of not being about to eat around her while I am nursing. I was eating a bowl of cereal the other day while nursing (the hunger is real.) and she popped off and grabbed it with all she had and the cereal (lucky charms cereal with the glorious b l u e milk remaining) went all over the chair and the carpet below. not to mention the other morning I was eating the usual PB + banana toast and she got herself a handful of banana. she's such a busy bee!
she usually eats or plays with what we are eating, but often when we are on the go she will eat a fruit pouch pretty quickly and then eat whatever at the restaurant. we finally figured out how to suck those pouches (therefore no spoon required!) and its been an easy way to get prunes in her, too.. if you know what I mean:) we are being pretty modest in what we give her right now mostly because her skills for feeding herself are still in the beginning stages, but some of our the BLW beginner meals include:
scrambled eggs // olive oil, smoked paprika, black pepper // + shredded mozzarella cheese
whole milk yogurt mixed with fruit puree // we really like ella's kitchen fruit pouches
whole milk yogurt mixed with almond butter (she LOVES this)
toasted whole grain waffles (we like the VAN's brand) + sliced strawberries
homemade baby pancakes // store bought mix + breastmilk or water
grilled cheese sandwich cut into stripes
chicken nuggets (all white breast meat)
sprouted whole grain toast + all natural almond butter
roasted root veggies // olive oil, rosemary, pepper + baked at 400 for 30 minutes // + shredded chicken // cooked in the crock pot for 6 hours on LOW with water and a little salt and pepper
steamer bag cheese + broccoli rice + all natural deli meat
homemade bbq chicken pizza //skip the pineapple- citrus at this age can be hard one your little one's tummy.
crock pot italian chicken // chicken breast + zesty italian dressing on LOW for 6 hours.
baked pasta // we love ziti!!
store bought cheese + spinach tortellini
black bean cakes with avocado cubes (still working on her accepting the texture of avocado)
sweet potato hummus // combine 4 cups (baked) and mashed sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 2 teaspoons ground cumin // add 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper for older kiddos and adults // + wheat toast
broccoli bacon mac + cheese // we skipped the bacon for 7 month old
store bought veggie burgers
spaghetti squash burrito bowls + italian chicken sausage
wheat, soy, eggs, almond butter, and strawberries are all potential allergens. avoid serving all together until you know your babe doesn’t have a reaction with any of them individually. dairy milk is not okay until 12 months of age- but cheese and full fat yogurt are okay.
salt + sodium should be limited.