We’ve been giving Evelyn solids for a month now, and I wanted to come back and report.
For those of you unfamiliar, the idea of baby led weaning (or baby led solids as some people call it because it has more to do with introducing solids than it does with weaning) is that you skip purees and go straight to tender foods that baby and pick up and feed herself. There are a lot of theories/reasons for doing this, but for us it’s because we want Evelyn to be eating the same foods as we are as soon as she can, and we want meal times to be a pleasant non-stressful experience. Not that introducing solids with purees is stressful necessarily, but this just seemed like the right choice for us. There are also theories that baby led weaning leads to children who are less picky because they have had choices all along in what they eat and have more variety sooner. I have no idea if this will end up being true for Evelyn, but I can almost guarantee you that it would not have worked for me as a child. But hey, we might as well try it out.
(If you want more information about baby led weaning, A Healthy Slice of Life has been one of my favorite resources. If you want to try BLW there is a lot you should know, so do your research!)
We started Evelyn with tender steamed green beans (although I’ve figured out recently that boiling them makes them much more tender much quicker). I think she put it to her mouth twice and I’m not sure that she actually swallowed any. She mostly played with it and repeatedly dropped green beans on the floor.
Over the next few days we gave her more green beans, tender steamed broccoli, sweet potato roasted in thin strips, and raw red pepper strips that she could gum on (I think she loved the way those felt on her gums). And while occasionally some evidence of her swallowing food showed up in her diaper, I wasn’t sure she was getting it.
Because I am a worrier, I felt like I was living those first few weeks on the edge of my seat every meal time. I wondered aloud it we should switch to purees, and Gerrit reassured me that we should not. He is so much better than I am at looking at the overall picture; and to him, Evelyn was starting to understand how this whole eating thing worked.
Sure enough, about two weeks in Evelyn started getting it. And now I would say that she is consistently eating at least something each time we put her in her high chair (right now she eats breakfast and dinner consistently, and I plan to start adding lunch on a regular basis this month). Sometimes she eats more than others. A few days ago she downed some strips of banana at breakfast, and then the next day hardly ate much of anything. But that’s okay; I’m pretty sure that’s just how it goes with kids.
So far she loves bananas, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, chewing on bell pepper strips, and has warmed up to sweet potato. She’s not so sure about avocado, (I can’t blame her there…to me avocado tastes faintly like sunscreen). We have yet to find anything she just flat out refuses though.
The oatmeal fingers below have also become one of our favorite breakfast items. I make them for her almost every morning right now because they are so easy–a couple minutes of soaking, 2 minutes in the microwave, and a minute or 2 in the freezer to cool down. They are so quick that I can make them while I’m cutting up whatever fruit I’m going to give her.
If you have any baby led weaning questions, just let me know! If I don’t know the answer, I hope I could at least point you towards it.
These are a quick and easy breakfast item for baby. The oats remain soft enough for be easily chewed on, but have enough consistency to them to stay together in strips to be picked up.
- 3 tablespoons quick cooking oats (not instant)
- 3 tablespoons milk or water (or a combination)
- Tiny pinch of cinnamon
- In a small bowl, stir together the oats, milk and/or water, and the cinnamon. Let soak for 2-3 minutes.
- Spread the mixture out onto a small plate, forming about a 4 x 4 inch square.
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Cut into strips and and place in the freezer for 1-2 minutes to cool down slightly before serving.
adapted from The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook