I really wasn’t too keen on the whole “baby-led weaning” concept, I’m not sure why! Probably because of the same reasons why a lot of parents are reluctant, like:
– it’s a fairly new way of weaning?
– we’re more familiar with images of a baby being spoonfed?
– I was convinced she’s not going to able to hold the food herself?
– I was doubly convinced she’d choke on anything she’d munch off?
– I don’t want her to grow up and be so independent already and I just want her to stay in my lap where I can smother her forever?!
Yeah. All of the above my friends. So I didn’t even look into it or give it a chance. I just charged full steam ahead to making purees, only to find Baby K getting increasingly frustrated at mealtimes. She wanted to hold the spoon herself! Of course, I let her try but as she can’t really hold things properly for long enough yet, it soon went SPLAT leaving both her and me feeling… %f!jkl/!@#!;sx!
This little lady is SO independent already. Half of me LOVES it! She’s so kick ass, “I-got-this” about everything, and her little eyes are focused and determined all the time. For example, she can’t even sit up unsupported yet, but she’s constantly pushing her legs on me, trying to stand! I don’t even know where she thinks she’s going but it’s so damn cute.
The other half of me is a bit like… GAH! I hadn’t really thought through baby-led weaning and it seemed a bit daunting. So as she watched me with full attention as I was eating a banana the other day, I decided to try and put the theory that she wants to feed herself to rest. I hesitantly bought my hand forward, thinking “she’ll just refuse it and I can go back to spoon-feeding.”
Before I knew it, she had shot across and her head was going straight for the banana. Two seconds is all it took for her mouth to be clamped all over it, and she was looking up at me as if to say, “am I doing this right?”
So… Here we are. Baby-led weaning! Or “BLW” as its also known. Today was our first go.
First of all, it’s not as daunting as I thought it would be. Phew. Secondly, BLW is actually very popular, which means there’s a wealth of information out there. I found a pea fritters recipe which wasn’t too overwhelming and once Baby K was down for the night, I got to work.
One of the reasons I choose this recipe is because I am slightly obsessed with not passing on my food fussiness to Baby K (as documented in this post). I do not like peas. So I’m going to try my utmost to give her a chance to like them!! The original recipe calls for quite a few ingredients, which I omitted simply because I wanted to ease her into the new flavour of peas, rather than bombard her with lots of new flavours at once. So all I did was:
– boil 125g of frozen peas for about four minutes, till they were soft;
– I drained the peas and put them in a food processor;
– added 1 egg and 1/2 cup of plain flour;
– blitzed it all, then heated up 1tbsp of olive oil in a small frying pan;
– added teaspoonfuls at a time and fried for a few mins on each side till evenly browned.
I wrapped all the fritters individually in cling film, and froze them, except for one for Baby K to try the next day.
So, how did it go?
As predicted, she wasn’t quite able to hold onto it long enough to bring it to her mouth; she just flung it around rapidly and I was holding out my hands like a frantic goalkeeper trying to make sure she doesn’t drop it!
However, when I held the fritter and offered it to her… she actually nibbled on it! And much more happily than when I offer her a spoon… She only got through half the fritter, and even then, a lot of it was left for her bib to enjoy, but I suspect that’s normal in the initial weaning stages.
I don’t think I’ll give up on spoon-feeding 100% just yet… I still want to introduce her to porridge and “saucy” meals early on, so the spoon will be making a few more appearances yet! But for now… a whole new territory to explore: soft finger foods.
Do you have any go-to recipes, or rely on BLW blogs you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!