The Reluctant Switch to Baby-Led Weaning {and a Pea Fritters Recipe}

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.

DSC_0228

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.

Pea fritters

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.

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I wrapped all the fritters individually in cling film, and froze them, except for one for Baby K to try the next day.

Pea fritters

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!

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15 thoughts on “The Reluctant Switch to Baby-Led Weaning {and a Pea Fritters Recipe}

  1. Jessie Stracener says:

    I think that there is not one right way. I’ve seen babies that have no desire to eat finger foods until they can hold the spoon themselves, and others that seem to hate being spoon fed and would rather suck on or munch on things they can actually hold or that you hold for them. It all depends. Good luck on your BLW journey!

    • Habiba says:

      Thanks Jessie! You’re definitely right about there not being one right way. I wish the literature wouldn’t make it seem like there is and its either this or that way, or you’re going to fail at the whole thing!

  2. Gonna Be A Daddy says:

    I agree with Jessie that there is no perfect way. Our Boy will only takes 1-2 spoonfuls before he insists on holding the spoon himself. Usually he chews the wrong end so we got him spoons that have the spoon part on both ends. Now that he’s eating finger foods he’ll eat more if he picks it up himself. Great post.

  3. Tas says:

    These look delicious – any chance you can get me over my food issues too? The little monkey’s going to be more normal than us, that’s for sure!!

  4. Harps says:

    Ooh! I had the same issues with Arjun – I have OCD and the thought of food everywhere freaks me out (selfish I know!). He’s also recently becoming so frustrated and refuses to eat without whinging unless he’s handed something to hold himself too. Grr. Guess we should be happy that they’re showing signs of independence?! I must try your pea fritter recipe! x

  5. Eva says:

    Wow this is the first time I’ve heard of baby led weaning. I was just looking at a box of rice cereal at the grocery store today and I was considering buying it. But then decided not to because I still have a good month or so before I would have to introduce my little one to food. And on the way home I was thinking, why on earth do I need to buy processed and packaged food to my baby. I mean, from the beginning of the creation of mankind, babies have survived without this stuff, and ate real whole food. I couldn’t have read this post at a better time. It’s like Allah pointed me towards the answer by coming to this blog. Love it! Thanks 🙂

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