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Baby Led Weaning

09/05/2012

Baby led weaning is the new buzz word from Yummy Mummies.  No need to blow the dust off your blender, baby led weaning is all about non-pureed food and a stress free dinner time.

There are many of us that followed Government guidelines and mashed, pureed and pounded perfectly good looking vegetables into a green mush.  We then became stressed when our little bundles of joy adamantly refused to let one pureed spoonful pass their lips.  Who can blame them?  Baby led weaning is the answer, but what are the guidelines?

From 6 months of age babies can begin to digest proper food and will also begin to show an interest in your food.  The process is a simple but very messy one.  The idea is to give your baby a wide variety of foods, different shapes, textures and colours.  Initially start with some foods that can be easily grasped and that retain a bit of shape under duress.  We would recommend the following;

  • Carrot batons, broccoli florets and green beans
  • Pieces of toast
  • Chunks of hard boiled egg
  • Fruit such as banana, peaches and peeled apple

To begin with these ‘meals' will be in addition to their milk feeds.  Over time the milk feeds will decrease and the amount of ‘real' food consumed will increase. 

It is important to give your baby a variety of foods to help encourage them to have good eating habits as they progress through life.

Some top tips shared by other mums;

  • Never leave your baby to eat alone
  • Cover the floor surrounding the high chair - or expect to mop it after
  • Take your time, babies pick up on stress, so relax and enjoy the experience
  • Have your meal at the same time so your baby can share some of your food and enjoy the experience as a family
  • Persevere. A baby may not take to eating chunky food initially but don't worry they are getting enough nutrients from their milk.

Be aware of the choking hazard.  In studies only 6% of parents experienced problems with choking.  As long as you are aware of the possibility of choking and never leave your baby unattended whilst eating you should be fine.  A gagging baby is usually only moving food around their mouth as they haven't yet learned to chew properly.

Research shows that baby led weaning leads to babies taking control of their own appetite; they eat when they are hungry and are likely to be less fat than spoon fed babies.  It also helps them crave savoury rather than sugary foods, which stands them in good stead for adulthood.





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