Addy LOVES food! Starting back in March, Addy started exploring with food. She was a bit shy of 6 months, but was eager to get what Mom and Dad had on their plates and to explore. It has been a fun process for us to watch her explore and she has enjoyed exploring food options.
Taylor and I decided to follow the Baby Led Weaning approach to introducing solid food to Addy. The BLW approach lets Addy take the lead in her interest and exploration with food. We are not experts, but are using the book as a guide, following Addy’s cues, and biassing her nutrition after our beliefs. Breast milk is still her main source of “food” and the rest is exploring and playing and the more of the she does the more she continues to consume.She has never been given rice cereal or baby purees. It’s ok if she doesn’t actually eat any “real food” on some days, we put more of an emphasis on exploring taste, texture, color and smell as she paces her self through her own meal. Addy feeds her self from what we put on the tray in front of her. We love eating together as a family for meals. Addy typically eats breakfast every morning and the last few weeks we have added lunch in. She usually is in bed when Taylor and I are eating dinner, but has joined us on a handful of occasions.
By taking this approach to eating we hope to encourage Addy to enjoy a wide range of healthy and tasty foods. She is also self-regulating how much she eats. She has clear signals that she is finished and we are also working on sign language for ‘more’ and ‘finished’.Also, an added benefit is that we also get to sit at the table as a family to eat meals. This is especially important for safety as early in the learning process there was a small bit of gagging and spitting out food, plus its important to watch for any signs of chocking. (Gagging is a natural response and pretty typical in the learning process.)
Addy’s first breakfast foods were banana, avocado and strawberries. Initially, she was only given one food at a time, but now I will offer her a few choices. Two weeks ago we introduced scrambled eggs at breakfast and those have been a hit. So far she enjoys, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, baked apples,pineapple, plums, clementines and eggs for breakfast.
Lunch is typically leftovers from our dinner the night before. Addy has enjoyed eating protein and is usually the first thing that she reaches for on her plate. She has had beef, chicken, pork, and salmon so far. We also offer her one or two vegetables at this meal depending on what we have on had. She enjoys broccoli, cauliflower, cooked carrots, sweet potato, cucumber, peppers, green beans, and peas.
I offer Addy most things cut into strips or large disks so she can easily grab and have something that she can chew on. It has been amazing to watch her learn how to pick up food and get it to her mouth. Each day she surprises us with something new she can do. For example, this week she has demonstrated her ability to clean up after herself! I’m somewhat joking, but the hungry baby now enjoys picking up her droppings from her bib and eating them. She is demonstrating her love for some of mom’s cooking at a young age!
Here are some pictures(iphone) of what we offer our munchkin’!
Baked Sweet Potato Peas Stealing Dad’s Apple BroccoliCucumber and Peppers
Apple Sauce Plums and StrawberriesEggs Chicken and Broccoli Salmon, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Peas and ChickenApparently, she wasn’t finished eating!
Steak and BroccoliChicken, Brocoli and Roasted Potatoes
Yes, this is much messier than if I was spoon feeding her. Yes, I do wish we had a dog to help clean up the mess! Most of the time I try to feed her only in her diaper or only wearing her bottom half of clothing.
I’ll be sure to share another update in the coming month of what Addy is eating. With summer just around the corner, we can’t wait to introduce her to more summer fruits and veggies!