As I’ve mentioned before, several of my friends have asked me exactly what baby led weaning is and why we decided to take this route with Baby Dragon as opposed to the staged introduction of purees to chunky foods.
I so badly wanted to be an Annabel Karmel Momma before our Little Adventurer was born and I spent hours and hours of my pregnancy reading her colourful books, planning meals and excitedly awaiting the day I could puree, pot and freeze the cutest of meals for my little one who would sit in his padded high chair and wait for my candy coloured spoons of deliciousness to be gently offered to his cherub-like lips.
It turned out that Jensen did not like my efforts of course. My butternut squash? No thank you. My intricate individual cottage pies made in pretty ramekins? Nope. He hated oatmeal even. The only thing I made that he liked was cinnamon applesauce…and although that’s delicious, a baby can’t live on apples alone.
In vain (and much to the delight of the little pretty-thing-loving monster that lives deep within me) we decided to try the packaged baby food. Luckily we have very easy access to Plum and Organix, Hipp Organic and a host of other nutritious (and delicious) products in our supermarket and Our Little Adventurer took to the fruit and vegetable puree pouches, and also the chunkier foods, particularly the pumpkin dishes. If it had texture (and a taste I enjoyed, we noticed), he was interested, but he soon became disinterested again aside from the pumpkin dish and a cheese and leek pasta dish (the infamous “cheesy pasta”) and we were out of options again.
One afternoon, Jensen and Dadda were sat on the sofa together and Dadda was eating crisps. Jalepeno flavoured, hot crisps. Dadda, engrossed in the film he was watching, never saw a little hand extend into the bowl and take one for himself. Much to my horror and then amusement, Jensen was eagerly chomping on the tubed crisp and reaching for more. From that day onwards, he was a purely solid, Momma and Dadda food-loving baby. His favourite flavours are still garlic, chili and anything very strong, particuarly strong fish. He needed variety, texture and flavour to excite him about food.
Now Baby Dragon is here, we decided we would follow the BLW path completely. No puree, no mush, just real food for our little one to explore and learn to love. There would be no surprises for him when his food was presented looking as it should instead of smooshed up. Of course there are guidelines ~ I don’t just hand him a pizza and let him get on with it. I take his nutritional needs into consideration very seriously each mealtime and food is presented to him after his breastmilk. Food is for fun at this stage.
Baby Dragon loves his eating. He adores mealtimes and smiles and shouts throughout when he’s not concentrating on how to best to devour something. Whereas with Jensen we were worried, stressed and generally confused as to why he wasn’t keen on food, we’re able to enjoy eating as a family and know that whenever we go to a restaurant, we can ALL enjoy our meal as soon as it’s presented to us.
Before we continue, I want to add here that when I speak of weaning on my blog, I mean weaning in the English sense, not the American. I never realised there was a difference until recently. Here in England, ‘to wean’ means ‘to add complementary foods’ to your baby’s diet of breast or artificial milk. In the USA it
refers to giving up breastfeeding. Obviously Baby Dragon isn’t giving up his breastfeeding yet, and he’ll decide for himself when he’s ready for that to happen, but that’s a whole other post.
We hope you enjoy seeing Lyoto’s love of food develop through our blog ~ and I’ll leave you with pictures of his first taste of potato, broccoli and carrots. He’s pretty adorable, even with potato under his nostrils.