Real talk: I accidentally did baby-led weaning with my oldest when he was a baby.
My husband bought a 12-cup food processor for me for Christmas while I was pregnant with my son. I had Big Plans to puree all of the foods and freeze them in silicone ice cube trays for my son’s meals. Once he turned about six-months-old, I had almost 100 ounces of varying types of baby purees, ready for him to happily eat, and then smile at me as if to say thank you, Mom, and assure me that I am the best mother on the planet.
Unfortunately, my son decided that he hated pureed foods. My husband was the first to try feeding our little one and, for weeks, he would spit it back onto whomever was the unlucky baby spoon holder. I finally threw my hands in the air and waved the white flag, resolving to simply breast feed for all of his meals until he was ready to eat legitimate food. When he got to be about nine months old, I started giving him chunks of avocado, scrambled egg yolks, and baked sweet potato pulp.
He LOVED this. He became the ravenous child I knew he could be and I continued on my mothering journey.
I later learned that this method of introducing solids to your little one is, in fact, a Thing known as “baby-led weaning.” It’s simply skipping the pureed stage of food and introducing soft foods to your bundle of joy as they’re ready… hence the “BABY-LED” portion of baby-led weaning. With my second and third children, I didn’t even try purees. Here are some ideas of what I’ve been feeding my ten-month-old daughter:
Baked sweet potato pulp
Scrambled egg yolks
Whole wheat pancakes (unsweetened. I often add sweet potatoes or bananas to these. This is also an excellent way to get rid of any extra baby food you might have! Purees make great additions to pancakes!)
Whole wheat muffins (again, a great way to use leftover baby food and get extra fruits and veggies into your child).
Unsweetened Honest-O’s (organic cereal made by Barbara’s that is similar to Cheerios)
Essentially, soft foods, ripe fruits and cooked veggies are all on the list. She still really loves breastmilk above all, but it’s fun to watch her try out new things and get interested about joining the rest of us for meals. Be prepared for messes (I pretty much strip her down naked before meals)! Plus, her big brothers LOVE sharing their food with her, I just have to make sure they know to get my approval first!
Kara Garis is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to two active boys and a baby girl. She lives with her husband in Oklahoma and loves running, cooking, traveling, reading and teaching herself how to braid. She blogs very infrequently at karagaris.blogspot.com.