We’ve hit another fun stage with my 6-month old son, Evren. It’s time for REAL FOOD. Yahoo! He’s been sitting up for awhile & regularly grabbing for our food. Plus, have I mentioned that he is a freaking moose? At 6 months, he weighed in at 21 lbs! So, all signs point to food introduction. As a health coach, nutritionist & self-declared foodie, I am just over the moon about sharing a good meal with him!
For the past few months, I’ve been devouring studies, books & blogs on the topic of food introduction to infants. Finally, we’ve decided on an approach that works for our family called Baby-Led Weaning. Essentially, this approach requires letting Evren control his own path to adding complementary foods to his diet, or weaning from breast milk to solid food. The real kicker with this approach is that we start with solid food (check out the pic of him picking up an apple). Once he can feed himself, we can move onto to purees, soups, etc. I know. I know. You must be thinking how totally ridiculous this idea is given that Evren has no teeth. It’s even more ridiculous when you learn that we still haven’t found a first-aid/CPR class that fits with our schedule. I’ve been dragging my feet on food introduction until our pediatrician finally modeled the heimlich for us last week. After a good whack in back (literally she whacked me super hard!), I was assured we could do this.
Some of you with only one child may be thinking, “ I should call Child Services on you’re a*s for negligence, or better yet stupidity!” But, I know there are some mamas out there with 2+ kids who are thinking, “there’s an actual name for when your new baby swipes the food off your plate, or when your two year-old shares his dreadful string beans with his infant brother or sister?” Once these fiascos occur, many mamas just say “eh,” and go with it.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you as to why we decided on Baby-Led Weaning for introducing food. Call me whatever name you choose. I don’t care. I am the biggest advocate of different strokes for different folks so I am hoping this stroke works for our family, provided I stop having panic attacks every time Evren gags!
1. I don’t have time to make pureed food. I was 40 pages into the Super Baby Food book, the bible of food introduction, and found myself in tears. I desperately want to feed my son organic, pure foods. But, I had no idea where I’d find the time since I cook a ton already for our family & my business. This pureeing thing was just not in the cards for us. Never mind the hassle of defrosting & heating & transporting…aaaahh.
2. I am kind of freaked out by using pre-packaged food for everyday use. The ingredients on many packaged organic baby foods are amazing. But, our family very rarely eats food from a package, so why would I feed my son processed, packaged food? Like most families, I will likely use these convenience foods on-the-go, but I just don’t want to use them all the time. (Even better – this week, I am trying two local baby food delivery services that specialize in organic food! Keep your eyes peeled for more info.)
3. I want to reduce his risk of obesity, diabetes, etc. Studies show that babies who are in control of their food prefer healthy choices & learn how to regulate food intake that leads to healthy weight & BMI. I know this sounds unbelievable. But, I’ve seen this with my own eyes working with adults! Our bodies are amazing machines that know exactly what we need to function & live vibrantly. Remove the emotional connections (that babies don’t have yet) and most people would crave real whole foods instead of processed food & take-out.
What do you think? Am I nuts? Is my husband crazy for agreeing to this monkey business?
I’m Danielle, a nutritionist & health coach who specializes in helping busy mamas (& dads) become their most healthy self so they can raise healthy, happy families. I work with individuals, couples & groups both in-person & virtually. Are you ready to feel & look amazing?! Contact me today.