Baby Led Weaning | Modified for Everyday



Baby Led Weaning Modified for Everyday | Cup of Tea

Like all things baby related, when you hit a new milestone, you research like crazy to figure out what’s best, what to do, what’s recommended…. it’s exhausting and intimidating.  Feeding and solid foods are no exception!

When we hit Solid Food time with our daughter at 6 months, I came across Baby Led Weaning and thought it sounded like fun, but I wanted to modify the concept to fit our everyday lives.

I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog that we’re doing this, and received some questions. So, for all you new moms out there, doing the same research I did about 4 months ago, let me walk you through what we did.  It may work for your baby when the time comes, or it may not.

Aren’t babies fun and fickle?

This isn’t meant to explain what BLW is!  I’m no expert.  If you need more information on that, check out the official website or the Wikipedia page.

There are also SO MANY blog posts and YouTube videos that help explain this.  I spent a lot of time reading, and here’s what I found helpful:

So why did we choose BLW instead of starting with traditional pureed foods? 

The first and biggest reason was I was lazy.  I figured if I had to prepare the food to either steam or roast, I didn’t want to go to the extra step of pureeing.  Totally lazy.

Second, if my daughter had to get used to eating texture at some point, I figured we should start from the beginning. (Of course, this only works in theory if your baby doesn’t mind texture!)

And finally, our daughter just seemed to have the personality for it.  She was independent and curious.  I knew neither of us would have much patience with spoon feeding.

But, like most things with a baby, babies learn to eat differently.  Some are picky eaters, others aren’t.  Some have a hard time with texture, others don’t!  While you may think BLW is the best thing ever for your baby, your baby may not think so.  Just experiment and see what works best for you and your baby!  Purees or BLW, it’s all good!

What were some of your daughter’s first foods?

Here is where I feel like we started to drift away from BLW.  Instead of just diving in with any ol’ food, I followed the more traditional philosophy of feeding vegetables first and then fruits, but it was just a more accelerated timeline.  Instead of trying one new food for a week, we just did it for a few days.  And instead of sticking to only one food at a time, we tried several things at once (like sweet potatoes and carrot one day, avocado and blueberries the next).

To prepare the foods, I just cut the veggies into sticks and roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil, instead of steaming/pureeing.  I also wanted her to experience the spoon at least once a day and know how to eat off of it. BLW is messy, and if we’re out to eat or at someone’s house, it’s easier to clean up after spoon feeding than BLW.

Some of my daughter’s favorite first foods for the first month were:

  • Avocado
  • Sweet Potato
  • Carrot
  • Corn
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Oatmeal with applesauce

Once we hit about 7 months, and her grasp started getting better, I started introducing other foods, like full fat yogurt, scrambled egg, shredded cheese, canned or cooked dried beans and other grains.  This is where the “eat what we eat” style of BLW came in.  If I was making us something for dinner, I’d either feed her the dinner as is (like pasta with a simple sauce and veggies) or pull out the ingredients for her to eat separately (like black bean enchiladas – I would set aside plain black beans for her to eat, along with avocado).

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What’s a typical food day?

Now that my daughter is 10 months old, she eats 3 meals a day, and one snack.  Some days she wolfs down the food; other days she just picks at it.  Doesn’t really matter!  “Food before one is just for fun!”

Here is an example of a typical day of food for her:

  • Breakfast: 6 oz formula in bottle (what isn’t finished goes in her sippy cup for the meal); 1 egg, scrambled; handful blueberries or other fruit; shredded cheddar cheese
  • Lunch: 4 oz formula in sippy cup; Hummus (spoon fed) and pita bread (torn up into small bites); Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Snack: 4 oz formula in sippy cup; full fat yogurt (spoon fed); fruit of some sort
  • Dinner: 4 oz formula in sippy cup; canned black beans; avocado; bits of tortilla
  • Bedtime: 6 oz formula in bottle (normally eats 4ish)

I was surprised that I actually STILL have a hard time thinking of things for her to eat.  I thought the advantage to BLW was that they ate what you ate, so easy!  But thinking of things that aren’t too spicy, or too salty, or too sweet can be a challenge.  And things that are soft and toothless baby friendly!

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Any favorite feeding gear you recommend?

Feeding gear was one category I completely overlooked when preparing our baby registry.  Here are some of the things that have made our lives easier when we moved to solids:

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Are you in the throws of solid feeding yet? Any tips for new moms out there, whether you’re doing BLW or purees??  Share them!

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21 comments

  1. Alicia says:

    Oh she is just too cute! My 8 month old is totally on “table food” now and it makes my life so much easier. Less meal prep and less cleaning! The only thing we’re holding off on for now is honey.

  2. Stacey says:

    I started pureeing our boys food when they were four months old, but after a couple of months, I got lazy and they ate what we did. I still pureed some of the meat, but the soft foods/fruits/vegetables/toast they feed themselves.

  3. Michelle says:

    Katie, Your pictures a great! The one with the spaghetti is my absolute favorite! My preemie is 19 months old (15 months adjusted) and we’re still beginning to transition to solids.

  4. Anne says:

    What a good eater Elizabeth is! Love that. And so glad for these suggestions now that we’re pretty much on all finger foods – you’re right that it is sometimes hard to come up with new things that are non-choking-hazard enough! Which is part of why I like having the purees as well, since I can do a huge variety there. Especially because my husband is an ENT, and they are SUPER cautious about potential choking. As in they get all worked up when kids eat grapes or hot dogs, and he actually declared recently that Hendrik can have hard candies “when he’s 10.”

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your modified experience – this sounds like it would suit us perfectly, so I’ll have to bookmark all the suggestions for next time, in the hopes that baby’s more into textures/solids at first than Hendrik was 🙂

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says:

      Glad it was helpful! Part of me wishes we had stuck with purees, because the variety is better, especially when you get to mixing foods together! My husband was so skiddish at first when I was handing Elizabeth avocado at 6 months, so I completely understand your husband’s worry, especially as an ENT! Our daughter sees an ENT and she cautioned us a lot about solids and small pieces. What was helpful was, in the beginning, cutting things up into sticks as opposed to bite-sized pieces.

  5. Pinay Homeschooler says:

    Katie, this is just so helpful! I’m on the search of what food can I give my boy and you just gave me a wonderful list 🙂 Thank you so much! I’m actually taking notes now 🙂 By the way, didn’t know that they can eat eggs at 10 months. I love it!

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says:

      I’m so glad that’s helpful!! Figuring out those first foods was so intimidating for me! There are quite a few lists on line about what to eat when that you may want to look at, especially if you’re family has a history of food allergies. We don’t, so we kind of went with the flow. Have fun! It’s messy but oh so cute!!

  6. Tif says:

    Kane eats the same way–he feeds himself and it’s usually a mess, but we’re beginning to transition to plates and bowls. We have a high chair where the top of the tray pops out to wipe down, and we love it! We also have the rollable mat that sticks to the table, and it’s been a lifesaver (so much better than them eating off napkins or the actual table)!

    We completely skipped the baby cereal. Kane was exclusively breastfeed for the 1st 6 months. We started him out on baby food then, and by 9 months, he was eating everything we do (w/ the exception of honey, cow’s milk, and egg whites, per dr’s instructions). Now there’s no limits–he even ate a pepperocini the other night!

    This is a great post with some great resources:)

    Tif @ Bright on a Budget
    http://www.brightonabudget.com

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says:

      We skipped the baby cereal too, with the exception of the obligatory “first food” video we had to shoot 🙂 Love when the limits go away! Kane is a hoot eating a pepperocini! Elizabeth had feta cheese a few nights ago, and roasted garlic hummus. She loved it! Kids are so funny.

  7. Caitlin S. says:

    We’ve been doing purees with my 9 month old, now very chunky but have been having her eat steamed pieces of the fruit and veggies also! She loves to feed herself. Honestly what helped me the most with this post is your schedule and how much formula she is eating! I am going out of town and can never pin anyone down on how much their child eats. I breastfeed so I had no idea how much to leave for her! haha but this does make me want to start allowing her to feed herself more. She enjoys it, it’s easier for me, and she’s to the point now I think that she should be fine doing it.

    • Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says:

      I’m so glad the schedule/feeding amounts helped! It is hard to figure out what they’ll eat though, isn’t it? Some days my daughter wolfs down as much as I do in a meal! Other days, she picks. It’s so confusing! But watching them eat table food is just so cute. They are so good at exploring!

  8. Vanessa says:

    Yep! I adore baby led weaning as well! These pictures of your little one are awesome and she looks like she is having so MUCH fun. Thanks for visiting and linking up to the party “In the Kids’ Kitchen!” You have been featured. Please come again! 🙂

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