Madelyn is 6 months old this month, and that means that she can, if she wants to, start eating people food! We’ve decided to do Baby-Led Weaning with her, where she essentially decides what and how to eat. This means no purees, just finger foods and shapes that are easy for little hands to grasp. We offer her two to four choices at every meal (usually off our plates), and she decides what she wants to eat first.
There hasn’t been anything yet that she hasn’t eaten. She doesn’t particularly like broccoli. The first time she tried it, she put it in her mouth and then promptly threw it on the ground. But even though she doesn’t love it, it is one of the only foods I have seen come out the other end (a good indicator of what she’s actually eating verses what is just getting mashed in her hands and hair and on the floor). She’s a fruity girl. She loves mandarins, pineapple, pears, banana and apples. Her favourite vegetable is green beans. She also likes kumara, pumpkin, mushrooms and potato. She’s not too sure about carrots, cauliflower and cheese. She loves minced beef, but it’s hard to know what she thinks of corned beef and chicken, because those were harder to eat. She’s tried cucumber and avocado too. And then there’s all the sneaky things she’s tried – quiche, pancakes, a french fry, grilled cheese on toast, yoghurt, cruskits, pasta. Oh, and she loves to drink out of her little sippy cup.
I’d never seen Baby-Led Weaning in action before, so it’s been really interesting. It’s incredible how adept she is at biting and chewing, especially considering she has no teeth. I cook her vegetables, but not her fruit, and it’s surprising, but she can even eat apple. A few people who have seen her eat have really struggled to grasp the concept of letting her feed herself. It is hard, being so used to seeing babies eat purees, to accept that babies can eat perfectly fine on their own. But I have to be really careful that people don’t break off little pieces and put them in her mouth, because that is when choking happens. As long as she is in control of what and how much goes in her mouth, her gag refluxes (which are really far forward on the tongue in young babies) will usually protect her.
It’s so fascinating to watch her discover food. She gets excited about eating now, she loves it so much.
The bean greens make me laugh. I promise she does this on her own. So cute!
For more on Baby-Led Weaning, and more photos of Madelyn discovering food, head over to milky cuddles