Phoebe Talks Weaning
Does baby-led weaning (BLW) prevent my child from becoming a fussy eater?
Episode 6 of "Phoebe talks weaning" podcast. Is baby led weaning a fussy eating saviour or that's just wishful thinking?
Is baby led weaning a fussy eating saviour or that's just wishful thinking? In this episode I talk about my experience with it, including the knowledge I've gathered through the years of weaning three children.
Personally, I think there are more factors than just the weaning technique.
Your attitude to food, the example you set as a healthy eater and your perseverance all play a role in potentially preventing fussiness. It’s also worth remembering that baby’s taste buds are still developing and texture as well as colour also play a role in exploring food.
Note that I’m using the term exploring and not liking or disliking, it’s because the weaning journey, especially the first six month (that’s from your baby’s six month mark until they are one year of age) is mainly about exploring, but we tend to focus on the quantity that’s consumed and what foods babies accept and reject.
To give an example, when my daughter was 1.5 years old she carefully picked out the red kidney beans from a bean salad. She collected them in her hand and ate them and then did the same with the carrot pieces, the tomato and the celery. She left the chickpeas completely untouched, although she is a big fan of chickpea soup. She was clearly going for the colours during that meal time.
One hurdle that does not present itself if you follow BLW is the introduction of texture, as the puree stage is completely skipped. Going from runny to lumpy puree and eventually arriving at the real texture of fruit and vegetables can be challenging for some babies and they might reject foods which they previously ate purely on the basis of the different texture.
Keep on reintroducing foods
The biggest mistake is to take rejected foods off the menu, you should always reintroduce food after a few days. It can take up to 10 or more tries to accept a new flavour for a small child. Also try not to resort to alternatives too soon, especially with a toddler who can make herself understood clearly. When my eldest started nursery we started every meal time with “I don’t like it” - to me it was clearly something she had picked up from other children, but I kept on offering what was on the table and she eventually ate her dinner as there was no alternative. Fast forward a few years and she’s now what I call a challenging eater. If it was after her liking we’d live off bread, cheese and pasta… But I refuse to give in, instead I’ve tried and tested whats the best way to get healthy and nourishing food into her, at the moment it’s raw carrots instead of cooked ones, snacks are veggie sticks, and I make sure to have her healthy favourites on my melaplan at least twice a week, lentil soup and chickpea soup.
Food is fun, a few tips to fully integrate food in your everyday life:
- Cook together
- Look for recipes together
- Go shopping together (easier said than done for most of us, I know!)
- Make food real - grow cress on the windowsill
- If your child really doesn’t like a flavour/texture don’t make them eat it
- Visit a city farm and buy their vegetables and eggs
- If you are in the countryside you’ll have plenty more opportunities to introduce your little one to the food chain!
In the next episode, I’ll be sharing my experience of baby-led BLW vs. traditional weaning.
*Disclaimer: Please be advised that any information is given as general guidance only. Should you have any concerns over the wellbeing of your child such as intolerances, allergies and weight, or your baby was born prematurely or you are unsure if your baby is ready for solids, it is always best to consult with your Health Visitor or GP.*