5 Best Foods for BLW

Baby Led Weaning, Tips -

5 Best Foods for BLW

By offering them baby finger-sized food and feeding themselves, they have control over the process of intuitively eating their meals. 

One of the many reasons parents opt for this option compared to feeding babies puree food is that feeding is made easy. Most of the time, you can modify foods that you’re already planning to cook and share with your baby. 

What are some of the benefits of BLW? 

Research has shown that this method of feeding can help set the foundation of a healthy relationship with food. It can help promote good eating behaviors as they’re taught to be more intuitive with their hunger signals and recognize being full earlier than the spoon-fed method. As you might introduce different food, texture, and taste as they grow, BLW can also help reduce fussy eaters. 

At what age should we start and how do we do so? 

Based on the American Academy of Pediatrics, a baby can start solids and BLW when you identify with these signs:

  • Your baby has at least doubled their birth weight
  • Your baby can hold their head up well and sit up unsupported
  • They show signs of interest in food from watching you eat to reaching for your food
  • When feeding them, they can move the food around their mouths instead of spitting it out. 

Pick a highchair that allows your baby to sit up straight so they can have a good posture and better control over their arms like the OXO TOT Sprout High Chair

When you have met all these milestones, choose one food to start with. Sit with them as you offer food and let them take the lead. It would be good to vary the different textures of food to give them exposure. While they eat, offer water in a sippy cup like this Nuby bottle! If your baby is fussing, stop as it usually means they’re done! 

If you observe their disinterest if you’ve just started on this BLW journey, take a break for a few days or weeks and start afresh. As you’re transitioning, remember to continue their feeds for formula or breastmilk as it will satisfy their hunger for the first few months of eating solids as it is not supposed to replace their feedings immediately. Each child goes through this process differently, so do not feel pressured to keep to a timeline. 

What are some of the food we can introduce them to? 

The goal of introducing them to solids is to have them learn about different flavors, foods, and textures they can easily eat while giving them the nutrients they need. Here are some key things to prepare for when introducing them on this BLW journey:

  1. Start by serving a small amount of ONE food item once or twice a day to observe. If they’re reaching for more, then add on more! If they’re not opening their mouths, take it away and try again in a few days. Mix things up and serve them different items daily and weekly. With time, you can also add seasonings like herbs and healthy fats like olive oil to your food. 
  2. ALL finger foods have to be cut into 2-3 inch strips or small, mashable pea-sized pieces to avoid choking hazards. 
  3. Eat as a family by showing them how to bring food from their plate to your mouth and chew! 

The food you choose should generally be soft enough to squish between your fingers and safe for them to eat and digest, except pieces of meat. Avoid anything hard, sticky, or crunchy and soft slipper foods that would be hard to hold. Here are the 5 food you can consider when kickstarting:

  • Roasted sweet potato wedges
  • Providing them with potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, babies love sweet potatoes for their naturally sweet taste.

  • Roasted apple wedges 
  • Full of carbohydrates, vitamin C, fiber, and phytochemicals, apples are great for nutrition and providing children with energy to stay active during the day. It also has Pectin that is a soluble fiber that promotes digestion. 

  • Steamed broccoli florets
  • A nutritional powerhouse - it contains several vitamins and minerals babies need from vitamin A, C, K, B6, folate, and even iron and zinc for growth and development. 

  • Avocado spears
  • Rich in fiber and healthy fats alongside vitamins like folate, B6, vitamin E, and zinc for immune health and brain development. Make sure the avocado is ripe and slightly soft. 

  • Banana
  • On top of being a sweet treat, bananas are packed with vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc that essential for a baby’s health! To serve a banana, wash it well, slice it in half and cut off an inch of the peel but leave the rest so it’s not so slippery for the baby’s grip! 

    On top of prepping your food, prep your baby as well too with some essentials like this Skip Hop Zoo Fold & Go Silicone bib to keep their clothes clean, a Monee Dino Suction Plate or a Haakaa Silicone Suction Cloud Mat for the food and some Beaba Conservation Jars to keep any leftovers! 

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