Friday, September 23, 2011

Baby Led Weaning

We did baby led weaning with our son Luke.  I love the idea of baby led weaning.  But there's some glitches that I have noticed.

eating grass fed butter
With Baby Led Weaning you feed your kids a variety and let them choose what they want.  I love that.  I really think that is the best way to let kids go about eating.
You start them off by trying chunks of your food, instead of purees, letting them get a feel for new texture.

It is wrong to force foods into your child's mouth.  As a baby that could lead to choking.  As a toddler, its forcing them to eat when they just aren't hungry.  And it's good to let them try what you are eating. 

The idea is that if you are eating quality, healthy foods, they should end up choosing healthful foods in the right amount.
frozen blueberries from a local farm

Then we started eating paleo, off and on for the last year.  (Off during parts of pregnancy and really back on now that I've had my baby.)  There are some things I've noticed.  If we don't eat any grains or sugar at home, like any, like none at all, I mean none, even including family nights eating out for lunch or dinner, then my son doesn't want them at all. The only thing we have around is dark chocolate- 72% cocoa or higher or very minimal raw honey.

Snack/Lunch- raw milk cheese, banana slices, grass fed ground beef with zucchini.
It is, in fact, very clear to me that the cravings and wants of sugar stem from grain foods, sugar foods, and processed foods. When we are strict paleo, my son doesn't care at all about sweets.  A few months ago, when we were not eating paleo at all while I was pregnant, he wanted bread, he wanted that pretzel or cake at his grandparents. 

When we just stopped having bread in the house, he asked for it every day.  He would ask, we'd say we didn't have it because we didn't think it was good for us.  Once that subsided after about a week, he stopped asking.

Now we have none of that in our house.  It's not even an option.  I don't worry when he eats something not typical for breakfast or nothing at all.  Granted we are still breastfeeding, but his body knows if he's hungry or not.  It's just like how I feel some days, hungry at some meals, not hungry at other meals.  I've noticed that he really only likes two meals, and one snack. 

strawberry from the garden
When we go out, which isn't very often now, we don't let him choose between all the foods.  We let him choose between foods that we think are good foods.  It really sets the stage for later on in life.  That way, when he does eat sugar, like the few bites of cake at his grandparents, he understands what makes his tummy hurt.  And we tell him, if you have the cake, it could upset your tummy.  But that comes after eating very strict for a few months.  I don't believe he would have noticed before.

I think baby led weaning is great, with the right foods.  I just don't think it worked very well when we ate grains and sugar.  My son's little body couldn't decipher between cravings and needs.  The same is true for me.  The less sugar and grains I eat, the less cravings I get.

My daughter will be starting solids in two months and I'm still planning on doing Baby led weaning with her.  The idea behind it is great.  But, I'm really going to make sure she's got the right choices in front of her.


Lisa C said...

Nice post. My next baby will not get grains for a long time, and then we may experiment with fermented grains. And I'm watching fruit consumption next time as well. Maybe if I knew that I should be offering things like egg yolks, bone broths, and liver then maybe Michael would have filled up more on those instead of so much fruit.

I did find it interesting that in the beginning, Michael didn't care about sweets or bread. It wasn't till later that he acquired a taste for them.

Cassie said...

I think I'm going to be more concerned with fat. I mean, I gave Luke fat. But I'm REALLY loading up Taryn with fat.

I know we won't quite do the GAPS introduction to food, but it'll be fun to see how close we will get to that.

Yeah Luke didn't really care too much about any food until I lost my milk during pregnancy. He'd just as well nurse instead. So fortunately now that he cares a little more (not much more) we are eating better.