Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baby-Led Feeding: 1 Month In

We are one whole month into solids and Baby-Led Feeding! Overall, it has been so fun! Very messy, but our dog loves that part ;)

We started with avocados. I cut them in half, and then half again and gave him the strips with the skin on so he could grip it better. It was hilarious to watch him explore the taste and texture and I was amazed at how quickly he figured out to pick up the piece of avocado and bring it to his mouth.

A couple days later, we tried green beans. He LOVED them---I mean, the child could put away some green beans! He did great picking up the smaller object and he actually ingested a lot of it (as evidenced by his poop--TMI I know)! 

Next, I steamed some broccoli until it was really soft and tender. He was very perplexed by this new texture and wasn't quite sure about the taste either. But he tried it! I will keep giving it to him and see if he starts liking it any better. 

When we visited my parents, he continued to eat green beans, avocado, and broccoli. I also had him try sweet pea puree which he really, really liked. I bought the organic, non-GMO baby food from Walmart--I think the brand is "Beech Nut"--and it was only 60 cents for a jar! He doesn't eat that much at a time right now so I got 4 different feedings out of 60 cents. Score! He also liked sweet pea puree combined with mashed avocado. 

Once we got back home, I started introducing orange veggies. Sweet potatoes were first and boy, he devoured them! One day, he ate an entire half of a sweet potato! I cook them in the microwave until they become very soft-- I half them, and then quarter them. I take the skins off of these because he can easily pick up the sweet potato quarters. 

He has also tried and loved roasted zucchini, carrot puree and green bean puree. The zucchini I cut into wedges and then roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees until really soft. I did not season them in any way. I left the skin on, but next time I'll take it off because I started getting worried he would choke on them. 

Here is what I have learned in the month we have been doing BLF:

1) It's very messy! I usually strip Holt down to a diaper and put the high chair in front of the fire so he doesn't get cold because food gets all over his clothes. This saves time and energy doing more laundry! However, sometimes I just put a bib on him and pray the damage isn't too bad. 
2) Some days he eats solids twice and some days he doesn't eat any and that's ok! It all depends on his mood and our schedule and that works---dont' force it!
3) They say to wait 3-5 days before introducing something new…..I didn't really do that. I waited maybe 2 days. The chances of him developing an allergy to veggies and fruits is very slim, especially since neither D or I have any food allergies. I'm still being cautious and watching him though. 
4) He has gagged a few times, but never longer than a couple of seconds. I've been so proud to watch him figure out how to chew and swallow properly! 
5) It's amazing how fast he has picked up how to feed himself

Some days he is very independent and loves to feed himself, and other days he wants me to feed him--either puree or slices of whatever is on his plate. Same thing with time---somedays he will sit in the high chair for 20 minutes and eat and play with the food; other days he doesn't even last 5 before he is screaming and ready to get down. I try to always have a sippy cup with water on his tray. He still doesn't quite get it, but I'm hoping that by at least introducing it at every meal he will get used to it and transition to a sippy cup easily. 

Goals for Month 2: 

1) Introduce fruits---bananas, pears, peaches, melons, plum, prunes
2) Continue to offer veggies and introduce some new ones--asparagus, eggplant, and squash
3) Introduce peanut butter---I have always felt that maybe if you introduce allergens at an earlier age, then the risk of developing that allergy would go down. Have you seen the recent research? I feel so validated! I saw on the news, doctors now recommend (as long as you don't have the allergy running in the family) to introduce peanut butter between 4-11 months of age because studies have shown an 86% DECREASE in developing the allergy. So, I think I will introduce it this month, under close supervision, because what a wonderful source of good fats and protein! 

I hope you're enjoying our journey of solids! Check back next month for another update and more goals!

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