Monday, January 26, 2015

BABY-LED WEANING: PART 1

Before Violet was born I had plenty ideas on how I would parent her, some of which fell by the wayside.  One of those ideas would be that I would make all of her pureed baby food.  I am not keen on jarred/bagged baby foods.  Most have been diluted with water, are thickened with some kind of refined starch, and can contain artificial sweeteners and flavors, trans fats, preservatives, and contaminants (think pesticides, bugs, plastic, mold, icky things, etc.)  Also, something about the fact that the food was very likely older than my child just kinda grossed me out.  However, right around when Violet turned 6 months old, my hyperthyroid was in full swing and it left me feeling exhausted all the time, which meant I needed a new game plan.  Enter baby-led weaning!

Violet was exclusively breastfed for her first year and we did baby-led weaning, which just meant that we offered her solids when she showed us she was ready, but always second to breast milk.  By the time she was 12 months old, she was eager to self-wean, but didn't (and still doesn't) have the teeth to really chew food.  I was eager to offer her a variety of foods, but totally clueless on how to serve it.  I'd search Pinterest for ideas, but I always came across these complicated recipes, like fish rice balls and mushroom spinach quiche muffins, that frankly I didn't have the time to make.  I just wanted simple foods that were delicious and nutritious.








I've complied a list of some of the foods I serve her on a regular basis because they're easy and she enjoys them.  Now, does this mean I don't serve her processed food occasionally?  No, I do because that's life.  I have a pretty wicked addiction to Oreo's that I'm just not interested in rehabilitating from.  And I'm not at a place in my life where I wanna make my own pasta and yogurt.  I'd rather sleep in a little later/shower/read/anything else.  But, I do feel at ease knowing what's going into the majority of what my daughter eats.


(From top left...)
  1. Steamed Squash.  Sliced and steamed for about 15 minutes.  I put the teensiest amount of salt on it. 
  2. Sweet Potato Fries.  Peel and cut into strips.  Toss with olive oil, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.  The first time Violet had these, she shoved about ten in her mouth at once. 
  3. Peas.  Violet loves peas.  I buy her frozen organic sweet peas and when she sees me put it in the buggy she whines for me to give her some.  On top of that, she loves to eat them frozen!  Sometimes I hand her a little cup of them to keep her busy while I'm preparing a meal for her.
  4. Cantaloupe.  So juicy and delicious.
  5. Avocado.  A delicious super food.  She eats it off a spoon and when I don't mind it getting in her hair, I give her small cubes of it. 
  6. Yogurt.  I like giving Violet Siggi's because it's really low in sugar.  Violet also loves Noosa, which is sweetened with honey and has tons of fruit options.  Her favorites are pineapple and pumpkin.  My favorite is their passion fruit.
  7. Blueberries.  They're great for picking up with little fingers and they're a superfood! 
  8. Banana.  Violet calls them "nana."  They're perfect for when we're on the go.
  9. Raspberries.  They're great because they mush so easily and require little to no teeth!
  10. Pears.  Violet gobbles up pears.  There are so many soft varieties and I just cut them into little cubes for her.  
I hope this helps other mamas out!  Feel free to share other ideas and recipes that have worked for you.  And keep an eye out for another post with more on baby led weaning foods and recipes (including some baby/toddler-friendly dinners) that Violet (and the rest of us) eat.