Wednesday, May 9, 2012

baby led weaning: UPDATE

[chicken and banana, 6 months old]

I thought that since Ryan is over a year old, and has been eating solid food for... well, quite a while (9ish months, I think) that I should give an update on baby led weaning and how it is going for us. You can read the original post here.

*disclaimer in case you don't read the post I just linked to, even though you should!: Baby Led Weaning is a British term, so their take on "weaning" is different than our take as Americans on weaning. When they say weaning, they mean the introduction of solids. When we say weaning, we mean weaning from breastfeeding or bottle feeding, decreasing milk feeds, and increasing solid food. To make sure no one gets confused, I'm going to call it Baby Led Solids (BLS) in the rest of this post, like I did in the post I linked to. 

To say it in three words: Ryan loves food. Sometimes I can never seem to fill this kid up enough! I'm so happy that we did BLS with him, and we will definitely do it with any future children. That's not to say every child will take to it as well as Ryan did, but we have just seen so many benefits with it that it just makes so much sense for us. The bonuses that I touched on in the original post still remain true... it's so nice to not have to feed him (a moving target) something while our food gets cold. It's nice to not have to make more than one thing because he eats what we do. It's super easy to go places because I don't have to worry about bringing him something special or jars of food. He also is pretty enthusiastic about new food and is eager to try things, and he has eaten a lot of things that not a lot of kids his age have. And as a bonus, we as his parents started eating healthier because I want to make sure he has a good start with healthy eating ;) There are some times when I think to myself, *gasp* "I wouldn't want him eating that!!" Welllll then I probably shouldn't either :)

I wanted to touch on one other thing... something I am not sure how to process quite yet. Most of us grew up with the instruction that we had to finish absolutely everything on our plate, especially in order to get dessert. While I don't agree with the wasting of food, I'm not sure I understand this thought. I'm not really referring to a child taking one teensy bite of something and then saying, "I'm done!!" I'm more so referring to when a kid eats a reasonable amount but is still required to clean their plate off so they can become members of "the clean plate club." It seems that this may be something that we have just carried with us through the years and is an "old fashioned thought," because maybe in the past food was not as easily purchased or obtained. I obviously don't think food should be wasted, and we should be good stewards of what has been given to us, but completely cleaning off our plates every single time, regardless of being hungry or not? How are we supposed to teach our kids good eating habits when they are forced to finish everything, even if they are no longer hungry? Most of us as adults sometimes fore-go finishing something on our plates because we are no longer hungry, or because we want to "save room for dessert." Or maybe we don't take as much to begin with. I don't understand why parents are always pushing their kids to take "just three more bites." Maybe it's because I haven't walked in those shoes yet, as Ryan is still quite young... but I guess I just don't quite understand. We don't force Ryan to finish what is on his plate, because he of all people should know how hungry he is (or not). We've let him take the lead with how much he eats from the beginning, so it seems to make sense to let him continue to do so. Plus we also take into consideration the varying appetite of a growing toddler... some days he eats a lot, some days he doesn't eat very much. You know how, as a parent, you have to pick and choose the battles you fight? I guess at least for us personally, this is one we don't plan on fighting. But maybe you see it different in your family, and that's okay :]

Here's some fluff to close this post out... he's getting pretty good at eating with a fork and spoon!!

[eating a home made chicken wrap]

[mmm, pasta and veggies!]

[dipping his grilled cheese into his soup]

[mmm, avocado!!]

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