Friday, 9 May 2008

Starting BLW.

It feels like forever since we started out on our BLW journey, nearly six months. Looking at Millie now, roaming around and chatting to her new dolls, I can scarcely believe how far we've come. Of course if you're new to the blog chances are you are starting out and my ramblings about picnics and birthday cakes aren't what you're looking for. You can go back through the archives, Mel began this blog in 2006 and I joined last November. We've charted our babies' journeys into weaning, the foods we tried and how it all went down (or ended up on the floor). This is post number 400 according to the stats - woo hoo! We're working on a few bits and bobs together and will make things a little easier to navigate eventually. Until then, here are some ideas for getting started.

What food to choose?
BLW means pretty much any food is on offer. That said, here is a (not exhaustive) list of fruit and veg which seems to be popular with the BLW babies I know.
Root Veg: parsnips, sweet potatoes, beetroot, carrots, swede, celeriac.
Other Veg: Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, butternut squash, beans, peas, asparagus.
Fruit: bananas, pears, apples, melon, mango, grapes (cut up).

How to prepare it?
Cut the veg or fruit into 'chip' shaped sticks, about twice the length of your babies hand span. My preferred method of preparation is steaming (I find a bamboo steamer very useful). I am rubbish at judging the time so check every five minutes or so until it feels soft enough to squish with the tongue. You can also roast or dry fry depending on what it is you're preparing. If you have a teething babe, melon from the fridge is very soothing.

What to expect?

Not a lot! Keep offering a range of foods, expect that plenty will go on the floor and stay calm. It will change and they will get the hang of it. At first Millie ate half of each stick and dropped the other as she didn't know how to get it ut of her hand. Very quickly her fine motor skills developed to manipulate foods and she became more sucessful. From the beginning she was quite accurate with a spoon although we often need three or four to get through a meal!

The gag reflex will seem alarming at first - do some reading about what it is and what you should do, I am not qualified to advise. This stage passes quite quickly!

What next?
Well, that's up to you! Every food is a possibility. Millie was eating curries and spiced food within a month of starting. So long as what you prepare is low on salt and appropriate for their age - why not?

Are you starting out? Would you like to write about your experiences? Get in touch as we're looking for the next baby blogger to take this forward.

Happy Days,

Kat x


Talia said...

My daughter turned 6 months on the 7th.

We're moving forward with a baby led weaning approach, and I have to say your blog is really helping me to form how we are going to move forward.

My MIL is severely allergic to wheat, so already we have things stacked against us.

So far we've offered my daughter a bit of banana and a bit of avocado, approx one week apart. she wasn't really entranced with either.

Since as a family we already eat a lot of veggies, I figure i will just steam whatever we are eating that night and offer it up to her.

I'm really looking forward to the next year or so.

Kat said...

Hi Talia,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I'm so glad you've found the blog helpful. Sounds like a plan to me! We have some coeliac disease in the family. There are some good books out there written by nutritionists which can give you an idea of what foods to introduce when. I've got a review going out soon on my favourite.

Good luck and hope to hear from you again,

Kat x