Astrid has been eating solid food since December 11. Although “solid” is a bit of stretch. She spent the first two weeks eating applesauce and carrot mush, served on a spoon that she would eagerly grab and jam into her mouth. It was messy but she enjoyed it. We tried to feed her while we also ate dinner, but keeping her spoon loaded was a full time job.
At the end of December we discovered baby led weaning. The principle is simple, let babies explore real foods on their own and at their own pace. No texture-less purees. No spoon feeding.
Our first baby-led weaning meal was broccoli. It’s a strange first food but it was recommended by the Baby Led Weaning book because it comes with its own handle. Astrid loved it and mowed down several steamed broccoli florets that night. It inspired us to try other foods.
At first, we doubted she was swallowing anything, especially without teeth. However, her changing diaper contents (I won’t include any pictures) are proof that she’s eating even if her stomach doesn’t know how to digest it yet.
The hope is by allowing Astrid to explore food now that she’ll be an adventurous eater as she gets older. Even if that doesn’t work, it’s been fun watching her explore food and we get more time to enjoy our own meals. After trying baby-led weaning, we wouldn’t go back to purees.
Sometimes she gags on the food in her mouth, but she’s surprisingly skilled at pushing out whatever she doesn’t want with her tongue or grabbing it with her fingers.
Her absolute favourite food right now is banana. We give her a third with the skin still on so it’s easy to hold. She’s getting good at squeezing out the edible inside and leaving the peel behind or spitting it out.
We’re working our way through different fruits and vegetables. It’s difficult getting them soft but not mushy. We were pleasantly surprised to find she likes turnips because we keep getting them in our biweekly produce box and have run out of uses for them.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, we also try to give her whatever we are eating for dinner, as long as it’s not too salty, sweet, or spicy – like pasta, falafel, and Indian dosas. We introduced peanut butter a few weeks ago (following the latest advice) and I’m happy to report that she’s not allergic and loves it. A lot of her meals are messy and more food ends up on her face and clothes than in her mouth, but that’s ok. She’s learning about food and textures, and she’s still breastfeeding so we don’t have to worry about nutritional balance.