Few months passed by and now your baby is on the journey of starting solids. These days, more and more parents are using the baby led weaning approach to introduce solid food to their baby.
But, what is baby led weaning? Baby led weaning is an approach to introduce solid food where your baby feeds himself with chunks of food using his own hands. There are many benefits of baby led weaning, but one thing you need to prepare (yourself) is that you’ll probably end up with a lot of food on the table, baby chair, and even on the floor! It’s okay, you’ll get through this mommy!
"What are the proper foods for baby led weaning?"
One thing to keep in mind is baby’s first foods should be a selection of soft foods that can be easily chewed and swallowed. If you are thinking about going the baby led weaning route, here are the types of food you can feed for a successful baby led weaning.
- Soft bread or toast fingers.
- Rice/oatmeal cereal.
- Whole-wheat fusilli pasta, noodles.
- Boiled chicken cubes.
- Thin strips of tender meat and fish.
- Scrambled egg or hard-boiled egg cut into cubes.
Fruits and Vegetables
- Soft fruits (such as banana, mango, papaya, etc.) that are cut into cubes.
- Steamed broccoli, carrots, green beans, sweet potato.
- Soft cheese slices.
- Smashed or cubed avocados.
Aside from the baby led weaning starter foods, there are a few things to keep in mind for a successful baby led weaning. Remember to go slow and follow the baby’s cue. Other safety tips that you should take note:
Precautionary & Useful Tips during Baby Led Weaning
- Avoid high choking risk foods such as grapes, cherry tomatoes, nuts that are round or sharp in shapes.
- Cut foods into a shape that your baby can easily grasp and hold.
- Prepare solid foods that are cooked and soft.
- Keep baby sitting upright in a high chair while eating to support their posture.
- Always supervise your baby during mealtime to watch for any signs of choking.
- Avoid distractions during mealtimes, such as turning off the TV or removing the toys while the baby is learning to eat.
When to start Baby Led Weaning?
According to Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), you can start baby led weaning when your baby is at least 6 month of age, or when he is able to sit up without support. If you start earlier than that, bare in mind that it may increase the risk of infections and allergies to the baby.
Remember that baby led weaning is one of the processes that help your baby to love good food! As a parent, we should always be particular when choosing the right baby food. Not to be a freak mom, but it is always good to analyze every little detail on what your baby is eating – from the ingredient lists to how the food was made. Opt for baby foods with real foods, no added sugar and minimal salt, no additives and preservatives.
To win a successful baby-led weaning, there are 3 practices that you can try out to develop your baby’s fine motor skills.
FULL HANDED PRACTICE
Full handed practice requires the combination of eye, mouth and eye practice. Moreover, full handed practice also helps developing your baby’s self-feeding skill. For this practice, striped-shape food is the perfect one to be used. Gerber® Organic Crunchies aligns perfectly with this practice with its striped-shape. It encourages your baby to grab the food better as the size is perfectly made for your baby’s tiny hand.
FINGER COMBINATION PRACTICE
Progressively, you can let your baby eats the tiny-bite size food to train their pincer grasp, which involves the pairing of thumb and index finger. This practice requires the help of irregular shape finger food for experiences of multiple shape pinching and feeling. Hence, you may try out Gerber®’s signature – Gerber® star puffs that come in three flavours, Cranberry Orange, Fig Berry, and Apple. The cute and tiny-bite star shape helps to complement your fingers’ exercise with more edges grabbing.
It is also important to train your baby in picking up items with good grip. To enhance their grip strength, small and sleek shape food can be offered to your baby for picking and pinching practice. Consider Gerber® Organic Yogurt Melts which helps in providing more precision in grabbing smaller object thanks to its lightweight, small, sleek shape and tasty yogurt melts.
Thanks to today’s technologies, parents can simply get nutritious and convenient baby food everywhere. Instead of troubling yourself with all the hassle while preparing your little one’s food, let’s stock up on Gerber® Organic baby food, that is suitable for baby led weaning; #AnythingForBaby. Gerber® baby food contains only natural ingredients, and non-artificial coloring and preservatives, making it a healthy snack for your little one.
One final tip for a successful baby led weaning is to not rush things. Be patient and prepare to embrace the mess! Trust me, it’s gonna be a beautiful mess. #Goodluck!
Quick notes and some (more) facts on baby led weaning:
What is baby led weaning?
Baby led weaning is a process where you can start introducing solid foods such as purees, mashed-up foods, and thin strips of meat to your little one.
What should I avoid in my baby's weaning food?
You should avoid adding salt, sugar, honey or other natural sweeteners into your homemade baby's weaning food.
Salt is not good for your baby's kidney while sugar can lead to a dental problem such as tooth decay.
How to give solid foods to my 4-month-old baby?
Ideally, weaning should only begin when your baby is at least 6 months of age, or when he is able to sit up without support.
Thus, it is advisable to not feed any solid food when your baby is below 6-month-old.
What food can you puree for babies?
– Ripe banana, stewed apple or pear.
– Potato, carrot, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli.
What food should be given to an 8-month old baby?
1. Baby's finger food – bananas, toast, pasta, well-cooked meat, and cereal.
2. Small cubes of steamed vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, pumpkin.
3. Chicken and Fish – Tuna and salmon in the form of puree or as a soup.