Baby Led Weaning Food
Children Food

Baby Led Weaning : 4 Fine Pros and Cons You Should Know

If you have a picky eater toddler, you have to know that baby led weaning food can help sort things out. They can be as picky as they want, but you are the one who provides food options for them right? Purees might be recommended as the first food for babies around 4 months. But if you just start introducing solids for toddler around 6 to 12 months, you can just opt-out of purees and choose baby led weaning food instead.

Baby led weaning is an approach which encourages you to introduce solids to babies where they can self-feed themselves with finger foods. While doing this, you give them the freedom to explore what they eat from the texture to the taste of the food. There is no limitation to eating a specific food via spoon which can later make your toddlers think that eating is a burdensome activity.

How to Start Baby Led Weaning

Baby Led Weaning How to Start
Source image : pixabay.com

Currently, some experts, such the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend that the best time to start solid food is about 6 months. By that age, most babies can sit up on their own and grasp and grasp objects. They also reduced the tongue thrust reflex (which causes them to push foreign bodies out of the mouth), and their intestines have developed the digestive enzymes needed to absorb solid food.

Want to know if baby-led weaning is right for your child? Let your pediatrician express your thoughts and ask for advice; although most babies get the green light, some babies (babies with special needs who cannot pick up and chew their own food) may not be able to try infant-led weaning. Then look at the baby-some like to take the lead, and some don’t.

Read also : 8 Top Breastfeeding Tips for New Mom

Baby Led Weaning 6 Months Food

The great thing about baby led weaning is that it can develop a good eating habit and prevent them from being a picky eater. Besides that, if you want to feed your baby through baby led weaning you can choose from several ingredients below.

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cooked carrots and beans
  • Peaches, pears, and melon
  • Egg yolk
  • Cooked meat and chicken

Baby Led Weaning Pros and Cons

Benefits of Baby Led Weaning Food

Some studies and advocates show that, infants who are started baby led weaning food and feeding solid food are: 

  • Compared with babies who are fed fruit purees, they are more familiar with textures and tastes, which may make them more likely to develop more diverse and healthy food preferences in the long run. In addition, multiple studies have shown that babies who eat an assortment of foods (including fish and peanut products) may actually be less likely to be food allergic in later life.
  • It is less likely to become overweight than a child who is fed with a spoon. By spoon feeding, parents can control (this may make the baby eat faster, beyond their actual needs, may lead to the habit of ignoring satiety). However, the same as breastfeeding a baby, baby led weaning food infant can adjust her diet according to her hunger level. 
  • Cultivate dexterity and hand-eye coordination. 
  • Learn how to chew to help digestion.

Disadvantages of Baby Led Weaning Food

  • Safety issues: Before babies have developed the required oral motor skills, give them some food, which can cause vomiting, vomiting and potential choking.
  • Potential to give negative experience in meal time: Although nausea and coughing are mechanisms that prevent babies from suffocating, these reflexes are both uncomfortable and frightening for babies. Eating solid food requires learning and a lot of practice. A positive eating experience is important so that the baby can continue to do so and try new things. Meals should be fun.
  • It is difficult to determine allergic reactions: Some pediatricians may recommend introducing one food at a time if there is allergic inheritance in the family. This helps to find out what kind of food that will cause the baby to the baby. If multiple foods are served at once, it is difficult to identify.
  • Lack of nutrition: when giving baby led weaning food to the babies, we can’t push the baby to eat as much as the amount and the nutrition needed by them. Some babies might eat a small amount of food and potentially become lacking nutrition.

Baby Led Weaning VS Purees

Baby Led Weaning VS Purees

Parents in Montessori and “Natural Parenting” genre normally believe that giving food to the baby before 1 years old is “just for fun” only. Therefore, they are unwilling to replace breast milk or formula with solid foods. Parents who adopt the baby led weaning food strategy believe in respecting their children to have freedom to choose their own food. Parents who choose to wean their babies provide an excellent choice for their babies!

On the other hand, many parents of babies who start with giving puree instead of baby led weaning food believe that it is good for babies to experience the taste and texture by spoon feeding.

Baby Led Weaning Meal Prep

Have we all heard of meal preparation? Chop the vegetables for a week and make some snacks. It can be the same as your lunch, some canned salads, or overnight oats. These types of food are healthier and easy to prepare. So, why not apply these similar types of food to baby led weaning food preparation? Baby led weaning food preparation is easier than baby puree food. Most people keep asking if preparing baby food will take too much time? Yes, it will, if you cook the single meal for your baby from start to finish. But my answer is always no for the baby led weaning food. The key is learned to work smarter.

There are some simple steps to prepare the baby led weaning food. 

  1. List the main ingredients: make a list of babies led weaning food that you want to give to your baby for a week. Make sure those are your baby’s favorite.
  2. Introduce the new one: adding a new type of fruits or vegetables to your baby led weaning food will enrich the taste and encourage your baby.
  3. Separate from the family meal: when making any food preparation for your family, don’t forget to save aside some for the baby led weaning food before adding salt to the meal. 
  4. Make an emergency stock: you can stock some baby led weaning food on quick frozen fruit of veggies that you can easily steam.

Tips and Tricks in Baby Led Weaning Food

There are suggestions that families adopt a modest method to introduce solid foods into babies. Particularly, babies who just started have only one kind of puree food will soon transition to easy-to-eat table foods. In addition, try to give some of the two methods-seasoning with a spoon and letting the baby feed on their own. So how should parents implement it? Here are some suggestions: 

  • Consult your pediatrician and get approval: If the baby is full-term, it usually occurs when the baby is around six months old, when their head and trunk are well controlled, and they show interest in their parents’ diet.
  • Use high baby feeding chair
  • Let the baby eat together with the family: Eating together with the rest of the family will boost the baby’s emotional experience. It helps the baby to feel exciting and fun while eating baby led weaning food
  • Help the baby to take turns: Use the spoon in turns to help your baby take control. You feed him a bite then let him/her feed the next bite. When you are sure that he is going to try larger pieces of food, avoid choking hazards such as grapes and hot dogs. No matter what you are feeding him, close supervision is needed.
  • Introduce your baby with many textures and tastes in age between 6 – 12 months of age: This may mean starting with puree and then using a spoon. But it is important not to insist on using puree type food for too long, because babies need to experience a variety of different tastes and textures to support the development of oral-motor skills, as well as diverse tastes.

Read also : Baby Feeding Time and the importance of Scheduling

What Finger Food Can I Give My 6 Month Old First?

In baby-led weaning, parents can introduce and provide a variety of baby-friendly baby led weaning food. This can include whole foods (such as toast) or purees (such as mashed potatoes). The main thing is that the baby can control his/her own feed with some help from the parents (for example, with a preloaded spoon). The idea is that the baby led weaning method allows infants to control food consumption through “self-feeding” and “self-regulating” intake.

Is Baby Led Weaning Dangerous?

A study in New Zealand found that baby led weaning food does not cause more choking than traditional spoon feeding. Researchers still found that both styles can lead to unsafe accidents.

How to Cut Bananas for Baby Led Weaning Food?

Banana for Baby Led Weaning

Cut the banana in half and let some of the peel there. Use a knife to gently cut the peel about 2 inches, leaving some of the peel on it, so that the banana can be easily held by the baby and won’t slip easily.

Indah Sahara

As a mom, a nurse, and health activist, I do have interest in parenting topics, particularly in children's health and education. Through my articles, I would like to share any knowledge that I have to parents around the globe.

View all posts by Indah Sahara

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