Despite the phrase ‘baby led weaning’ being very much in vogue at the moment, the concept has been around for many years. Before we had access to food processers, blenders and food manufacturing, babies would have simply joined in with family meals when they were ready.
If you really think about it, it is common sense! A baby approaching 6 months old is already showing plenty of signs that they have the ability to feed themselves. They can hold their heads up, they are able to direct a toy to the mouth, they try to grab food from your hand and they are intently watching you eat.
BLW is basically allowing your baby to feed themselves normal foods from the age of 6 months. You will not need to spoon feed or prepare pureed food as your baby will be able to pick food up and feed him or herself. There are many advantages to allowing your baby to feed this way but from a Nutritionist’s perspective the best one is that they develop a healthy relationship with food right from the off-set.
Top 10 Finger Foods
1. Mango – keep the skin on and cut in to strip, contains vitamin A for good eye health.
2. Broccoli Floret – come ready to grab, lightly steam to retain their nutrient, high in vitamin C which helps to absorb iron.
3. Banana – the ultimate ready snack, high in fibre for good digestive health.
4. Natural yoghurt – the thicker the better, great fun with plenty of calcium for bone health.
5. Eggs – make an omelette and cut in to strips, an excellent source of protein for growth and development.
6. Baby Sweetcorn – the perfectly sized vegetable, a gluten free food with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
7. Salmon – check for any bones and then mix it with mash potato to make it easier to eat, full of essential fats for good brain, heart and immune health.
8. Rice Cakes – choose unsalted varieties and top with hummus for a healthy snack.
9. Porridge – make a thick plain porridge with full fat milk, oats are a good source of wholegrain, fibre and beta-glucans for heart health.
10. Sweet Potato – mash it and load it on to the spoon, this food is packed full of nutrients including vitamin A and C for antioxidant protection.
First Day Plan
Breakfast – try a spoonful of think porridge on a spoon plus a couple of strip of mango (keep the skin on so your baby can grip it)
Lunch – a rice cake with a spread of hummus and a cucumber stick
Dinner – in a steamer place a small piece of salmon fillet with a new potato and carrot stick, steam for 20 minutes
Drinks – always give your baby a beaker or cup of water (tap water is fine at this age)
Do not sit your baby up to eat if they are tired or hungry for milk
Do not worry if your baby misses a meal during the first few weeks or months
Continue with your milk feeds as normal
For more advice – visit Julie at The Bluewater Baby & Toddler Show in Kent on stand G18 on 10-12 October where you can buy the book directly from the author. Alternatively you can buy Julie’s book from Amazon
Name 3 of Julie's recommended 'Top Ten Finger Foods'.
The winner will be drawn at random from all correct entries on Monday 6th October.