Monday, March 14, 2011

more thoughts on blw AKA food for thought

Liza is 7 months old and eating real food.  Not purees.  Not mashed up food.  Real food.  As in, she picks up food off her tray and takes perfect little bites that are just the right size for her perfect little mouth.

A few weeks into solid food, she has tried and liked:
lentils cooked with garlic and dill -- possibly her favorite but her tummy wasn't very happy that night... peanut butter and jelly, banana, avocado, a boiled egg yolk, scrambled eggs, potato frittata, kiwi, homemade bread, hummus, orange, steamed carrot, sweet potato, spinach, green peas and probably other things I can't remember at the moment.

But, Laura, you are breaking all the rules.  You are introducing fruit before she tries all the vegetables.  You aren't feeding her purees on a spoon.  You didn't start with bland rice cereal out of a box.  You aren't giving her Puffs and MumMums as her first finger foods.  You.  You.  You.

Food for thought:  Maybe it's time these rules are broken. I want my kids to love whole foods not processed food out of a jar.  I want my kids to know that fruits and vegetables are a good thing and not just something you eat in order to get dessert.  I want my kids to stop eating when they are full not just because the bowl is clean and the spoon isn't coming their way.  I want my kids to know that snack time doesn't have to consist of dry crunchy highly refined grains out of a box or canister.

Can you tell I consider teaching my kids healthy eating habits one of my biggest responsibilities as mama?  You see, we live in Mississippi aka "the fattest state in the country".  My state proudly touts our status as birthplace of Elvis, William Faulkner and the Blues but we are also have the highest rate of childhood obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the entire country.   

I refuse to let my kids become another number in Mississippi's dismal health statistics.  And, the more I think about it, the more I realize that baby-led weaning creates the building blocks needed for a lifetime of healthy food choices.


Okay.
Maybe she didn't really like the kiwi....

But, she gave it a try and that's good enough for me!



9 comments:

Becky said...

I plan to do the same with this baby, but mainly because I'm too cheap to buy the jarred baby food! But I like your points ... they sound more educated and valid!

Anonymous said...

I plan to do this with my next one. I do have a question though, are you still supposed to follow the rules about when to introduce certain fruits and veggies. I used the book Super Baby Food for my first and made almost all of his food myself.

Laura said...

Becky, this really is the low effort and cheap route. I don't have to feed her with a spoon ;)

I was paranoid of food allergies with Henry but I kind of feel like he was the testing ground and now I'm not worried. We won't give her any dairy and shellfish (Henry had a BAD reaction in Mexico) but other than that, I feel pretty comfortable about giving her whatever strikes my fancy. The peanut butter and jelly certainly wasn't the ideal first food but at least we know she isn't allergic to peanuts...

Laura said...

And, because of Henry's shellfish allergy we keep an EpiPen Jr. with us at all times so that also makes me feel better about the possibility of an allergic reaction.

Christine @ Merf In Progress said...

I'm terrified -- TERRIFIED -- of my baby choking. I have a phobia of choking, and I definitely projected it onto my son when he began solids. Giving him the spoon food scared the daylights out of me. My little one is 6.5 months old, and I'm too scared to start him on solids. I don't know if I could bring myself to let him actually take bites himself. I think I would have daily panic attacks. Do you have these same worries?

KazVik said...

My boys started on finger food pretty early, too. I always had a dilemma what to give them since they didn't have any teeth to chew, but they refused to eat any pureed food. Avocado was one of their first solid food, after rice cereal. We also grounded some oats for their first cereal and mixed it with fruit. It was so good, that I always finished it after them.

KazVik said...

Sorry, I meant to say we ground oats for their first cereal.

Laura said...

Christine, oh, that is sad :( I think about choking but I wouldn't say that I worry about choking. Do you know how to do the Heimlich Maneuver on a baby? Maybe being over-informed on fixing the problem would help?

The only time she has even remotely gagged/choked is when she had been holding on to a carrot for longer than she was interested in actually eating it. I finger swept it out and it wasn't a big deal at all.

Vika, I think avocado is pretty much the perfect first food. It was good to see you the other day!

The Shermans said...

I will definitely be introducing whole foods MUCH earlier with future babies. All my baby books freaked me out about possible allergies, so I held off much too long. I think that's why Sam is so picky now. He was such a great eater as a baby with pureed things, but is really, really finicky now about textures. Lesson learned.