Baby Led Weaning, often shorted into BLW, mean that you are letting your child feed itself from the very start of weaning. According to the most recent research babies reach for food at around six months, which is also the time that mothers are being encouraged to wean, in accordance with the WHO guidelines. The idea behind BLW is to maintain eating as a positive, interactive experience.
A recent study concludes
that baby-led weaning may lead to less obesity in childhood and that babies that are fed with a baby-led approach learn to regulate their food intake in a manner, which leads to a lower BMI and a preference for healthy foods like carbohydrates.
Feeding specialist, Kary Rappaport concludes that a BLW infant, who leads their own food exploration and is exposed to a consistent variety of tastes, textures, and smells at an early age is more likely to develop a positive interest in food. This may decrease “picky” eating behaviors in toddlers and young children.
The basic principles of baby-led weaning are
- The child is allowed to decide how much it wants to eat.
- The meals should not be hurried.
- Preferably the child will sit down and eat together with the rest of the family
- The baby continues to nurse or receive a bottle. Solids are to compliment milk, and baby is trusted to know when to increase solid feedings and decrease milk intake (usually later in the first year).
The baby’s first food
should be a selection of fresh fruits, soft cooked vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, and fats served as finger-foods. Think soft and easy to gum and swallow. When given a variety to choose from, the baby will naturally choose the foods that meet her nutritional needs. Non-finger-foods, such as oatmeal and yogurt, may be offered with a spoon so the baby can learn to self-feed with a spoon.
that babies should never be left alone when eating. It’s important to offer soft foods to the baby and avoid hard ones, such as chunks of raw apple, until its older. The parents will have to adopt what they are giving to the child according to what it is ready for. Foods with clear danger, such as peanuts, are not offered at all. You should know about First aid for choking whether you are using BLW or not.
Now you’ve got a first view of BLW I hope you’ll consider giving your kids the gift of a great relationship with food!