Monday, August 16, 2010

Baby-led weaning recipes

My daughter Mae turned 6 months old in July-- by mid-June she was already beginning to intercept anything I was eating in her vicinity, so I officially began baby-led weaning in July. You can read all about baby led weaning here (or explore the list of links over on the sidebar), but the gist of it is this: when she's ready, a baby is allowed to explore a variety of finger foods in a hands-on manner; things like what to eat and how much of it to eat are left to her. The parents' role is to provide her with a variety of healthy foods to sample and play with as she learns about this whole new world of flavors and textures. Some start slow and take their time becoming familiar with different foods, while others dive in with gusto and eat everything they're handed. Miss Mae turned out to be in the latter category. I'm happy to report that, now 7 months old, she hasn't rejected a food yet! So I'm beginning to get ambitious-- I'd love for her to become an adventurous eater with a healthy relationship to food, who likes veggies, whole grains, farflung and downhome flavors alike. Now, in theory we're supposed to be able to just share our food with her at mealtimes. In practice, though, it's not quite that easy every time-- mainly because we don't eat as healthy as she needs to (I love me some salty food! But babies should have next to no salt for the first few years), or changes need to be made to make the food less of a choking hazard. If we're going out to eat, there are all kinds of problems too-- the food's salty, too fatty, in big chunks, or just too messy to allow her free rein with it. Or we're really only there for the sausage gravy. So I find myself constantly looking for good recipes that will be low-salt, low-sugar, and whole-grain, but tasty enough for all of us to eat. If it's quick, neat to eat, and portable, then so much the better. This blog is a place for me to record the recipes I come up with, stumble across, and adapt for my little eater.

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