Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baby-led Weaning Book

As anyone who reads this blog knows I've been seriously stressing about nutrition for Kye. I hate not knowing for sure what is best for him and have been hunting for something to help me. I am a follower of the Babywise Mom Blog and she recently did a post on the book Baby-led Weaning. She hasn't actually done it herself but the post was written by mothers who have and I decided to order the book and see what it was all about.

Well it's my next favorite thing to Babywise!

I read the book in one sitting. Seriously! I sat in Kye's play area and let him play while I read it and folded corners. It was SO good. Actually it was a super sweet moment between Kye and I too as when I was reading I noticed that he had picked up a book and come and sat next to me. He was sitting quietly and looking and the book and turning the pages...just like Mommy! It made me feel less guilty for reading instead of playing :)

Anyway. I will be discussing a lot of the book in future posts but I highly recommend it! With Babywise I started from pretty much Kye's birth but I'm actually starting late on this one. It's recommend to start implementing the ideas at 6 months old. I think if I had read it then that I'd be having a LOT more to talk about!

This book was written by a British lady which was my only negative about it as I guess they spell a lot of things differently from us! Like realize was spelled "realise" Grrr it drove me nuts! The reason they call is "weaning" isn't because the way we think of weaning...weaning over there just means starting on solids. For us it means stopping breastfeeding! Once you get past that, it really is all common sense. It clicked with me the same way Babywise did!

The basic concept is to NEVER give your child baby food. Not even pureed "real" food. You watch for signs (which the book discusses) that your child is ready for food then you start feeding them. You always offer milk first and consider solids a fun thing until they are a year old. The author tells parents to eat meals with their children so the baby can copy as you eat as a way of learning how. They also say to feed your baby whatever you are eating!

Obviously I've already been giving Kye baby food. I'll discuss in a future post WHY they say not to but I just wanted to get the summary out there for everyone! After reading this book I've STOPPED giving Kye ANY baby food and it's been a wonderful two days! He's so much happier when eating and has been doing awesome! He ate slices of fresh apple this morning dipped in yogurt, pieces of chicken with butter beans and cottage cheese for lunch and beef stroganof with carrots, honey dew, grapes, pineapple and water melon for dinner! His poops the past couple days have become more regular and he's communicating more with me while eating. And honestly, it's so much cleaner than the messy baby food AND it's easier to prepare! I'm so so thankful I picked up this book!!!!

The book points out that babies crawl when they are ready, they talk when they are ready, they walk when they are ready. Why do we force them to eat when we are ready for them to? It's important to not feel pressured to feed your baby solids until THEY are ready! By offering him a variety of textures, colors, and flavors I'm allowing Kye to learn about REAL food. How stupid is it that we give them this mushed up version of the real thing for 6-8 months then expect them to suddenly enjoy actual legit food?

My favorite part of the book is where the author breaks down nutrition. This is what I've needed most. She (I assume it's a she?) broke it down very simply for me and it makes my life SO much easier. A serving for ANYONE is the size of what you can fit in your hand. Isn't that easy to remember? So Kye's portion sizes for food is very very little. Each day I need to be trying to feed him (and myself, this is nutrition for ALL ages!): 3 appropriate serving sizes of vegetables, 2 of fruits, 1 of dairy, 1 of meat, and 1 of grain. Can that GET any more simple? I haven't even opened the book while writing this...I just wrote that from memory :) Of course the more variety you offer the better especially by trying to offer different colors of each thing. Like the three veges, one could be yellow, one orange and one green.

A couple other good tips I got from the book included:
  • stick a plate in the freezer while you heat up the food for the baby then put the food on that plate so it'll cool to a comfortable temperature
  • cut foods in longer "finger" shapes as that way the baby can hold it with his hand and eat the part that sticks out (worked great for the apple slices!)
  • don't praise him a ton for eating, it's what he should do and you shouldn't make a big deal of it. 
  • don't worry too much with manners, it's about learning about food
  • let him decide when he's finished, the way to know is to offer a little more of something they like and if they don't eat it then they're done!
  • never feed him at all. the baby should ALWAYS feed himself (a hard one for me!) as it's actually a choking hazard when we do it for them.
  • don't rush the eating process (as I totally did with baby food!) let him eat as much as he'd like and take as long as he'd like to do it (tonight Kye ate for 40 min! It was WONDERFUL! Zach and I got to enjoy our food while Kye enjoyed his AND we had time to sit as a family and just talk and enjoy each other!)
  • it's okay if the baby doesn't eat much. always remember that for the 1st year they are getting all the need from their liquid feedings!
It's really been such a positive thing for me already. Eventually I want to be eating healthier so Kye can eat the same things Zach and I eat. Right now WE don't eat healthy enough! The book talked about processed foods and how bad they are for you and I agree. Fresh really is best. I, however, can't always offer fresh food. It's impossible! We live on a budget and only go once a month for groceries so I plan to buy fresh foods for him then and maybe go one other time a month for some more. The next best thing to fresh is frozen so I plan on doing a lot of that! My goal is to rarely give him anything that's been preserved like canned goods. It's been easy so far! I just use my pressure cooker to cook some of the frozen vegetables and then put them in a Tupperware to use as left overs (and keep the rest of the bag frozen for later use). It seriously took me 6 minutes and I made enough veges to probably last a week! When I make meat for Zach and I, I've just made a little extra for Kye! It's SO much easier than I ever would have imagined!

One thing Zach and I do eat kinda often is pre-made meals. I call them "boxed meals." They are great! All the ingredients come in the box. You just mix it, heat it and serve it. Well I agree with the book that this type of food isn't healthy. I hope to eventually find quick, easy meals I can make instead of using these but I feel like since we rarely (like maybe once a month) eat out or eat fast food (only eat it when we're traveling) that if Kye has some processed food a couple times a month that it won't kill him!

I also agree that organic is the best way to go. Again though, we're on a budget and we live in a small town where that kind of stuff isn't readily available. So I plan to try to follow the "dirty dozen" list when I can and not really worry about the rest of it! I mean a girl can only do so much! I did read in a magazine that for a child Kye's age the third most commonly eaten vegetable is french fries!!!! I mean seriously America!!!! I guess I'm not too bad then huh?

As you can tell I'm MEGA pumped about this book!!! I love love love it and hope it helps other people too! I finally feel like I have it all together! Between Babywise (soon to start Toddlerwise!) and the Babywise Blog I feel like I'm good with his scheduling and such and with Baby-led Weaning and Wholesome Baby Food.com (I check it before I feed him anything to make sure it's okay!) now I'm good with his nutrition too!!! Yay for me! :)

Here's some pictures from the past couple of days!

beef stroganof!
apples dipped in yogurt
yummy cottage cheese and chicken!
made Zach and I laugh out loud..is he eating beef stroganof or smoking something? haha
Zach said that maybe Kye is actually the son of my high school boyfriend Mark!

3 comments:

Rachael said...

I am definitly going to try to do organic dairy. I am going to do things very differently food wise with baby #2 :)

Crissy Megow said...

We did the baby-led weaning method with Stevie, I didn't read the book nor did I ever even know this was a "strategy", but I just did it for 2 reasons 1)Stevie never really liked purreed foods or baby foods and 2)I was lazy and liked to eat when she ate so I could play when she played so it was easier for her to "feed" herself than for me to feed her and try to feed myself at the same time, I found she was more interested in foods this way and could sit at the table much longer. I was so happy when the Babywise Blog lady posted this, b/c I had never even heard of it, I thought I was just lazy, come to find out I am smart?!? lol! We have already started it a little with Neela, she is totally ready for food since she watches big sister all the time and b/c she weighs 20lbs at 5.5 months, she was ready to move on :)

Anonymous said...

Not bad article, but I really miss that you didn't express your opinion, but ok you just have different approach

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