The Baby Led Weaning , more popularly known as the BLW method, is a complementary feeding system for babies from six months of age. It is considered that from that moment the little ones are able to put whole foods adapted to them to their mouth, using only their hands. This method is based on the fact that in this way babies stimulate their development to a greater extent than by receiving crushed and spooned food. They are the ones who decide what they want to eat and at what pace they want to eat.
Therefore, following the Baby Led Weaning, parents completely forget about the traditional baby food and purees . It is the youngest who little by little become familiar with the foods that are commonly consumed at home and accessing them.
One of the main objectives of this method is for babies to discover for themselves the textures, colors, tastes and smells of what their diet will be throughout life. Between six and twelve months of life, the foods that young children eat with BLW are known as complementary feeding. And it is that breast milk or formula continues to be their main source of food.
Baby Led Weaning: How to get started
One of the most common questions from parents who are interested in following this method with their children has to do with how to begin to follow it. Well, there are several aspects to assess to know that a baby is ready for Baby Led Weaning.
First of all, it is essential that you have lost the reflex that causes you to automatically expel any solid food that is put into your mouth. Second, the baby must remain seated , without falling forward or to the sides. And finally, it is important that you already have developed eye-hand-mouth coordination to be able to put food in your mouth.
The food that the little ones eat after six months of age should be easy to grasp , taking into account their development and the size of their hands. The vegetable sticks are for example a fantastic option. In the case of fish, they must be clean and without bones.
Objectives of the BLW
One of the main objectives of this feeding method is to promote the correct growth and development of babies , especially regarding their cognitive and neurological training. In addition, as a complementary diet, the aim is to provide the little ones with those nutrients that are not found in sufficient quantities in breast milk: iron, vitamin D, selenium, etc.
Of course, thanks to Baby Led Weaning, healthy eating habits are promoted from an early age. And, finally, it is worth noting that the Baby Led Weaning greatly favors the integration of babies into the family diet.
Beneficios del BLW
As for the benefits of this method, there are several that are worth knowing.
- Hunger and satiety: it is the babies themselves who control what they eat and at what pace. Therefore, when the little ones do not want more because they have satiated, they simply stop eating. However, with traditional porridges and purees it is easier to force them to take an extra spoonful, ignoring their innate satiety signals.
- Texture and flavor: when babies are fed purees and porridges, all foods have the same texture and, in addition, it is very difficult for them to identify what the flavor of each of the ingredients is. However, with the BLW method, little ones can experience both the texture and the taste of different foods separately.
- Varied diet : recent studies have shown that those children who do not incorporate solid foods into their diet before nine months of age are more likely to reject them. Thus, thanks to Baby Led Weaning, little by little they are consuming all kinds of food naturally and innately.
Recipes to start making Baby Led Weaning
- 1 leek
- 1 carrot
- 300 grams of noodles
- Olive oil
- First the leek and carrot are washed and cut.
- Next the vegetable broth is prepared. To do this, put the vegetables in a pot with water and a few branches of fresh parsley. They are cooked over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, the noodles are sautéed in a pan with a little olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Once the time has elapsed, add the broth and cook for 15 minutes. The hot plate is served.
Chicken and pear meatballs
- 200 grams of minced chicken meat
- 1 egg
- 1 money
- 120 grams of breadcrumbs
- To begin with the preparation of the recipe, the oven is preheated to 180º.
- The pear is then peeled and minced. It reserves.
- In a large bowl, put the minced chicken meat, the previously beaten egg, the pear and the parsley. all the ingredients are mixed.
- Then the breadcrumbs are added and mixing continues until a compact dough is obtained.
- Several small balls are formed and placed on the oven tray.
- They are baked for 20 minutes, turning them once half the time has elapsed.
- 200 grams of cooked rice
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons of wheat flour
- Once the rice is cooked, it is mixed in a glass bowl with the two previously beaten eggs.
- Add the flour and parsley and mix all the ingredients until you get a compact and manageable dough.
- The hamburgers are prepared and put in a frying pan with little oil. They are browned on both sides and served hot.
Final tips for doing Baby Led Weaning
To follow the BLW method, it is very important to control the foods that babies eat to avoid the deficit of any type of nutrient in their body. When cooking food, it is better to use simple methods, such as steaming or baking.
There are a number of foods that are worth avoiding with the BLW method because they greatly increase the risk of choking.
- Sausages: one of the most consumed processed meats globally, but one that implies a certain risk for the little ones. It is not a suitable food for babies.
- Nuts: when it comes to taking nuts, it is best to give them crumbled or crushed. In no case should babies take whole nuts.
- Candies: Candies are a type of hard food that takes time to melt in the mouth. Better to avoid them to avoid unnecessary scares.
Note that the BLW method is not at all clean. Especially in the beginning, very little food will reach the child’s mouth, so that more than 90% will end up on the floor or on the furniture. Therefore, it is important to remain calm . Eating is a process that is learned progressively, so the most important thing is that parents accompany and monitor their children at all times.
One of the main concerns of parents regarding Baby Led Weaning has to do with whether their babies will eat enough. Well, it is a complementary feeding method , not a main one. Therefore, babies continue to drink breast milk or formula, and at the same time incorporate solid foods into their diet until they become their main food.
However, until that time comes, go slowly and without haste. As is logical, at first babies eat very little and are basically engaged in playing with food, experimenting with its taste and texture.
In recent years the Baby Led Weaning has taken on a great relevance globally since it offers a wide range of benefits for the development of the little ones. Experts insist that it is best for the little ones to eat the same foods as the rest of the family, as long as they are healthy: pieces of fish, chicken, banana, pear … It is best that they take the food with their hands, so that the little ones take a more active role in their diet.
The BLW method encourages greater acceptance of foods, with a wide variety of both textures and flavors. In this way, a greater consumption of healthy foods is achieved, taking into account that it is essential to promote healthy eating habits at an early age.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.