when the decision was made to go straight into solids as lu approached 6 months [I encourage interested parents of infants to consider reading Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods–and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater], two benefits were immediately apparent.
- $$: extra products were not needed to prepare lucy’s food nor did we have to buy jarred food. because of this, we were able to minimize costs incredibly.
- time: when we began solids, mealtime for lu usually meant washing broccoli or cutting a piece of fruit into finger-sized portions. starting around 9 months, lucy began eating what we ate for dinner. even now when she doesn’t share our meal, she’s usually content with beans, avocado, or eggs–all of which are simple to make.
- hand-eye coordination: we rarely relied on utensils to help lucy get her food, so she was consistently working on handling her food.
- openness to new foods: with new textures and tastes being introduced often, lucy embraced the opportunity to try new food. for awhile, it seemed like her preferences were akin to those of a garbage disposal, yet recently she is exhibiting some pickiness.
- convenience: i eluded to this earlier. feeding time wasn’t burdensome. if we were out to eat, we knew we’d likely share our meal, so we kept lucy’s digestive needs in mind. even packing her meals during the week is quite simple.
baby-led weaning is an ideal way to transition into solids, especially if you’re a freak about ingredients and quality like me. lucy’s diet is probably more balanced than my own, largely consisting of fruits and vegetables. baby-led weaning does not mean giving your baby anything to eat–the sodium content of a dish must be evaluated and there are particular foods that should be avoided until a certain age. although both require knowledge, educating yourself is fairly easy and soon, everything becomes habitual.
if there’s one very small downside, it’s this: eating has a social appeal for lucy. that being said: if you’re eating, expect her to want some. this forces us to be mindful of what we’re eating, but it has also forced us to sneak snacks when lucy turns away or feign ignorance as she asks for more because she notices our mouths are too full to speak.
i didn’t imagine that feeding lucy solids would ever be something i’d identify as fun, but it really has been, plus, there’s something that is super charming about a 9 month old enthusiastically requesting more chana masala & guacamole.