Baby Led Weaning: One Year Old

About six months ago, we began the process of introducing solid foods into W's diet. We used a process called baby led weaning, or BLW, after six months of exclusive breastfeeding.  We started with banana slices, globs of hummus, avocado cubes, and lumpy oatmeal.  These are all typical BLW "favorites," and we soon had W eating many types of solid foods three times a day.

We set and followed some easy rules from the very beginning:

1.  Always offer breast milk within the hour prior to a meal of solids.
2.  Make sure each meal contains at least three different types of food.
3.  Make sure each meal contains fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
4.  Emphasize lean proteins and vegetarian fats; deemphasize simple carbohydrates.
5.  Season foods with a variety of flavors from fresh and dried herbs, spices, garlic, onion, etc.
6.  Serve a baby-friendly version of the adult meal, without preparing special or different foods.
7.  Everyone eats together, in a calm environment, using good table manners :)
8.  No excess sugar or salt, no peanuts, no choking hazards. 
9.  Provide constant supervision without unnecessary interference.

Overall, BLW has been a huge success for us.  W is an adventurous eater, enjoys restaurant meals, does not reject unfamiliar foods, and is growing and thriving.  I have to admit, it's very convenient to serve W the same foods we eat, and enjoy my meal while he feeds himself.  All of the early stress of BLW has really paid off for us!

Here are some examples of typical meals W is eating, now that he is one year old.  I can provide recipes for any of these items, if anyone is curious.

Veggie "burrito":  whole wheat tortilla, roasted pumpkin, stewed pinto beans, guacamole, raw vegetables, and hard cheese

Shredded chicken breast with sage, four-cheese potato and bok choy gratin (recipe HERE), and vegetable medly

Chopped chicken breast, homemade mung bean veggie burger, cheese cubes, English peas with dill

Roasted pink and white turnips, avocado, homemade mung bean veggie burger on an English muffin, pickles and radish

Potato, 1/4 turkey burger on an English muffin, vegetable medly, boiled egg

Ground turkey with sage, German brown bread, Brussels sprouts, yellow curry potatoes with coconut milk and fresh cilantro

Shredded pork shoulder, yellow curry potatoes, baguette with roasted garlic, roasted carrots and beets

Salmon, green beans, garbanzo beans, whole wheat couscous with kale and Swiss chard


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