Wednesday, December 18, 2013

new tastes, new textures

As Levi is just coming up to his 5 month birthday, I've been in no hurry to introduce solid foods. He's been feeding so well, never seems hungry and is happy as is. He's been switching between bottle and breast very well and I've established a good supply. Why rush any changes? Inevitably though right at 4 months I started getting questions about introducing foods. From the pediatrician to family members- everyone wanted to see this guy with food smeared across his face. I was going to resist until he seemed ready.

In the meantime I started looking into feeding philosophies- mostly by accident. I had assumed that we'd just puree up some sweet potatoes and start there. However the more I looked around, I stated seeing information about baby-led weaning. This emphasizes the role of the baby to choose, pick-up, and taste foods as he wishes, as eating in the first year is more about experiencing tastes and textures than nutrition. What's more, new research has shown that when babies choose their own foods, they tend to eat a more balanced diet than that selected by parents. I liked the idea of letting Levi explore foods on his own time, offering larger chunks that he can pick up and taste (but too big to choke on).

Still, I was in no rush. Then, yesterday, as we were sitting down to eat, Levi was grabbing at things on the table in a more intentional way, and watching us eat very intently. So, it just seemed right to offer him something too.

I gave him chunks of avocado and an apple slice. He liked licking the avocado, but loved sucking on the sweet apple. No surprise there! His first food experience was fun, not messy, and pretty successful I think!

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