Life advances and with it the traditions, customs, methods, as well as science, literature, sports, cinema, cars and even the way of making bread has changed if we look at the past. The same goes for the way we feed our children. Until 15 years ago it was rare to see a 6-month-old child eat broccoli, boiled carrot, green beans or chicken with his hands and at his own pace, however, now it is the most normal thing in the world. This is known as the BLW or Baby-Led-Weaning method.
The Baby-Led-Weaning method is fairly common these days, but until recently it received more complaints than praise. Recently the Spanish Association of Pediatrics has included it in its recommendations on complementary feeding. But we do not believe that it is simple, no, not at all.
We must take into account many aspects, we must be more aware of the child and his diet than with the “traditional” diet of milk and processed cereals (porridge), we must not forget that it is a complementary diet, since the first weeks our child He will not eat well until he gets the hang of putting food in his mouth, since using utensils is left to one year of age. Without forgetting that they are tests that we have to carry out and that through them we can detect food allergies.
What is the BLW method?
BLW is the acronym for Baby-Led-Weaning and it is a way to supplement the diet of our child from 6 months of age . A healthy and healthy way to feed it and thus keep it away from the ultra-processed porridges that are sold to us as the correct and complete diet, when in reality it has low-quality ingredients, a lot of fat and a lot of sugar. Not to mention the fruit or meat porridges that the percentages of the main ingredients are very low.
In short, the BLW method is the inclusion of solid foods after the completion of the milk stage, although at first it serves as complementary feeding together with the bottle or breast, after a few months it will be the only way to feed for our child .
This method helps to develop the child’s personality, to make him feel free to choose what he wants to eat, at his own pace and the amount he wants. In addition, it helps him in his motor and intellectual development and his tastes for some foods or others, and his ability to choose, develop, apart from the fact that his 5 senses will begin to refine.
Is it a suitable method for my child?
Before starting our baby in this complex technique, we must take into account several very important things. Not just our time, dedication and experience, but the development of our baby . Each child is a world, we know it, but knowing it is not enough. We have to become aware that perhaps, no matter how much we want to give our son this diet, he is not yet ready.
To know if it is a good time we must take into account this list:
- That our pediatrician has given the ok.
- Is older than 6 months.
- The baby is interested in food beyond the bottle or breast.
- The creature is able to sit up and stay upright and more or less still.
- He has good mobility in his hands.
- It does not present allergies or serious problems.
- He is able to see well on his own and grasp what he wants.
- He puts things in his mouth.
- It has good mobility in the mouth and does not choke easily.
- You have lost the extrusion reflex.
First steps with Baby-Led-Weaning
If we have answered yes to all of the above, then our little one is ready to start this complementary feeding, otherwise, we will have to keep waiting. Although our baby is prepared, a series of requirements must be taken into account so that the BLW method is carried out properly.
Basic safety rules in the BLW method
To begin with, it is the child who sets the pace and the amount of food, we cannot force or force him. The first few days he will throw away the food or he will put it all in a handful in his mouth. Be that as it may, you have to keep these rules very present at every meal:
- Our child must be well seated and upright in the high chair.
- The plate should be made of soft plastic or silicone, in case you accidentally hit your face, and if you have a pacifier, better so that you cannot lift the plate and throw it all away.
- At each meal it must be under the supervision of an adult.
- We have to cut the food in an elongated way so that you can grip it well with your fist (the first days or weeks) and that the diameter is not more than a 20 cent coin.
- Always have clean and fresh water on hand.
A new food every 2 to 3 days
At the beginning we can offer you between 2 and 3 different foods and you always have to prioritize foods rich in iron. No spicy, sauces, fried, roasted, very dry food, no burnt parts, no raw vegetables, no cooking with salt, no sugar, no raw meat, etc.
In the case of the egg, which is usually a food that gives some reactions at times, it is recommended to go very little by little. The first time give 25% of half an egg , that is, we cook an egg, we split it in half and that we split it into 4 pieces and we only give it 1, the next day two pieces like that until the whole egg and let us know that there are no adverse reactions.
Olive oil yes
Everything we cook for our child must be dated and if it is necessary to use any type of oil, we can only use EVOO, all other oils are prohibited. And we cannot exceed the amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, only the right amount necessary for the food to cook properly.
The whole issue of oil, salt and other spices should be discussed with a specialist, since, as we know, there are different types of olive oil, and not all of them are suitable for babies, only the mildest ones.
Foods prohibited in the BLW method
There are a series of foods that we better not give them because of the risk of choking, because they are not suitable for them, because they tend to give adverse reactions, etc.
- Raw carrot.
- Raw pepper.
- Fried or roasted potatoes.
- Sliced sausages.
- Whole nuts.
- Green peas.
- Cherry tomatoes.
- Coconut oil.
- Sunflower oil.