Friday, March 23, 2018

Baby Led Weaning (We did that!)

Did you know there's unschooling for teaching infants to eat solid food?  I knew we did it, but I din't know it had a name.  That's OK, I didn't know unschooling had a name at first either.  I found out through a Winnie post that what we did is called baby led weaning.

If you look BLW up on Wikipedia you'll find, among other things, this very unschooling style quote:

"Researcher Joel Voss, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University states, "The bottom line is, if you're not the one who's controlling your learning, you're not going to learn as well" (Davis, 2013)"

And to think, all this time I thought we were just being lazy.  When our midwife told us that everything we were eating was good for the kid, it just made sense that they would eat off of our plates. Each of the kids started eating our food when they were about six months old. We waited till they expressed an interest in our food, and could hold it, and then let them go for it.

We had a few informal rules. We didn't let them have nuts until their teeth came in. We avoided strawberries and honey till they were a year old. Steak always seemed to be an issue so we moved it to the post-teeth list eventually as well.

The first kid loved gnawing on broccoli at Pizza Hut salad bars on Long Island. It turned out she was teething. Clementines were also a huge hit. It was a bit gross at first since the kids could suck out all the good stuff. We'd find little clementine zombie shells laying around the house. The gang also all loved pretzel sticks which wound up being our best teething chews.. Again with finding gnawed pretzel stumps around the house though :)

We ate more sweet potato, pasta, and squash dishes then that we do now, so that helped. That might have just been our natural laziness kicking in again making us avoid foods we though might be an issue. It also helped that the kids liked those foods.  Consequently we used them more and more. We made little ramekins with mashed up sweet potatoes and sausage. We ate sausage pasta escarole (a Martha Stewart recipe) a lot. We also ate quite a bit of pork with and without stuffing.

Baby led weaning worked out great for us.  The kids had fun learning to eat what we ate.  We never had to mash, puree, or juice anything we didn't already intend to, it was a win/win!

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