At 6 months old, Ida has started exploring whole foods, and just like her siblings did, she is having lots of fun. As we did with our first two children, we are using the Baby-Led Weaning approach, so she has the chance to explore a great variety of textures, colours and shapes, as well as tastes, of course. (For more details on how Baby-Led Weaning works, see this post of mine from two years ago.)
With Baby-Led Weaning, whole foods are offered in their non-pureed form, for the baby to feed herself. Obvious choking hazards are avoided (raw carrots, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, popcorn, etc), but otherwise, pretty well anything goes, provided it isn’t too high in salt or sugar. (Honey is the one ingredient not recommended for babies before age one, because it is unpasteurized.) Ida’s first food was a homemade noodle with cream sauce! It’s so much fun to see Ida joining in family dinner and Cash (almost 7) and Polly (5) think it’s great to see her eating the same foods as they are.
After exploring foods for a couple of weeks, Ida has tried so far…
roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower
kale, arugula salad
pork shoulder ragu with linguine
avocado, sugar snap pea
sprouted wheat toast with sunflower seed butter
peach, apple, mango, banana
steamed green beans, sautéed mushrooms
black bean brownie sweetened with maple syrup
spelt pancake with natural peanut butter
roasted sweet potato, boiled white potato
omelette, boiled egg, fried egg
mashed chickpea salad on sourdough
baked tofu with lemon
We adore our solid wood keekaroo high chair you can see in this post. It has had a place at our dining table now for almost 7 years (since we bought it for our first), because the seat lowers so it can convert to a toddler, kid or adult chair. The tray is easy to use and spacious. (We misplaced the tray, but a friend in our neighbourhood had the same chair and lent us her old tray! Good as new!) Just like all our awesome lunch gear, our high chair came from our fave local shop, Nurtured.
Most of the recipes here on my blog work with BLW, or are easily adapted for a baby to grab. It’s easy to modify foods so a baby can pick them up (and much less work than pureeing): for example, you can leave some of the peel on something like avocado, mango or banana, and the baby will hold the peel and eat the fruit! This can be seen in Ida’s breakfast video above. You can cut foods like cheese, toast with avocado, or roasted pepper in strips for a natural handle. Finger foods like fish cakes, vegetable fritters, pancakes, etc are very easy for babies to hold. Ida can’t do a refined pincer grasp yet (with thumb and forefinger) so as you can see in the videos, she picks up food with her entire hand. Babies know so much - it’s awe-inspiring to see!
If you’re interested in exploring Baby-Led Weaning with your child, a few great Instagram feeds from paediatric dietitians can be found here, here and here. Have fun!