Isla turns one in pretty much one second and I thought I should wrap up this whole BLW convo since most one-year-olds are well into solids at this point. But a funny thing has happened. I thought I’d write this final post about baby-led weaning and brag about how Isla eats everything we eat, including all her veggies, and tell you how she’s the best eater in the world. But, um, no. Blame it on teething, stubborn baby syndrome or just plain old pickiness, but Isla has been fighting me on solids. Every last bit of everything ends up on the floor and I’ve come to find myself with a spoon in my hand (GASP!). I know, I know. Defeats the purpose of baby-led weaning to now, at 11 months old, be spoon-feeding purées, right? But I choose sleep. If she doesn’t get enough to eat she doesn’t sleep through the night, and without that spoon-fed bowl of yogurt or other mushy something or other at dinnertime, this girl is up and hungry in the wee hours. So alas, after this long journey, this babe is rejecting almost all veggies (peas and corn to the rescue!) and wants to be spoon-fed. It’s a work in progress, folks.
Now for the good news.
First, smoothies are the best thing ever. I put ANYTHING and everything in them. Vegetables are easily hidden in fruity goodness. Isla drinks about 10 ounces of smoothie each day and sometimes it’s the only way I can get her enough fruits and veggies.
Second. Meat. She’s a carnivore, that girl, which means chicken nuggets for everyone!
Third. She’s learning to spoon-feed herself … sort of. I’ve been giving her loaded spoons of food for a while and from the very beginning she had it figured out. Lately though, with all the mush that’s being served, I started helping her actually use the spoon to scoop food off the tray and out of the bowl. She’s zero for about 100 tries on her own, but trying is the operative word. She now requires that she have her own bowl and spoon during most meals.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos this last month of eating. Sorry! But let’s talk about the new foods we tried anyway …
Potatoes. Can you believe it took me this long to give her regular old potatoes? I got so used to making sweet potatoes I kind of forgot about these guys. Needless to say, she’s a fan. Mashed, smashed, boiled. No matter.
Shrimp. Our doc told us early on that if we’re having shellfish for dinner we’re welcome to give some to the baby, but that it’s not really a food you go out of your way to introduce. Well, we were having this shrimp bruschetta and since I almost never make a separate meal for Isla unless we’re eating something seriously unhealthy, we decided to let her have a taste. Overall, she liked the shrimp, but, as always, she was more interested in the cheese and pasta. Also, this same meal brings me to …
Olives. A few weeks before the bruschetta meal, I gave Isla a piece of a calamata olive I was eating and she was obsessed! I didn’t give her too much since olives are really salty, but I am quite proud that I have an infant who loves olives! She makes a really funny face with every bite but always goes back for more. She even chooses the olives over the shrimp in the bruschetta!
Turkey. Thanksgiving was a success! Isla enjoyed her first official turkey dinner, complete with gravy, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing and everything in between.
Cheerios. She eats about a handful after breakfast. And I say after breakfast because if she even sees the box beforehand she will not eat anything else.
Spinach. I’m not sure if we’ve talked about spinach before, but I put it in her smoothies. Her favorite is spinach + frozen sliced peaches + yogurt + banana + apple cider. She sucks that puppy down.
Quinoa (cooked in low-sodium chicken broth). I’m thinking of adding this to smoothies also, but for now I add it to her dinner purée of veggies/fruits to give it some texture. She tried to eat piles of quinoa with her fingers but it didn’t work, for obvious reasons, and she still can’t quite get it from the spoon to her mouth without it all falling off. We’re working on this.
Cucumber slices. Blech. Even slathered in her beloved hummus, these slices end up on the floor every time.
Red grapes. I peel these and cut them in half and Isla eats them like candy.
English Muffins. Isla loves the nooks and crannies, just like the commercial said she would! No, I’m kidding, but she does love these, especially when slathered with cream cheese or peanut butter.
So what have I learned during this six-month journey with baby-led weaning? I would absolutely do it again. While we may be in the midst of our roughest patch since we started, it’s clear my babe is a fantastic eater. If I had to do it all over again (and hopefully I’ll get the chance again some day with baby number two), I wouldn’t change a thing. While the fear of choking never really goes away, I’m certain BLW has helped Isla learn how to handle her food from the very beginning. She truly does eat what we eat at mealtimes most days and she rarely meets a food she doesn’t like. For a not-yet-one-year-old, I think that’s pretty impressive.
Thanks for following along! As always, please share your own tips, questions and suggestions in the comment section.
For more about our journey with BLW:
BLW week one | BLW part two | BLW part three | BLW part four |
BLW: an overview | BLW part five | kid-friendly cheesy broccoli bites |
egg-free banana-blueberry yogurt pancakes | BLW part six | macaroni and cheese w/ broccoli | baked chicken nuggets
Instagram (hashtag #BLWwithIslaBee)