Baby Winter Likes Pasta (and Why I Chose Baby-Led Weaning)

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Winter likes pasta.

Winter likes broccoli. Winter doesn’t really like carrots and enjoys throwing them around…which, you know, I don’t really blame her for. Carrots are kind of weird.

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Nom! She had a similar reaction to broccoli. Since Winter likes things with some sort of handle, I give her a lot of food that she can hold comfortably and shove in her mouth at the same time…just because that’s her preference.

But yes, Winter is six months old. Why, you ask, would I feed a six month old real food? It’s a good question, considering how we’ve gotten onto this mush society instead.  Babies have no teeth, and as parents, we like to control the intake of our children. We want to know how much they’re eating. We want to know if they had 2.5 ounces of something or 3.14 ounces. In principle, there’s nothing wrong with that – it only becomes a problem if it stretches to every single aspect of a child’s life, and that isn’t usually what happens. 

But I still chose BLW, even though I’m never really sure how much Winter eats – or where it goes if she doesn’t eat it. That’s okay right now to a lot of people since she’s still breastfed on demand, and food is just “for fun” anyway. But as she gets closer to an age where she’ll start depending on solids for her nutrition, I wanted her to be eating real food, not pureed zucchini. You can read a little more about baby-led weaning here. 

I want her to be able to control how, when, and what she eats. Ah, yes! Dangerous for a toddler, or so I’ve heard. You never know when your 21 month old is going to throw that chicken nugget at the dog’s head and refuse to eat anymore ever again. It’s true. And BLW doesn’t necessarily prevent that, but I firmly believe that my daughter will trust the choices I put in front of her more. Instead of fooling her with a game of airplane into eating something that she may or may not like, I’ll let her figure out if she wants it when I put it in front of her. And because I didn’t pretend like food wasn’t something else, she might think, “okay, maybe this mom lady isn’t so bad…so what’s this?” instead of “IT’S A TRAP!”

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I want to take the wonder out of food. Full disclosure: this is totally instinctual. I really have no idea if this is the case or not. But I don’t want eating to be a form of entertainment. I don’t want our eating to be a form of entertainment. I don’t want food to be exciting. I want it to be fun so she’ll try new things, but I never want her to associate food with curiosity, comfort, or mystery. She sees what we’re eating is the same as what she gets. When she’s sad, I want her to go for hugs, not Hershey Kisses. I feel if I am upfront and honest about what food is – not mush – and let her try real flavors from real dishes she might not feel like anything is off limits, which encourages good food relationships later on. She’ll have no reason to gravitate towards anything “forbidden”!

I don’t want her to be a picky eater. There’s no proof that BLW kids aren’t less picky eaters, but by George, it’s worth a try.

All in all, I really hope Winter appreciates food and doesn’t depend on it for anything other than nutrition. I figure if we start early with these concepts that maybe they’ll be more enforceable as she ages. 

Plus it’s hilarious to watch her shove things into her mouth.

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