Tag Archives: Baby-led weaning

Don’t Make Food An Issue

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Recently, we attended the birthday party of a friend’s child.  We got to the food, and, wow, what chaos!  Granted, the food wasn’t food I would choose to serve like pizza, processed chicken and fish, but there were also veg sticks.  We have always used baby led weaning.  There have been no purees in this house, no forcing food down our daughter’s throat.  We have firmly believed that she knows better than us what her body needs and when it needs it.  She gets offered the same food as we eat.  If she doesn’t want to eat, she doesn’t eat.  It is not unheard of for her to go over 24 hours with just water and breast milk and then start eating again.  Does it make me anxious?  Yes, of course, it does.  I am her mother, and, despite the fact she remains happy without the food, I worry that she’s ill or going to get ill.  But I choose not to force the point or make an issue out of her refusal to eat or project my worry onto her because I know she will eat when she feels the need.  She has never had a screaming fit over food being forced into her because we have always given her control over what goes into her mouth.  We don’t make a deal over how much she chooses to eat.

Here we are at this party, and Miss E was given her food and tucked in right away.  The other kids (many of whom were a lot older than Miss E) screamed and fussed like crazy, parents were shoving them back in their seats saying things like “eat your dinner!”  They were bribing them with ketchup,trying to push the food into their mouths and all sorts just to make them eat.  But nothing doing.  All that was happening was parents getting increasingly frustrated and children starting to associate food with bad memories.  Miss E ate with a very bemused look on her face the whole time.

We want our children to grow up with a healthy association with food.  In order to do that, we need to provide them with nutritious, good quality, well balanced meals and leave the rest up to them.  They will eat when they are hungry, and they will eat as much as they need to eat.  If we don’t leave that decision up to them, we may well be building the foundations for eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits in the future.

Why Are We In Such A Rush To Get Our Children To Grow Up?

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I was talking to another mum on Sunday whose little boy is about 2 months older than my daughter.  Somehow eating came into the conversation and she passed a comment that stunned me, “Isn’t it just great to get them fully weaned and no longer clinging to you?”  She also breastfed her children.  I told her that we are doing baby led weaning and, therefore, while my daughter is eating food and in increasing amounts, she is still nursing just as often as she did do (but not as often as when she was a newborn!), but that actually I’m going to miss the days when she no longer needs me.  I received a blank look in return.  There’ll be a time when she gets all her nutrition from food alone.  There’ll be a time when she decides she’s independant enough to not need comfort from me in such a way, but the time isn’t yet, and I for one am not going to push her before she’s ready even if that means having to put up with her clinging to me.  Those times are times when we bond.  I have to completely stop what I am doing and focus soley on her, she looks deep into my soul and sees there is a fountain of love for her in there and all is well in her heart and in her tummy.  She can leave her aches and pains and worries behind and just relax in the embrace of love.  Why would I want to rush these days past?  Why would I want to get up every day longing for the time when she doesn’t need me anymore and I no longer have someone “clinging” to me?  Why do we go through our children’s days hurriedly ushering them from one milestone to the next, relieved to get “that phase” over and done with, like it’s some great burden we need shot of, pushing them away from us before they are ready?  Parenting is not about ticking off a checklist as fast as possible: born safe, weaned, potty trained, off to school, out of the house, check, check, check!  No, it’s about embracing the here and now, the clinging, the giving of ourselves fully, being 100% in the moment, it’s about finding joy in the moments of no sleep, the times when something is stopping them from settling to sleep and stopping us from getting on with watching that movie or doing some other fun activity.  It’s about developing ourselves as a person through learning about sacrifice and leaving our selfish desires to one side for the good of another.  Parenting shows us the areas of our character that need working on if we let it.  It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.  Sure, you can sprint through it, but you miss out on all the sacred moments along the way and your children also miss out.  Remember to slow down, enjoy the stage your child is at today instead of wishing it away for the next stage, because with a next stage also comes trials and frustrations.  ENJOY your children as they are TODAY.

Mild Thai Green Curry

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We tried this recipe last night.  It’s another from the Baby Led Weaning Recipe Book I mentioned before.  I, personally, would like it with a bit more chilli kick, but it smelled delicious and tasted just as good.  This is to serve 2 adults and 1 baby, but we doubled it so we could freeze some.  We doubled the paste and had loads left, so we’ve divided it up and put it in the freezer for future curries.  We also didn’t add the rice to the curry at the end and we omitted peas and put in a green and yellow pepper instead.

For the Curry Paste:

2 mild/medium green chilli peppers(deseeded and veins removed)

2 shallots (or 4 spring onions)

3 garlic cloves

2-3 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled

2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, outer leaves discarded and chopped

2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander seeds

1 tsp grated lime zest (unwaxed)

1 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp oil (if needed)

Finely chop the chilli peppers, shallots, garlic and ginger by hand or using a food processor.  Add the other ingredients and blend thoroughly until smooth (use a pestle and mortar for a really smooth paste).  Add a little oil, if needed, to give a manageable consistency.

 

The Rest: 

approx 2 tbsp mild Thai Green Curry Paste (see above)

2-3 chicken breasts sliced to suit your baby

400g tin (can) of coconut milk.

200g rice

1-2 handfuls of frozen peas and/or green beans

 

Heat a large saucepan or wok on the hob and add the Thai curry paste.

Add the chicken and fry briefly until the outside of the chicken pieces is sealed.

Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, start cooking the rice so that it will be almost ready as the vegetables are becoming soft (the exact time will depend on the type of rice you use)

Add the frozen peas or beans to the curry and cook for a further 4-5 minutes (beans may need a little longer-about 6 minutes)

Drain the rice and add it to the chicken and vegetables and stir.  Cook for a further 2-3 minutes to allow the rice to absorb some of the sauce.

Serve warm, on its own or with a salad.

 

The paste…probably could have used a blitz in the food processor, but we had been food shopping and were too hungry to mess with that 🙂

 

The end result…my kitchen smelled divine!

What’s On Your Reading List?

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We have decided to do Baby Led Weaning here, or BLW.  Before my daughter was born I asked for two books for Christmas on BLW.  One on BLW itself called Baby Led Weaning by Gill rapley and Tracey Murkett  and the cookbook to go with it.  Seeing as the little one is becoming increasingly interested in food at meal times and has started reaching for food off my plate and trying to get it to her mouth, I figured now would be a good time to actually pull them off the bookshelf and read them!  We even tried out the home made burger recipe yesterday and it was delicious.  I’ve never made gome made burgers before, but now that we have tried and tasted how yummy they are, I don’t think I’ll be buying store bought again!!  So, that’s what I’m currently reading; what about you?