Once your kid ready to wean off breast milk or formula, you can choose between spoon-feeding your kid purees or introducing finger foods in what is commonly called “baby-led weaning,” or BLW. Not to be confused with the Weening process, wherein you can choose between starting your kid on Pure Guava or White Pepper.
While both weaning methods work, there’s some evidence that infants who wean with solids gain less weight than those who are spoon fed purees. Some folks aren’t swallowing it. But pretty much everyone agrees that the once common fear of BLW being a choking hazard is largely unfounded. You just need to go about it right.
Now, here’s the whole “go about it right” bit:
- If you choose to let your B L the W, make sure they’re old enough to sit up on their own and grasp things — generally around 6 months.
- Much as you’ll want to reward their new eating tricks, don’t go tossing them peanuts. Provide “finger” foods, as in foods eaten using and shaped like fingers.
The reason for that is because stick-shaped foods can be grasped with one hand while being gummed, sucked, and generally nom nom nomed. Some, of course, are much better for this than others, such as:
- Soft, but structurally sound delights like avocado, peaches, and apricots.
- Softened, steamed carrots. Cooled, obviously.
- Anything Junior is willing to mouth-mash that you can cut into bits about one inch long and a half-inch thick, like berries, scrambled eggs, or bread.
When things really get going, you can try offering foods like soft mozzarella spears or bits of well-done chicken. You also might want to consider getting a smart robotic mop for your floor, because whatever your kid does manage to get in their hands has at least a 60-percent shot of winding up there.